Just wow! This was the most complete match that the Colorado Rapids played so far this season. They defended well, they kept attacking, and did a good job through the midfield. In the end, the Colorado Rapids beat Sporting Kansas City 2–1 to win their third match in a row.
The first half was a back-and-forth with the Rapids’ Juan Ramirez having the best opportunity when he headed a cross just wide. Axel Sjoberg had a decent opportunity on a long-corner but it went right at goal keeper Tim Melia.
The scoring opened up early in the second half when Krisztian Nemeth carved up the back line of the Rapids. He got a toe on the ball to Dom Dwyer who buried it past Clint Irwin. The Rapids came right back when Maynor Figueroa scored his first goal for the boys in burgundy and took the lead late in the second half when Kevin Doyle headed home the Vicente Sanchez cross.
It would have finished as a tie if it were not for efforts of Clint Irwin who saved the point-blank shot of Dom Dwyer late in the match. The double save preserved the win for the Rapids and kept their slim playoff hopes alive.
Here is how I saw the match:
Clint Irwin (9): Clint was strong throughout the match and came up strong to deny Dom Dwyer late in the match. His double-save was amazing as he just got his finger tips to the ball to put it off the post. He didn’t have much of a chance on the first goal.
Drew Moor (7.5): Drew worked hard all night and did some great work killing off the match at the end. He was shown a quick yellow for time wasting, the referee gave him no time before pulling it out. Drew will miss the next match with yellow-card accumulation.
Axel Sjoberg (7): Axel and Dom Dywer continued their feud from pre-season and it was fun to watch. Axel let the physical nature of the match get a little of him and earned a yellow for persistent infringement in the second half. He did have a decent header on goal, but it went right at Melia. He will miss the next match for yellow card accumulation.
Sean St Ledger (7.5): St Ledger’s leadership was evident and played a good match. He covered well when needed and was quite physical on the backline. While we all questioned his acquisition, he has come out and shown what the club saw in him. He has helped solidify the backline.
Maynor Figueroa (8): Maynor has been strong at the left back position since he arrived in Commerce City. The experience and knowledge of the game he possesses was quite evident on Saturday night. He got into a good position, received Sanchez’s pass and put a good shot on goal that deflected off of Graham Zusi.
Sam Cronin (6.5): Sam helped keep things strong in the midfield when he made crucial tackles and helped keep possession throughout the match.
Marcelo Sarvas (7): While Cronin stayed predominately in the defensive end of midfield, Sarvas kept pushing into the attack and this helped the Rapids secure the victory. Despite pushing the attack, he did get back into position to help out defensively.
Vicente Sanchez (9): Vicente was dangerous all night long, whether it was putting in quality crosses or dribbling past SKC defenders he was quality. Sanchez gets two assists on the evening. The first he left Seth Sinovic spinning on the grass as he attacked the net and found Figueroa open coming into the box. The second assist he was able to get to the ball before it crossed the end line and found Doyle crashing the net.
Dillon Powers (7): As the central attacking midfielder he was all over the pitch and had only four unsuccessful passes all evening. He worked hard and helped press the attack, including getting the best of Zusi on the dribble late in the first half.
Juan Ramirez (7.5): Ramirez was a lot better in this match than he has been this season. He was able to get two shots off, including the header that went wide early. He had a great dribble out of his own box early in the first half and was able to relieve the pressure on the Rapids.
Kevin Doyle (8.5): All he does is find a way to score and in the last two matches he has found a way to score late in the match. He works hard to get in position in front of a goal and finishes those he can get on. Here hopes he has a good opportunity while away on international duty and returns ready for the stretch run. Probably should have had a PK on a foul by Ellis in the box.
Dominique Badji (7.5): Badji came in and despite having played in Montreal earlier in the week for the Charlotte Independence. He had a good work rate and created some opportunities. Looked to have a good shot on goal but was deemed to have fouled a flailing Ellis.
Lucas Pittinari (N/A):
Nick LaBrocca (N/A):
That is how I saw the match. Let me know your thoughts.