The Colorado Rapids found their offense in a variety of ways Sunday night in their regular-season finale at home. Fantastic strikes, solid well-timed pressure, and a hard-working night defending their third saw Colorado take down the visiting Seattle Sounders and keep an eye on the playoffs.
Nicolas Benezet made his long-awaited first regular-season start, joining Auston Trusty as the two changes to the Rapids lineup from the match in Minnesota.
Seattle had a good look inside the Colorado 18-yard box right away, but with the ball in front of goal, Raul Ruidiaz missed contact in the 5th minute.
The play went back and forth until the 11th minute when Benezet made a nice driving run with possession towards the top of the Seattle box. He dropped it left for Sam Vines, whose cross was right on the money for Andre Shinyashiki to head home from 6 yards out and the 1-0 lead.
Colorado seemed to give up some of their possession going forward, however, and in minute 22 Jordan Morris snuck in behind Keegan Rosenberry on the left side of goal and poked home a low cross from Cristian Roldan for the Seattle equalizer.
Play became a bit tougher to control for either side as the first half wore on and a couple of chippy fouls from both teams. Colorado won a corner kick in the 41st minute. The ball was cleared away by Seattle, but Rosenberry had a go from distance and hammered a low blasted volley past Stephen Frei’s right in the blink of an eye for the 2-1 lead before halftime.
Colorado almost extended that lead in stoppage time as Benezet drove a cross in front of the Seattle goal but Cole Bassett’s header sailed just high and over. Seattle then came right back with their own chance just ahead of the whistle but Yarbrough pushed it away for a harmless corner kick.
The second half started off brightly for Colorado as they pushed the ball down the left side into Seattle’s third. Benezet had space from outside the left corner of the box, picked out the far upper 90, but had his shot just tipped away for a corner kick. The Frenchman again had a banger from the left headed for the far post blocked away by a Seattle defender for a corner in the 52nd minute after being checked by VAR for a potential defensive handball.
Sixty minutes in, Seattle was still trying to capitalize on lofting over the top to Morris running in behind, or Ruidiaz trying to catch Trusty and Abubakar napping. The pair was having none of it though being able to react and recover nicely.
The Rapids started to up their pressure after that as Rubio inside the penalty area didn’t see a wide-open Trusty to his left, shooting to Frei instead. Benezet then found himself on goal surrounded by 3 defenders but his tough angled shot was also covered by Frei.
Another great chance to put the match away in the 73rd minute for Colorado saw Shinyashiki barrel through on goal with a nutmeg and pass by, but his poke to the left post was well wide. That insurance goal came soon after though as master provider Jack Price stood over a freekick from 30 yards left. His cross to the middle was pounced on by Bassett who made no mistake with his header and the 3-1 leader.
Colorado brought in fan-favorite Drew Moor to help lick up the back in the last 15 minutes as the Rapids pulled off a solid team win on the night and keeping them alive in the points-per-game playoff push.