Let me get this out of the way early - that was one of the worst and most shameful displays of football I've seen by any team in a long, long time. Isidro Metapan's strategy against the Colorado Rapids seemed to be a variant of 'dive early, dive often' and their dirty and flop-filled play really brought down what could have been a very compelling match between a very fast and small team vs. a larger and more finesse based team. Either way, Colorado wound up winning the match despite a very confused group of referees and Metapan attempting to dive at every chance they got.
Colorado started an... interesting lineup to say the least. It featured Scott Palguta on the left side of the defense and Joseph Nane in Pablo Mastroeni's usual spot in the center of mid-field, along with Andre Akpan up top alongside Macoumba Kandji, who was getting his first appearance with the Rapids since breaking his ACL in the MLS Cup final while setting up the game winning goal against FC Dallas.
The game started badly almost immediately for the Rapids as less than 20 seconds into the match, Drew Moor and Scott Palguta tag-teamed streaking Cristhian Bautista in the box and earned Metapan an early penalty, which Allan Kardeck Dos Santos easily converted - Matt Pickens has still yet to actually stop a penalty kick of any sort in any competitions - and gave Metapan a 1-0 lead before the first two minutes of the match had actually finished.
Colorado got the goal back as Macoumba Kandji scored in the 16th minute but Metapan struck back quickly in the 25th minute as Pablo Suarez took advantage of a terrible decision by Matt Pickens and scored to make it 2-1. Pickens was fouled in his own box terribly but to no call, and chose to take the situation and make it terrible by putting out a quick outlet pass to a shocked and unprepared Kosuke Kimura, who lost the ball immediately and allowed Suarez a quick chip over Pickens. Kandji wound up getting a brace with a second goal in the 44th minute.
The key point in the game was when Kardek Dos Santos received a red card for a terrible challenge on Drew Moor in the 41st minute. Dos Santos remained - shell shocked of course - on the pitch for far too long and I was surprised no other disciplinary action was given considering his lack of effort to get off the pitch and let the game restart. Down to 10 men, Metapan's already weak game became even weaker and Andre Akpan wound up snagging the final goal of the match in the 50th minute off a Kandji set-up.
Colorado getting three points at home will be very important every time they play at DSGP, so they're going to have to continue their strong performances from today as the tourney goes along. Mac Kandji appears to be in the best shape we've ever seen him considering how that game went, and he will be a very important part of this team's CCL offense going forward, so this kind of game is extremely encouraging to see.