COMMERCE CITY, CO (August 5, 2017) – The Rapids playoff hopes took a big hit with a 2-2 draw at home against the Vancouver Whitecaps at home. Despite some great counter attacking work, they couldn’t get a win thanks to a late Fredy Montero header to tie it.
Colorado Rapids Starting XI (4-4-2): Tim Howard — Eric Miller, Jared Watts, Axel Sjoberg, Mike Da Fonte — Marlon Hairston, Michael Azira, Mohammed Saeid, Shkelzen Gashi — Dominique Badji, Kevin Doyle
Vancouver Whitecaps Starting XI (4-2-3-1): David Ousted — Sheanon Williams, Andrew Jacobson, Tim Parker, Jordan Harvey — Matias Laba, Tony Tchani — Bernie Ibini-Isei, Jordy Reyna, Christian Bolanos — Fredy Montero
Late Fredy Montero Header Dents Rapids Playoff Hopes In 2-2 Draw
Vancouver came out with good energy and lots of possession. The attack was a bit disjointed but they were able to get some second chance opportunities. The opening goal came off a recycled ball in the 5th minute. Harvey sent a ball into the box after some good build up. Da Fonte headed it out but not far enough. Tony Tchani was able to run onto it with space to shoot. He shot first time, banking the ball off the far post and into the net.
The Rapids responded aggressively with quick counter attacks. There was a sense of urgency to tie the game that hadn’t been there in weeks past. Their hard work forced the Whitecaps to take several fouls in the final third. That work paid off in the 15th minute. Gashi took a free kick that was cleared, then Saied sent it back in. Williams headed it behind him, but not out of play. Sjoberg struck it with a half volley between Ousted’s legs.
The two sides traded chances the rest of the half. Vancouver worked the ball up the middle throough Tchani and Reyna. Colorado worked the ball to the wings with Hairston and Doyle being very active on the ball. Williams was an annoyance to the Rapids earning several fouls and not getting a card on one play when Saeid was fouled. The half ended 1-1 with Azira on a yellow card.
There was a good amount of rain at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in the first half, but it didn’t seem to affect either team. The rain did not return in the second half.
The second half was again a clash of styles. Vancouver possessed the ball and tried to break Colorado down. Everytime the Rapids turned it over, they went for the counter. The Rapids would score on a counter in the 54th minute. Doyle won the ball in his defensive third. He and Gashi played a good one-two to get upfield with speed. The ball ultimately fell to Saeid, who shot. It deflected to Hairston, who backheeled it to Doyle and the Irishman beat Ousted from 10 yards out.
Vancouver responded with several good chances. Brek Shea put the ball in the net just minutes later but the play was ruled off-sides. Montero had a few chances himself, ringing a shot off the post in the 73rd minute.
Montero would finally make his chances count in the 76th minute. Cristian Techera found Montero unmarked on a set piece. The Columbian headed it down past Howard to tie the match 2-2.
Colorado pushed to retake the lead with several attacking subs, but were unable to find a goal. The match ended 2-2.
5′ Vancouver – Tony Tchani, unassisted
15′ Colorado – Axel Sjoberg, unassisted
54′ Colorado – Kevin Doyle, assisted by Marlon Hairston and Mohammed Saeid
76′ Vancouver – Fredy Montero, assusted by Cristian Techera
This result stinks for the Colorado Rapids. They have just five home games left on the season and are at the bottom of the table. They needed a win to keep their playoff hopes alive. Their defense hasn’t been the same. They should have won this game scoring two goals at home. They need to start winning soon.
Vancouver didn’t play their best game, but they got a result. They continue to play well on the road. Montero finally scored a goal. This isn’t great, but it’s something they can build on.