The Rapids brought the defense on Saturday night, something they have brought for most of the matches this season. This defense and a nice shot from Sebastien Le Toux gave the Rapids a 1-0 win over the Portland Timbers.
The first half seemed to be tilted to the Rapids defensive half with the Timbers trying to get a goal and lead. They are fighting for their playoff life and needed a win in Commerce City. Axel Sjoberg and Jared Watts were able to handle the physical battle with Fanendo Adi.
There was no scoring in the first half as there were only a couple of chances. Portland had the best opportunity in the first half when they put a shot past Tim Howard that went off the post. The Rapids got a shot off late in the first half. This was a header from Sebastien Le Toux that went over the crossbar.
The Rapids got the loan goal about half-way through the first half. It started with Marlon Hairston dribbling through a few players, nutmegging Vytautas Andriuskevicius, and getting a cross that Dominique Badji barely touched and Le Toux was able to put into the low corner of the net.
One thing that I did not notice on matchday that I caught when I watched the match again was the Rapids did not have a full bench. They only had five on the bench instead of the usual seven. Let's hope they can get some players back in the next few weeks.
The match was also not managed well by referee Allen Chapman. The consistency of the calls throughout the match was horrible. The lack of yellows early in the match set the stage for a physical match that got out of control. An inconsistency example is Dominique Badji getting a yellow for a late challenge that he slipped on and not giving a yellow to Alvas Powell for a late challenge on Le Toux. He also missed a critical foul on Adi when he shoved Sjoberg that then led to a Diego Valeri shot. What do you think?
Here is how I saw the match.
Tim Howard - 8 (8.28): Howard did not have to make any big saves, but he had to tip a couple balls over the net and intimated Diego Valeri a bit who put his shot wide of Howard towards the back post and off that post. A good match from Howard.
Marc Burch - 6 (7.36): Burch was active and did well to handle the pace of the Timbers attacking group. He did pick up a yellow in the 78'. He did well to slow Darlington Nagbe in the first half.
Jared Watts - 7 (7.56): This was going to be a physical match and Watts was up for it. He did a great job of getting under Adi's skin, including getting Adi to shove him in the face that was not carded. I am wondering if Watts should have come back into the match after catching the ball off his face early in the second half. He did not look good.
Axel Sjoberg - 7 (7.40): He had some good battles with Adi also. He tricked Adi into thinking he would get the ball and he pulled off and the ball went right past Adi who ran out of bounds.
Eric Miller - 5 (6.76): It was a match where Miller was missing for much of the match. He had few touches on the ball.
Dillon Powers - 7 (6.16): Powers did a lot in this match, but most of it went unseen. I was surprised at how many completed passes he had in this match (55), with 17 in the final third. He got stepped on towards the end of the first half that earned Diego Chara a yellow card.
Sam Cronin - 6 (7.08): Cronin was much more physical in this match and was lucky to not get a yellow card in the first half for some rough play. He did pick up a yellow card in stoppage time in the second half.
Sebastien Le Toux - 7 (7.36): Despite getting the goal and a good scoring opportunity in the second half, Le Toux was absent for most of the first half. He did track back a few times and play some good defense. He was better in the second half and was in good position when he got the goal.
Shkelzen Gashi - 5 (6.4): We did not have a gratuitous shot up into the stands by Gashi in this match. We did not really have much from Gashi in this match. He did switch with Le Toux in the second half, but that did not have any impact.
Marlon Hairston - 7 (7.68): Hairston had a decent match but was a lot better in the second half than the first. His speed down the right side with his dribbling skills got him an assist with Le Toux's goal. Otherwise he did not get that many touches on the ball.
Dominique Badji - 6 (6.64): An interesting match for Badji. He got a couple of shots off and had a good amount of completed passes, but he did not seem like he was on the ball a lot for me. He almost took the ball away from Le Toux when he scored, he just could not get to it.
Caleb Calvert - N/A (6.56): Came on for Hairston in the 82'.
Mekeil Williams - N/A (6.32): Came on for Le Toux in the 85'.
That is how I saw the match. What do you think?
Here is a summary of the Community Ratings so far this season. Let us know how you think it is going so far in the comments below.