Sometimes, you need a little bit of luck to go with a little bit of skill. It's hard to argue that luck has been on the Rapids side the past year and a half, but they finally got a bounce their way in the best way on Wednesday en route to a 2-1 win over the New England Revolution.
It was always going to be tough to break down the best defense in Major League Soccer, but the Rapids made it no easier on themselves by playing a very lackadaisical first 15 minutes. The offense was lazy and the team as a whole wasn't holding possession very well, so there was little to inspire confidence before New England took advantage. Off a free kick just outside the box in the 15th minute, Juan Toja made a very good bending shot that Clint Irwin was frozen on, thanks to a timely run by Jerry Bengston. There were a few calls for offside on Bengston, but it was rightly not given and the Rapids found themselves down very early.
The rest of the first half didn't inspire much confidence. Deshorn Brown's finishing was off as usual, but he was getting absolutely no help from a listless Edson Buddle and Nick Labrocca.
Fortunately, whatever Pareja told the team in the locker room between periods appeared to have worked. Colorado entered the second half with a chip on their shoulders and immediately took over the game. All the possession belonged to the men in burgundy, and their chance creation didn't let down from the first half. Eventually, they managed to sneak one past Bobby Shuttleworth, but it took something special. Dillon Powers fed the ball to Nick Labrocca about 25 yards from goal, and his shot was perfectly placed into the near corner to equalize.
It took only five minutes after the first goal for the luck to bounce Colorado's way. A great run down the touch line from Dillon Powers led to a solid cross right in front of the box, which Jose Goncalves deflected into his own net for what, I believe, is the first own goal we've had go our way in the Oscar Pareja era.
With Colorado taking hold of the possession right up until the end of the match, that own goal was all they would end up needing. Both teams had a chance or two before the final whistle blew, but the goalies were equal to everything and the 2-1 scoreline held until the very death. It's not the prettiest three points you're ever going to see, but it's enough to put Colorado right back in the playoff discussion, and a vital three before heading to Seattle for a road game in a venue they've never gotten a result in.