Lightning Strike: Dillon Serna rescues Rocky Mountain Cup draw for Colorado Rapids

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Photo Credit: John A. Babiak @Photog_JohnB

SANDY, UTAH (July 21, 2018) – Colorado Rapids got a draw on Saturday night at Real Salt Lake in a Rocky Mountain Cup clash. The game ended 2-2 thanks to a late goal from substitute Dillon Serna.

Lightning Strike: Dillon Serna rescues Rocky Mountain Cup 2-2 draw for Colorado Rapids

RSL were world beaters in the opening 20 minutes. In the 11th minute, Damir Kreilach opened the scoring with a header near the far post, beating his marker Tommy Smith. Joao Plata served the ball in after some good passing from the home side.

Plata doubled the advantage for the Claret and Cobalt in the 17th minute. Jefferson Savarino made a run down the flank to get open and cross the ball into the box. Standing just outside the six-yard box, Plata was able to attack the ball uncontested and beat goalkeeper Tim Howard.

Minutes later, the match was stopped by the head official Baldomero Toledo for a lightning warning in the area of Rio Tinto Stadium. The game would be delayed for just over an hour.

The stoppage seemed to do the Rapids some good, who came out with better energy as they were the more dominant team in the midfield. The passing was better as well. Minutes into the game restarting, Johan Blomberg won a PK on Kreilach after a VAR review.

Forward Jack McBean stepped up to take it and scored.

The match opened up in the second half with both sides getting good opportunities. The Rapids had several opportunities on the counter and set pieces, including a restart taken by Jack Price that went off the corner of the post and out for a goal-kick. Smith found himself in alone on the play but missed on the deflection attempt. Plata had a few good chances, including a 57th-minute chance that Howard saved.

The Rapids finally found their equalizer in the 88th-minute. Castillo cut inside into the box on the attack and sent a shot at Nick Rimando. The Wall of the Wasatch made the save but left a rebound that substitute Dillon Serna was able to clean up.

The match ended 2-2. As such, the 2018 Rocky Mountain Cup will be decided on August 25th at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Colorado will need a win by at least three goals to claim the trophy.

Three takeaways:

Delay and tactical change: The lightning delay gave the visitors a much-needed timeout. It let them gather themselves. Manager Anthony Hudson also subbed in Enzo Martinez for Yannick Boli and went to a flat 4-4-2, which worked well.

RSL victimizes center back mistakes: Both RSL goals came on taking advantage of defensive mistakes. Plata and Kreilach got away from center backs to get open and finished in open space. On both plays, Rapids full backs also made mistakes in not pressing the ball to disrupt the service into the box.

Rocky Mountain Cup: With this result, the Rocky Mountain Cup is still up for grabs. RSL are in a good pole position with four points and +3 goal differential. The trophy’s fate will come down to the final match between these two teams on August 25th.

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