Colorado Rapids battled on Wednesday night in their third match of the Desert Diamond Cup and came away with a 1-0 victory against a spirited FC Tucson team. It was not easy 90 minutes by any stretch of the imagination, and things changed late in the match as the Rapids were finally able to break down the host team. The Rapids will led by a headed goal from Axel Sjoberg and solid defense by a variety of players along the back line.
The first half was largely a boring affair as the Rapids struggled to find that final touch that would lead to a goal. Possession was clearly dominated by the Rapids as they made run after run at FCT. They did generate a number of chances and forced the Tucson keeper into a number of fine saves. However, the Rapids were not able to turn the possession and chances into goals and the half ended 0-0.
Here was the first half lineup for the Rapids (4-2-3-1):
GK: Zac MacMath
DEF: James Riley, Bobby Burling, Jared Watts, Marc Burch
D-MID: Sam Cronin, Nick LaBrocca
MID: Marlon Hairston, Dillon Powers, Juan Ramirez
F: Deshorn Brown
In the second half, the Rapids made the following substitutions to start the half:
Dillon Serna for Hairston, Wes Knight for Riley and Sjoberg for Burling. In addition John Berner came on for MacMath, Ben Newman for Watts, Benji Joya for Ramirez, Dominique Badji for Brown, Gabriel Torres for Powers and Michael Harrington for Burch.
The second half was very similar to the first with the Rapids dominating possession with nothing to show for it. Powers, Serna, Brown and Torres all had good looks and Powers and Torres forced the FCT defense into some excellent saves. It remained tied until the 81th minute when Sjoberg scored his first in preseason on a header from a great corner from Torres. One of the big reasons the Rapids drafted him was for his size and it paid dividends in this preseason match. The Burgundy Boys went looking for another, but could not find that second goal and it ended 1-0.
The Rapids next match is this Saturday with the time and opponent to be determined based on other results tonight.