COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (June 12, 2019) – The Colorado Rapids are unbeaten in five league matches going into the break for the Gold Cup. They are flying high, but too close to the sun. Thanks to a late goal from Kevaughn Frater and some PK heroics from Cody Mizell, New Mexico United defeated Colorado Rapids in penalties, 2-2 (2-4).
Cody Mizell Plays Hero as New Mexico United Beat Colorado Rapids in PKs
United showed their excitement for their first ever match against an MLS team, scoring in the 3rd minute. Daniel Bruce got some space on the wing, cut inside, and shot, but it was saved by goalkeeper Clint Irwin for a corner. On a second ball into the box off the corner, Santi Moar headed the ball down. Devon Sandoval tapped the ball into the net at the near post.
The visitors gained confidence after that. Colorado had more of the ball after that, but NMU didn’t let them do anything with it. They remained organized and compact. A more than one occasion, they were able to spring a dangerous counter attack.
The Rapids found themselves in the 29th minute. Cole Bassett nearly scored on a chip shot from close range. Diego Rubio tied the game in the 35th minute. Off a long free kick, Lalas Abubakar won the ball in the air, sending it to Rubio who headed it past goalkeeper Cody Mizell.
Things got chippy after that with New Mexico committing several fouls on Nicolas Mezquida and Colorado fouling Christopher Wehan. Both players drew yellow cards in being fouled.
Just two minutes into the second half, Mezquida got on the board. Rubio got wide then sent a low cross in. The ball somehow got past two defenders and Mezquida shot first time into the top corner.
The physicality hurt Colorado in the 72nd minute. On a counter attack, center back Axel Sjoberg was forced to foul Kevaughn Frater, earning a second yellow, reducing the Rapids to ten men.
Just when it appeared that the Pids were going to win, star striker Kevaughn Frater scored a golazo on a thunderbolt from outside the box in the fourth minute of stoppage time. The game went to extra time, 2-2.
Santi Moar was the only bright spot of extra time, making a few runs and getting some shots off, but nothing truly dangerous. Frater hit a shot poorly in the final minute. Substitute Sam Nicholson had a few good runs in the counter attack, but the Rapids mostly defended and ran the clock out.
Cody Mizell ended up being the hero in PKs, stopping Danny Wilson and forcing Sam Hamilton over the bar. It was fitting that Wehan scored the winning PK.
Physical play: This match was a rough and tumble affair. From the 24th minute on, there were eight yellow cards, plus Sjoberg’s sending off. It didn’t get out of hand or lead to violence, but it was chippy and both teams had gripes about skill players taking fouls.
Set pieces: This game saw the first two goals scored on set pieces. This has become a habit for both teams in recent games. Both teams executed good sequences, with two touches needed in the box to get the goal.
Magic of the Cup: Kevaughn Frater and Cody Mizell. That’s all that needs to be said.