TORONTO, ON (July 22, 2017) – The Colorado Rapids road losing streak is over. After going 0-7-0 prior to this weekend, they got a draw at Toronto FC 1-1. Jay Chapman scored his first goal in Major League Soccer. Alan Gordon and Dominique Badji rescued a point in the second half for the visitors.
TFC Manager Greg Vanney had to shuffle the lineup with several players away for the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Clint Irwin was in goal. Nick Hagglund led the back three in a 3-5-2. Veterans Benoit Cheyrou and Víctor Vázquez led the center of midfield. Youngsters Raheem Edwards and Tsubasa Endoh were on the wings. Jay Chapman made a rare start up top next to former MVP Sebastian Giovinco. Coach Vanney was watching from the press box as he was suspended after getting dismissed from a midweek game against New York City FC.
Rapids Head Coach Pablo Mastroeni was finally able to start something close to a first choice lineup. With Tim Howard away for the Gold Cup, Zac MacMath started in goal. Axel Sjoberg and Kortne Ford started at center back in a 4-4-2. Mohammed Saeid and Michael Azira started in central midfield. Dillon Serna and Marlon Hairston were on the wings. Dominique Badji and Kevin Doyle started at forward.
Colorado Rapids Get First Road Point At Toronto FC Off Badji Goal 1-1
Toronto dictated the pace early and it was 23-year-old Chapna who opened the scoring just five minutes in. Vázquez released Giovinco in the box who was able to pull Colorado’s defensive shape apart. This forced MacMath off his line. Giovinco crossed it to the front of goal. Endoh had a shot saved off the line, but Chapman headed the rebound past MacMath to score.
The home side dictated the play throughout the first half, but was unable to find a second goal. The Rapids had trouble with Toronto’s five man midfield.
Toronto had to make a first half substitution when Captain Cheyrou came out limping with a leg injury in the 40th minute. The home side were a bit lucky to not go down a man in the first half. Center back Chris Mavinga was given a yellow card in the 26th minute for a hard slide tackle on Badji at midfield. Head Official Juan Guzman gave him a yellow card.
The Reds picked off where they left off in the second half. Less than a minute in, Toronto pressed numbers into the box and Chapman had a great look at goal in the middle of the box. He wiffed on it and it was out for a goal kick.
Colorado took some time establishing a sense of urgency. They got an excellent chance in the 67th minute. Saeid won a free kick in the final third. On the restart, he found Kevin Doyle in the air. Doyle headed it down but Irwin made an excellent save, grabbing and holding onto the ball just feet from the goal line.
The Rapids put together a few good waves of attack, but had trouble creating anything dangerous. Their hard work led to paydirt in the 76th minute. Against the run of play, Gordon and Azira won the ball in the attacking half. Gordon delivered a great pass to Badji, who took a touch to collect it. He ran shoulder-to-shoulder with the last defender and beat Irwin with a low shot. It was 1-1 in the 76th minute.
.@dbadji14 beats Irwin to the near post! His sixth of the season!!
Time to find a winner? pic.twitter.com/QBmSk2mEDM
— Colorado Rapids (@ColoradoRapids) July 23, 2017
Both teams looked to score a go-ahead goal. Colorado had trouble stringing passes together and Toronto had trouble flipping the switch. The Rapids did well wasting time in the final minutes of the game. The match ended 1-1.
5′ Toronto – Jay Champan (unassisted)
76′ Colorado – Dominique Badji (assisted by Alan Gordon)
This was a lucky but welcomed result for the Colorado Rapids. The first half performance was not good enough. They had a better mentality in the second half, but they were still lucky to get a goal if you ask me. Still, Mastroeni and company will take it. They have their first road point of 2017. This will be something to build on, even if the performance wasn’t. The monkey’s off their back at 0-7-1.
Toronto played well without some big players in the first half. While they were managing the second half ok, they weren’t able to keep a clean sheet. Furthermore, they had trouble flipping the switch once the game was tied. All things considered, Vanney and the team are probably content but not happy with a draw. They’re still top of the league though.