Sam Nicholson scores at death, Colorado Rapids beat LA Galaxy 2-1

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Photo Credit: John A. Babiak @Photog_JohnB

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (August 4, 2018) – Colorado Rapids defeated LA Galaxy on Saturday night 2-1 thanks to Sam Nicholson scoring in stoppage time. Romain Alessandrini and Kellyn Acosta scored the other goals.

Kellyn Acosta scores second in Burgundy as Colorado Rapids draw LA Galaxy

The first half was all Rapids in performance in the first half. Just six minutes in, Sam Nicholson put the ball off a defender and off the bar after a good build-up sequence. The finishing from Colorado was poor on the night and David Bingham had to play sweeper-keeper on several occasions, denying Nicholson and Jack McBean on several occasions.

Things got complicated in the 29th minute as Axel Sjoberg had to be subbed out with an injury for Marlon Hairston. In the 33rd minute against the run of play, the Galaxy were able to take advantage of their one chance of the half. Ashley Cole sent a low cross into the box. It was deflected out by Tommy Smith, but right to Alessandrini who shot first time and scored.

The Rapids had several good chances to follow. The best came in the 35th minute when Edgar Castillo dribbled through the box and passed to Nicholson who couldn’t get a shot off after there was apparent contact with Alessandrini. Nothing was called.

The half ended 0-0.

Colorado tied the game up in the 50th minute. Kellyn Acosta collected the ball in the final third, ran forward into space, and fired a shot from the edge of the box to the far corner past goalkeeper David Bingham.

The match slowed down after that with both teams getting half chances in transition, but nothing truly dangerous. That is, until the final minutes. On the counter, Castillo found Nicholson in the box who was able to finish on a volley to win the game. The match ended 2-1.

Big takeaways:

Acosta scores two in two games: For his second straight league game with his new club, Kellyn Acosta scored a goal, and it was a beauty. He was a force in the midfield as a No. 8 all game long. With him and manager Anthony Hudson switching to the 4-4-2 diamond, the midfield has found some stability.

Midfield battles: The midfield battle was where this game was at. The Galaxy were disjointed for much of the game with Jonathan dos Santos unable to contribute offensively. Outside of Alessandrini, the midfield three left much to be desired. When they did win battles against Colorado’s diamond, they were critical. The Rapids midfield did some good work, but finishing was poor on the night.

No Zlatan hurt: There’s no doubt the Galaxy missed Zlatan Ibrahimovic in this game. With the midfield being overrun, they were desperate for an outlet in possession and a target in the final third. The Rapids defense honed in on Ola Kamara limiting him throughout the night. Ibrahimovic certainly would have given the Galaxy a good chance to win this game.

Snake-bitten Sam Nicholson makes good: Going into stoppage time, Nicholson was the most snake-bitten player on the field. He’d gotten into some good postitions but wasn’t able to finish. At other times, he held onto the ball too long. He finally got a chance in front of goal and made good on it, winning the game at the death.

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