COMMERCE, CO (September 30, 2017) – For the first time since July 1st, the Colorado Rapids were victorious in a match at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. In an almost scripted turn of events, Alan Gordon scored in the 82nd minute to break the time. The strike lifted the Rapids over the Montreal Impact, 2-1.
Colorado Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Tim Howard(C) — Mike da Fonte, Kortne Ford, Axel Sjoberg, Mekeil Williams — Jared Watts, Michael Azira — Marlon Hairston, Stefan Aigner, Joshua Gatt — Dominique Badji
Montreal Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Evan Bush — Chris Duvall, Laurent Ciman, Deian Boldor, Daniel Lovitz — Samuel Piette, Patrice Bernier(C) — Dominic Oduro, Andrés Romero, Ignacio Piatti — Matteo Mancosu
Late Alan Gordon Goal Gives Rapids First Home Win Since July Over Impact
The Impact came out on the front foot. Ignacio Piatti was involved with almost every build up. They looked to work their right and middle channel. Samuel Piette got a great chance just five minutes in on one of Montreal’s six first half corners.
The match took a physical turn in the 12th minute. Midfielder Jared Watts went in for a challenge on Chris Duvall. Watts went through Duvall to get the ball with his studs going straight into Duvall’s ankle. Head Referee Jorge Gonzalez went to VAR and then gave Watts a straight red card. Duvall later left the sideline in a wheelchair.
Montreal dominated play from then on. Piatti and Mancosu were the ringers, getting chances and creating them for teammates. It wouldn’t last forever, as the Rapids were given a lifeline in the 32nd minute.
Daniel Lovits gave a kick and a knee into Mike da Fonte’s backside and head after he went down. Hairston then had a scuffle with an Impact player and a scrum ensued. The officials broke things up and Lovits was ultimately given a straight red card. Both teams were down to 10 men.
Just before half time, the Rapids found some magic. They were moving the ball well when Mekeil Williams crossed it into the box. Aigner got some space and headed it first time inside the far post to score. It was his first goal for the Rapids
There was a question of whether Aigner was off-sides on the cross. No replay available showed a definitive angle. VAR was not used to review the play and the half ended 1-0.
Montreal almost got back in the game in the beginning of the second half. Piatti went down in the box after a shoulder-to-shoulder challenge with Hairston in the box. After a delay, a PK was called. The officials ultimately went to VAR and the call was overturned.
Matteo Mancosu would not be denied in the 62nd minute. Montreal was moving the ball around well when Piette found Mancosu at the top of the box. The forward found space and blasted a shot past Tim Howard and just under the bar. The match was tied 1-1.
The match opened up after that. Both teams got chances on the break. Bush and Howard stood tall, making several great saves.
The Rapids counter attack wasn’t done yet. Colorado got on the counter in the 82nd minute. Williams found Badji from a wide position. Badji turned on the jets and fired a square cross in front of goal to an on-running Alan Gordon. The substitute tapped the ball into the open net. It was 2-1.
— Colorado Rapids (@ColoradoRapids) October 1, 2017
Colorado’s defense was able to hold on and the match ended 2-1.
12′ Red Card – Colorado – Jared Watts
32′ Red Card – Montreal – Daniel Lovits
45’+3′ Goal – Colorado – Stefan Aigner, assisted by Mekeil Williams
62′ Goal – Montreal – Matteo Mancosu, assisted by Samuel Piette
82′ Goal – Colorado – Alan Gordon, assisted by Dominique Badji and Mekeil Williams
The Rapids were eliminated from the playoffs earlier this week. At this point, the team is playing for pride, and by did they ever. They handled the adversity of going down a man early and sustaining two injuries. The key offensive pieces showed up tonight, not just Badji. It had to feel good for Aigner to open his Rapids account. They’re building for 2018 at this point, and this was a good first step.
On the other side, this result is a killer for the Impact playoff hopes. Many Easter Conference teams have gotten points in the Rapids this year. Montreal remain four points behind New York Red Bulls with just two games remaining in their season. There is no room for error at this point.
This was a very physical match as well. Three players had to be subbed off due to injury, two of whom were victims of red card fouls. Hopefully Duvall, Da Fonte, and Michael Azira are ok.