Tonight’s game felt a whole lot like last week vs. Sporting Kansas City - low possession, especially in the midfield, and not winning balls. But that’s not to say that Columbus Crew didn’t give the Colorado Rapids some chances in the first half. It was a relatively boring first 30 minutes, with the exception of Ola Kamara and Zac MacMath racing to the ball in the box in the 18th minute. Luckily, MacMath got there first.
The Rapids had a couple chances in the 30th minute where Dominique Badji got a shot at the top of the 18, but it was straight down the middle to the goalkeeper Zack Steffen.
In the 33rd minute, Badji passed it to Shkelzen Gashi in the box, who got off a low shot. Steffen gave up the rebound and Gashi followed it, but there was too much traffic and it went to a defender’s feet. Just a couple minutes later, a defender sent a lazy pass back to Steffen, and Badji was able to get in on him, but he had no angle and no support. Badji got another shot in the 38th minute, but kicked it right at Steffen. After nothing for 30-plus minutes, the Rapids put up five shots in five minutes.
After more back and forth, the game went into the half tied nil-nil.
Right away in the 48th minute, Kevin Doyle got a yellow card for a Steffen dive. The replay on the stadium made it look as though Doyle didn’t even touch him, but davidz32z said that at home it looked like Steffen did get clipped. We’ll see what the Disciplinary Committee thinks next week (and I’ll watch the replay when I get home, too).
The Crew had a couple more chances, and then in the 61st minute, Federico Higuain took a shot from about 25 yards. It deflected off Micheal Azira and put the Crew up 1-0. The Rapids picked up the pace and had maybe the best five minutes all game after that goal was scored, and Gash took a free kick in the 66th minute that hit the side netting. Half the stadium thought it was a goal.
In the 74th minute, the Crew got a terrifying free kick right outside the 18-yard box. Higuain took it and Azira saved it off the line, as it looked like he and MacMath went for a split defending of the goal.
Right around the 80th minute, Mohammed Saeid sent a pass up out to Marlon Hairston on the wing who put it right in front of the goal for Kevin Doyle to slide in. The Rapids tied it at 1-1.
For the next few minutes, the Crew brought the pressure and had a really great chance but MacMath came up big.
Alan Gordon subbed in for Kevin Doyle right after his goal, and Joshua Gatt served in a ball in the box. Gordon did exactly what we brought him here to do - get his head on it and put it in the goal. The Rapids went up 2-1 on Gordon’s first goal as a Rapid.
While both teams had sparks on offense and solid defensive efforts, neither team played particularly well. Again, the Rapids had low possession (38%), but at the end of 90-plus minutes, the Rapids got another much-needed three points.