COMMERCE City, CO (October 15, 2017) – The Colorado Rapids ended their last home game of the season on a high note. Thanks to a Joshua Gatt goal and some gutsy defending by committee, the defeated Real Salt Lake 1-0 on Sunday night. RSL had already claimed the Rocky Mountain Cup for the year, but Colorado got their third straight result over a playoff contending team.
Colorado Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Tim Howard(C) — Marlon Hairston, Kortne Ford, Axel Sjoberg, Eric Miller — Bismark Nana Boateng, Mohammed Saeid — Joshua Gatt, Stefan Aigner, Dominique Badji — Alan Gordon
Salt Lake Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Nick Rimando — Tony Beltran, David Horst, Justen Glad, Danilo Acosta — Kyle Beckerman(C), Luke Mulholland — Joao Plata, Albet Rusnak, Brooks Lennon — Luis Silva
Fourth Minute Joshua Gatt Goal Wins Rapids Final Home Match Of 2017
The Rapids came out of the game smoking. Just four minutes in, Alan Gordon found Joshua Gatt with a back heel through pass with speed. Gatt ran onto the ball and shot first time, beating goalkeeper Nick Rimando at the far post. It was one of the fastest goals of the season for the Colorado Rapids.
RSL dominated the ball pretty much all half with 16 total shots (4 on goal). The visitors responded almost immediately after conceding. Midfielder Luke Mulholland had a great shot from the top of the box in the 7th minute, forcing Tim Howard to make an acrobatic save.
The Rapids defense was active all half. Mohammed Saeid and Bismark Nana Boateng shielded the backline and every defender made at least one great save. RSL’s had a golden opportunity in the 24th minute when Joao Plata got behind the defense on an Albert Rusnak pass. Howard came off his like to make the save and Hairston made a great block on the chance off the rebound.
The half ended 1-0 with David Horst and Dominique Badji on yellow cards.
The sides traded chances in the startof the second half. Brooks Lennon and Rusnak led the way for RSL. Stefan Aigner continued to play the No. 10 role for Colorado. He and Saeid provided several good balls into the box on restarts.
Luis Silva had a great chance in the six yard box in the 63rd minute. Rusnak won the ball in the final third and found Lennon on the wing. Silva got open but center back Axel Sjoberg beat him to the ball and sent it out for a corner.
So close pic.twitter.com/1IgVf4yNOu
— Real Salt Lake (@RealSaltLake) October 16, 2017
Substitute Dillon Serna nearly doubled the advantage in the 76th minute on the counter. Serna collected the ball in space, ran on goal, and shot, but just missed the far post.
76' – Serna comes oh-so-close to doubling the lead!
Let's close this out lads!!
— Colorado Rapids (@ColoradoRapids) October 16, 2017
Salt Lake threw caution to the wind in the closing minutes, but Howard made several excellent saves. The match ended 1-0.
3′ Colorado – Joshua Gatt, assisted by Alan Gordon
This was a vintage Rapids 1-0 win at home. They used the counter attack to create quality chances. They committed numbers to the attack. While they let the opponent have the ball and outchance them, they made the critical plays when it mattered most. Tim Howard had possibly his best game of the year, an excellent bounce-back from the United States Men’s National Team getting eliminated from World Cup qualification during the week. Every defender and center midfielder made at least one great play in the box.
For the third straight game since getting eliminated from playoff contention, the Rapids got a result against a playoff contender. They might not be making the playoffs, but this result could be what prevents RSL from making the post season. Salt Lake is in 8th place (below the red line by a point) heading into Decision Day.