Dallas came to Colorado in desperate need to get all three points in order to right the ship, and perhaps get back into a playoff position. Steve Cooke and his boys responded thusly:
Colorado played tough through the midfield and used speedy wide attacks from Dominique Badji and Joshua Gatt to hold down Oscar Pareja’s men.
And yet. In the end, a momentary lapse on a set piece would result in a Atiba Harris goal, and it cost the Rapids the full three points as the game ended 1-1.
The Rapids got on the board early, scoring in the 16th minute. Joshua Gatt, attacking from the right, slipped a nice short pass into the feet of Stefan Aigner for a quick shot. FC Dallas Jesse Gonzalez got a piece of it, but the ball continued on its essential trajectory and trickled past to make it 1-0 to the Pids.
In the 25th minute the Rapids worked the ball through the midfield with a string of accurate passes, and looked in excellent position to score a goal. The Dallas defense picked Aigner’s pocket from behind at the top of the 18-yard box.
Shortly thereafter, the Rapids would get another chance but fail to capitalize. A cross into the box catches Grana napping. Only a falling save from Gonzalez saves Alan Gordon from scoring right in front of net.
Dallas’ first good chance came in the 36th minute. Maximiliano Urruti threaded a ball through to Michael Barrios at the right of the net and he hit it low and hard to the near post, but Zac MacMath saved the ball confidently. Going into the half, the Rapids had the moment, while Dallas looked a little disjointed and out of sync.
The play of the game would occur a few minutes after the second half whistle.
In the 51st minute, Stefan Aigner hit a hooking diagonal cross from 35 yards out that Alan Gordon found with his sizable and prolific melon of a head. The ball floated majestically up and over GK Jesse Gonzalez. But at the last dying second, Gonzalez nudged the ball off the line with the full extension of every last finger in what is sure to be the MLS Save of the Week.
Just three minutes later, the worm would turn for the Rapids.
At the 54th minute, a Dallas attack down the wing would bounce over the end line, and the assistant referee signaled for a corner, to the protests of several Rapids players. The ageless Javier Morales whipped in a near-perfect corner. Former Rapid Atiba Harris drove it past Zac MacMath to draw the game at one goal apiece.
The game would continue to be played from end to end, as both teams played aggressive, up tempo, positive soccer.
In the 68th minute, only an emergency tackle by Eric Miller saved a certain goal from Michael Barrios.
As the game entered its last knockings in the 84th minute, a great opportunity would present itself for Dallas. Into the final third, two streaking attackers began rounding the back line like wide receivers running slant patterns, while the ball nestled at Mauro Diaz’s feet as if her were an erstwhile quarterback. But instead of laying in the perfect pass like he might have in 2016, Diaz miss-hit a throughball that rolled harmlessly to MacMath. The game would end eight minutes later.
The result means the Rapids are continuing to excel in their role as spoiler - helping to knock Montreal out of the playoffs a few weeks back, and now putting Dallas into a bad spot after this match. Although picking up a point helped the Toros to move from 8th to 6th in the standings, they still sit only one point ahead of Real Salt Lake and San Jose Earthquakes.
The Rapids fields are barren of f#%^s for your struggling non-playoff team.