But here’s the recap anyway.
The first half started off pretty slow, but both sides had some good looks here and there. Portland got the first shot off early (6’) and then Dominique Badji got himself a yellow card in the 8th minute. The Colorado Rapids had some great chances, but they seemed to either go directly to the goalkeeper or were softened by Portland’s defense. Sebastien Le Toux got his head on a ball late in the first half, but it soared over.
Shkëlzen Gashi was pretty quiet, and didn’t have his best first half. We’re used to seeing a little more from him, but he had a couple passes that either went to Portland or went out of bounds. Jared Watts, on the other hand, had a goal-saving clear in the 36th minute. I think Tim Howard got a fingertip on the shot, which hit the far post, and Watts cleared it out as Portland was running in.
We went in to halftime at 0-0, very much like the last time the two sides met at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on July 4th.
At the start of the second half, I was expecting Portland to lose some steam, considering they had a mid-week game in Guatemala and they also had to deal with the altitude. Badji soared one over the crossbar within the first couple minutes, and Portland responded. They seemed to keep up the tempo but then did, in fact, start to lose some steam.
In the 64th minute, Marlon Hairston embarrassed about half of Portland’s defense and passed the ball into the middle near the top of the 18. Badji let it through to Le Toux, who put it in the back of the net just inside the post for his first goal since putting on a Burgundy uniform. 1-0 RAPIDS!
The game ramped up from there – Portland made two subs up top, and the pace increased on both sides. At one point, Zac MacMath got a yellow card from the bench. I didn’t see it and didn’t see a replay, but it was for dissent and I did see him walking back to the bench. Le Toux was given a yellow card in the 83rd minute for a tackle.
In the 85th minute, Mekeil Williams subbed in for Le Toux, presumably so the Burgundy Boys could pack it in for the last few minutes. Sam Cronin and Williams both got yellow cards in stoppage time, and Portland pressed hard.
I think I held my breath the entire four minutes of stoppage time.
THEY HELD ON TO WIN! GET YOUR TICKETS, PEOPLE, WE’RE IN THE PLAYOFFS!!!