The final of the Desert Diamond Cup was played on another beautiful Tucson night as the Colorado Rapids and Real Salt Lake played for the first time in 2015 and it was everything that you could want from a derby match. It was physical, chippy, and passionate and in the end, Real Salt Lake was able to claim the Cup and a 2-1 victory against our Burgundy Boys.
As I mentioned the game was a chippy affair with multiple bookings and a sending off in the second half. It was everything that you could have wanted from two teams who truly loathe each other. The result was fair in the end as the Rapids were unable to convert a sizable man advantage and RSL was great at controlling possession.
The Starting XI for the Rapids:
GK: Clint Irwin
DEF: James Riley, Bobby Burling, Axel Sjoberg, Michael Harrington
D-MID: Lucas Pittinari, Marcelo Sarvas
MID: Vicente Sanchez, Gabriel Torres, Dillon Serna
F: Dom Badji
The Rapids surrendered the first goal in the match in the 8th minute as they gave up too much space for RSL and our neighbors to the West found themselves with an empty net to go up 1-0. The game then took on quite a chippy tone as both teams went after one another like it was a regular season affair. The Rapids were able to tie the match with a goal in the 29th minute from Serna which found the back of the net. The goal was coming for the Rapids as they were applying pressure against the RSL defense as was nothing that they did not deserve. The half ended with the match tied 1-1
The second half started off with some fireworks with a Red Card and a goal in the first 7 minutes. A foul by Sjoberg led to a free kick for RSL and in the ensuing setup, RSL picked up a Red Card from an off-the-ball foul. The ensuing free kick by RSL was a gorgeous bend over the wall kick that could not be stopped. This left the match at 2-1 to RSL after 52 minutes. After the red card, the Rapids seemed to struggle with getting a consistent push forward. Normally up a man you would dictate possession, but it was RSL who was controlling the pace of the match.
Unfortunately for the Rapids they were unable to find an equalizer and squandered a perfect chance to claim the trophy in the Desert Diamond Cup. The Rapids kick off their regular season next Saturday at 2PM against Philadelphia Union.