Prior to tonight's game, I said that there was no reason that Colorado should be dropping home points to a team as out of form as Toronto FC. Of course, they waited until the death of the game -- and make no mistake, if games were only 80 minutes long, Toronto would have a far better record -- but they were indeed able to snag three points on Saturday night at DSGP.
The teams were fairly evenly matched all game long, though not necessarily all in good ways. Chances were rare for both sides, at least chances that went on frame and weren't blocked or well wide. Both teams seemed to have trouble linking their midfields with their offense, and longball was ever-present. Robert Earnshaw didn't earn his money, failing to capitalize on several chances that he likely would have scored in his prime. Atiba Harris and Danny Mwanga once again turned in mediocre performances up top for Colorado, on the other end.
It took the reintroduction of the now healthy Edson Buddle and Deshorn Brown to get the fruitful attack they were so desperately seeking to pick. Seeking an offensive boost, Oscar Pareja sent on Buddle for an ineffective Kamani Hill at halftime and stuck in Deshorn Brown for Nathan Sturgis about 35 minutes later. With four strikers on the pitch -- Mwanga and Harris moved into wider positions to allow the usual two center-men to make the plays after coming on -- it was obvious that Pareja wanted a goal desperately. They got it.
After a nervy 40 minutes that saw Toronto get agonizingly close with a batch of long throws and corner kicks, the Rapids were finally able to get a good run with numbers up the far flank via Chris Klute. His ball into the area was right to Logan Emory, but it perhaps had too much mustard on it. Emory slipped, Joe Bendik couldn't react, and Edson Buddle got a fantastically easy goal to give the Rapids a late lead.
They very nearly made it 2-0 to allow the chilled crowd to breathe a foggy sigh of relief in the 92nd minute, but Atiba Harris' jaunt in alone on goal wasn't the best and Bendik snagged the ball from his feet before he could get a shot off. It wouldn't matter in the end, with the final whistle coming moments later.
All three Colorado wins this season have come 1-0, and they'll still need to start finding more offense if they want to face off against the better teams in the league, especially with Columbus and San Jose coming next. For now, we've got a 3-4-3 record and some late game heroics to satisfy us for a week.