The Colorado Rapids welcomed the Vancouver Whitecaps on a rare Sunday night match. Head Coach Robin Fraser made a few changes from their midweek action as Auston Trusty moved inside on the backline, Lucas Esteves started out left, and Michael Barrios and Kellyn Acosta returned to the starting XI. The pivotal match, and third in eight days for Colorado, saw Braian Galvan and Esteves in similar wingback roles supporting the three “center” backs in Keegan Rosenberry, Danny Wilson, and Trusty.
Colorado’s leading scorer almost did it again early in the first half. Barrios grabbed onto a slick thru-ball from Acosta in the 14th min, cut back inside, but the woodwork was once again cruel to the Burgundy Boys as his right-footed rocket came back off the crossbar for what would’ve been a great early lead.
However, the oft-dangerous delivery of Jack Price paid off yet again for the Rapids from a 28th-minute corner kick. The Captain drove a ball from the left and Danny Wilson met it solidly to head home under the crossbar past a helpless keeper from point-blank range for the important first goal.
Fate then swung on Wilson and the Rapids against the run of play as the goal-scorer soft-touched a pass at the edge of their defending third and Vancouver intercepted, going immediately to goal. A nice through pass found Brian White in between defenders and he roofed a shot to draw level in the 41st minute.
The Rapids pushed high up to start the second 45 minutes, gaining some good ground and set pieces early on but nothing on the mark. A cheeky little flick by Lewis along the endline squirted briefly through Crepeau’s legs but was smothered before anything became of it.
The first Colorado substitutions saw two Rapids players who haven’t been on the DSGP field in a while — Diego Rubio, and the rehabbed Younes Namli — both coming on in the 65th minute to bring a little control and spark to Colorado’s attack.
Vancouver almost snuck one back as Lucas Cavallini latched onto a loose ball, drove at Rapids ‘keeper William Yarbrough, and barely missed finding White at the far post for his second on the night. Yarbrough then almost got caught coming way off his line trying to get to White again turning his defender, but Vancouver could only muster a harmless corner kick.
The back-and-forth action heated up for both sides, with neither looking content with sharing a point on the night, and Barrios with a dangerous lunge for the winner in front of goal in the 81st minute. A mad scramble in Vancouver’s box saw shots by Namli, Andre Shinyashiki, and Estevez desperately cleared away in succession.
Even at the death, Namli deftly lofted a ball behind the Vancouver defense to Acosta’s lunging foot but it was just covered by the keeper before the final whistle. The deadlock stayed where it was, and Colorado may have let another two points drop off the table while extending their unbeaten run.