New Mexico United fans came out in full force tonight, but C38 brought just as much energy to the Colorado Rapids’ first game of the 2019 U.S. Open Cup. Unfortunately, New Mexico’s Devon Sandoval put his side on the scoreboard early off a corner kick in the 3rd minute.
The Rapids had a great chance in the 18th minute when Dillon Serna crossed the ball in from the line, but NMU was able to clear it. Axel Sjoberg earned a yellow card for taking a player down in the 24th minute, which was a smart foul but gave NM a free kick around the 30-yard-line. Colorado cleared it and ran down the other end.
In the 29th minute, the Rapids went deep in the final third and Cole Bassett got off a shot that went wide. A few minutes later, Diego Rubio headed the ball in the back of the net to tie it up 1-1.
As many U.S. Open Cup matches do, the game started to get scrappy towards the end of the half and after 45 minutes and some change, there were six yellow cards and one of them should have been a red. There was a scuffle between Keegan Rosenberry and one of the NMU player put his hands around Rosenberry’s neck, yet no card was issued to that player at all.
Nicolas Mezquida scored for the good guys less than two minutes into the second half. It was mostly back-and-forth for the rest of the half. Axel Sjoberg earned his second yellow in the 72nd minute to get ejected from the game. There were five minutes of stoppage time and NMU’s Kevaughn Frater tied it up in the 4th minute.
Sam Nicholson dribbled into the box and got off a weak shot in the 8th minute of extra time that NMU (and former Rapids) goalkeeper Cody Mizell easily smothered. Clint Irwin had to put in much more work in extra time as NMU continuously put the ball in dangerous places as Colorado had switched to a 4-5-1 to bunker down until penalty kicks. The Rapids had a free kick around the 45-yard-line that Kellyn Acosta floated in to Mizell. Mizell cleared the ball and gave NMU one last chance that Irwin dove and saved.
It came down to penalty kicks.
Kelly Acosta - in
Danny Wilson - saved
Keegan Rosenberry - in
Sam Nicholson - miss
Frater - in
Moar - in
Sandoval - in
Wehan - in
The Rapids were knocked out of the U.S. Open Cup by a USL side for the second year in a row.