After a slow first half, the Colorado Rapids came to life in the second half and while FC Cincinnati managed to get on the board, the Pids got all three points and extended their unbeaten streak to four games.
FC Cincinnati wasn’t pressing or trying to do much in the final third at the beginning of the game. They just sat back and let the Rapids bring the ball up. Perhaps it was to conserve energy due to the altitude or maybe it was to see how the pace of the game was going to go, but things were slow at the start.
In the 12th minute, FCC took advantage of a counterattack, speeding up the pitch and getting a great ball in. It rolled past several players from both teams in the box but somehow no one touched it and the Pids were able to clear it away.
Deklan Wynne went down with an ankle injury and needed to be subbed out early, which meant Sam Vines was coming in as leftback in the 17th minute. He was icing his left foot on the sideline and Conor McGahey (who was standing in for Lauren Jbara) reported that there was some concern about the bones in the top of his foot. He stepped on the heel of an FCC player and to top of his foot bent up.
The Rapids had a great chance in the 33rd minute when Andre Shinyashiki sent in a beautiful ball to Kei Kamara. Kamara got a head on it, but FCC’s goalkeeper Spencer Richey tracked the ball well and made the save. Cole Bassett got his head on the rebound, but it went out of bounds.
In the 42nd minute, Fenando Adi spun Lalas Abubakar (who was playing well otherwise) and ran it in towards the goal, but shot it wide. On the counter, the Rapids took it up the field, Sam Nicholson brought it in close on the right side and passed the ball through the box. Kamara was running through the middle but let it go to Shinyashiki who was completely unmarked and easily put it in the back of the net.
Conor Casey said it was a “bit of a slow first half” and they needed to get “more aggression going forward.”
Shinyashiki and Nicholson almost connected again five minutes into the second half, but Nicholson wasn’t able to get a solid touch on the ball and it went out of bounds. Kellyn Acosta sent a nice ball into Kamara, who may have been pulled down, but it wasn’t clear and/or obvious in the replay, so play continued. On the other end, Jack Price cleared a ball off the line in the 58th minute to keep FCC off the board.
Kekuta Manneh subbed in for Cincinnati in the 70th minute and, in less than two minutes, was able to split the centerbacks and score a goal to get his side on the scoreboard.
The Rapids responded quickly, with their own subs running down the field a minute later. Diego Rubio passed a nice ball out to Nicolas Mezquida, who went far post on Richey and put Colorado back in front.
Tim Howard played well and made a couple of clutch saves to do his part in earning three points tonight. The Rapids are slowly but surely turning things around since the departure of Anthony Hudson. Conor Casey might not be the permanent solution, but he has done a great job of adjusting to the players he has instead of trying to force something to happen.
Enjoy it, fam.