Mile High Sports

Rapids concede late goal, gain first road point of the season

Apr 7, 2018; Frisco, TX, USA; FC Dallas forward Cristian Colman (9) scores a goal in the second half against the Colorado Rapids at Toyota Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Rapids conceded another late goal as they drew with FC Dallas 1-1 on a chilly night in Frisco.

Three Rapids players made their debuts after an offseason filled with roster changes. Kip Colvey replaced the injured Marlon Hairston, who is out with a knee injury. Axel Sjöberg replaced Danny Wilson, who is out one week with an ankle injury. Most notably, Nana Boateng, formerly with Premier League powerhouse Manchester City, made his Rapids debut in central midfield in place of Enzo Martinez.

Playing in their typical 3-5-2 formation, Colorado was comfortable sitting back in the first half. FC Dallas took advantage, creating multiple chances inside and outside of the box, but never finishing with a goal. Towards the end of the first half, Colorado began to press higher up the pitch and attack more. They created both of their chances in the last 11 minutes of the first half.

The best chance for the Rapids in the first half came in the 29th minute on a miscommunication from the FC Dallas defense in the Rapids box. After a throw-in and a scrum, the ball fell to Dominique Badji in the box who tried to fake out FC Dallas goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer, looking left but shooting right. Maurer parried the shot and Joe Mason rushed in to tap it in, but Maurer recovered just in time.

Another tantalizing chance came from newcomer Boateng in the 40th minute. Boateng faked a layoff pass to Jack Price and cracked a shot outside the box in the middle of the field towards the lower left corner. Jimmy Maurer punched it away, preventing the potential first Rapids away goal of the season.

The Rapids’ goal came 62nd minute on a counter attack when Dominique Badji out-muscled Dallas center back Matt Hedges for possession of the ball. He and Joe Mason went on the counter playing through the middle of the pitch. Badji laid it off to Mason on the left side and Mason slotted it into the top left corner after a slight deflection off the foot of Reto Ziegler.

FC Dallas midfielder Mauro Diaz was active and aggressive in the first half, sending through balls down the outside channels and creating opportunities for himself and his teammates. In the second half, he continued his strong play, setting up substitute Cristian Coleman for the late-game equalizer. In the 89th minute, Diaz sent an incredibly long ball over the top of the Rapids defense and to Coleman in the box on the left side. Coleman headed it towards the bottom right corner, freezing turning Tim Howard to stone in his spot on the near post.

Head Coach Anthony Hudson spoke after the game on his team’s performance and the importance of the point on the road.

“It is a massive point on the road,” Hudson said. “It’s important because leading into this game, and probably most games we’ve played, most people seem to write our team off. What we’re quietly doing is show we’re a good team, and tonight we put in a very strong performance, which no one expected.”

Colorado has become accustomed to the late-game goal from their opponent. In three of their last four games, they have conceded a goal in the final minutes. A month ago, New England capitalized on a free kick in the final kick of the game. Two weeks ago, Sporting Kansas City equalized in the 91st minute after being down 2-0.

The Rapids went 1-14-2 on the road in 2017, earning just five away points. They received their first road point tonight, already putting themselves in better position than last year, gaining their first road point just three games in.