Miguel Ibarra balls out, then sent off as Colorado Rapids end losing streak

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Edgar Castillo celebrates scoring a goal for Colorado Rapids against Minnesota United FC at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. Photo Credit: John A. Babiak @Photog_JohnB

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (June 23, 2018) – Colorado Rapids and Minnesota United FC played to an exciting draw at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Saturday night. The Loons took the lead twice through Miguel Ibarra. Colorado managed a comeback and after an Ibarra red card, Tommy Smith scored a winner in stoppage time.

Miguel Ibarra balls out, then sent off as Minnesota United and Colorado Rapids win 3-2

The Loons came out on fire in the first half. Within minutes, they were controlling the ball, sending crosses into the box, and throwing numbers forward. Tim Howard was forced into making five saves in the first half, several of them spectacular.

Minnesota got on the board in the 20th minute. Darwin Quintero got loose on a long ball after a turnover by the Rapids outside Minnesota’s box. Quintero ran by Danny Wilson and fired a hard low shot. Howard got a piece of it, but it squeaked through his legs. Deklan Wynne wasn’t able to clear it off the line as Miguel Ibarra ran into it and blasted it into the back of the net.

The Rapids tried to create offense on the counter, with Dominique Badji and Sam Nicholson being the man shooters. Rapids Manager Anthony Hudson was forced to switch things up just 33 minutes in, subbing Enzo Martnez in for Marlon Hairston due to an injury concern. Hairston had come out of the game briefly five minutes in for an injury.

Colorado found their offense in the 50th minute. Enzo Martinez switched the field to Castillo during a good build up. Castillo took one touch to cut inside and fired a shot from the edge of the box inside the far post to score.

The game opened up after that as Minnesota retook the lead in the 65th minute. Quintero made a long pass attempt to Ibarra who ran into the box, squared the ball past a sprawling Howard to Christian Ramirez who tapped it into an open net.

The Rapids again tied the match in the 74th minute through their substitutes. Shkelzen Gashi found Joe Mason on the run with a slicing pass. Mason was able to chip goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth and tie the match.

Chaos broke out near the benches as Miguel Ibarra and Jack Price butted heads. Several players from both sides joined in. After the officials broke up the mosh pit and went to VAR, Ibarra was given a straight red for violent conduct and Mason was given a yellow.

The match ended 3-2 with the Rapids buzzing. In stoppage time, Tommy Smith got his head to a corner to win the match.

Three takeaways:

Counter-attacks burn Colorado again: both goals for Minnesota came on long passes that led to counter attacks with numbers. Wilson and Wynne did not do well on the first goal. Then Quintero made a great pass and Ibarra and Ramirez simply won foot races against their marks. Colorado’s lack of speed at the back and mistakes continue to lead to goals.

Ibarra lived up to Batman nickname, then blows it: For the first 73 minutes of this game, Ibarra was the Man of the Match. He had a goal and an assist and was involved in almost every good attacking sequence for the Loons. Then he got into a scuffle with several Rapids players and was given a straight red.

Rapids win finally: For the first time two calendar months, the Colorado Rapids won a game. After going down twice, they battled back to score. Several players stepped up, not just the goalscorers. The winless streak ended in one of the craziest games this team has played all year.

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