It was a Western Conference showdown between 2nd place Sporting Kansas City and 3rd place Colorado Rapids on Saturday night at Children’s Mercy Park. Jonathan Lewis scored his 4th goal of the season in a hard-fought 1-1 tie.
Both sides were ready for a fight tonight and got off a shot apiece before the 11th minute. It was the visiting Rapids that got on the board first, though, with a strike by Lewis in the 17th minute. The forward took a shot as he was running into the box that was deflected, but followed it up and put away the rebound.
Lalas Abubakar and Lewis were both shown yellows within a 6-minute span as an already-tense game continued to progress. Head Referee Fotis Bazakos was visibly frustrated with the players multiple times as he attempted to keep the game under control.
A foul by Danny Wilson in the 40th minute gave Sporting a free kick about 25 yards out at the top of the box. Johnny Russell stepped up to take the shot and delivered a fantastic strike that went over the wall and found the back of the net.
It doesn’t appear that Rapids goalkeeper William Yarbrough saw the ball coming, but it would’ve been a tough save either way.
The second half didn’t disappoint and things got really exciting in the last 30 minutes.
The Rapids had a chance to put away the winning goal in the 61st minute with a cross in the box from Andre Shinyashiki that skirted through just a couple of yards off the goal line. Mark-Anthony Kaye and Lewis were both there, but weren’t able to get a touch thanks to a slight redirect from SKC ‘keeper Tim Melia. A few minutes later, the home side had their own opportunity on the other end with a scrum in front of the Rapids goal, but no one was able to get a shot off.
Just before the 70th-minute mark, Robin Fraser made four substitutions, bringing in Michael Barrios, Cole Bassett, and Dominique Badji, plus Brazilian Lucas Esteves for his Rapids debut.
The Rapids struggled towards the end of the game, and there was a very close call in the 90th minute. Yarbrough was out of position and Russell slid in towards the goal but Auston Trusty cleared the ball off the line at the last possible second, saving the draw.
In the 4th minute of stoppage time, Barrios crossed in the PERFECT PASS to Bassett, who hit the crossbar/post for the 5th or 6th time in as many games. Seconds late, the final whistle blew.
After 90 minutes, four Burgundy Boys walked away with yellow cards (Abubakar, Lewis, Auston Trusty, Keegan Rosenberry) and the top of the Western Conference standings remain the same.
While either team could’ve had the win tonight, getting a point on the road against SKC is still a solid result for a hot Colorado team. The draw tonight extend Colorado’s unbeaten record to six games.