Substitute Jonathan Lewis at the Death: Colorado Rapids Down D.C. United

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District of Columbia – D.C. United hosted Colorado Rapids in the opening game of the 2020 Major League Soccer regular season on Saturday afternoon at Audi Field. An exciting game with lots of missed chances saw substitute Jonathan Lewis turn the game on its head in stoppage time.

Substitute Jonathan Lewis at the Death: Colorado Rapids Down D.C. United

The visitors had the better start in this game. After several chances in the opening 15 minutes, Colorado had a penalty shout when Drew Moor was pushed on a broken play off a corner inside the six yard box. Goalkeeper Bill Hamid made the save and nothing was called.

United had fewer chances but had some good looks in the first half. Edison Flores appeared to score in the 28th minute but was offside on the pass by Julian Gressel.

D.C. opened the scoring at the hour mark. Right back Russell Canouse threaded the ball through several players on a counter to make it 1-0.

Kei Kamara made it 1-1 seven minutes later with a convincing header set up by Jack Price on a counter attack. It was chaos after that with both teams playing direct and going for the win.

Substitute Jonathan Lewis made the difference on a broke play in the second minute of stoppage time. The Rapids were building into the box when a shot deflected off him, off a Frédéric Brillant and he volleyed it into the back of the net. The match ended shorting after the restart 1-2.

Three Takeaways:

Letting the players play: Head referee Nima Saghafi let the players be physical especially in the first half. A booking wasn’t handed out until the 58th minute. A yellow card-fest followed but he didn’t make a decision that altered the match. That favored both physical backlines.

Field conditions: Audi Field has hosted two home games for the D.C. Defenders XFL team. The field didn’t look great, especially at the center circle and goal lines. This may have been a factor in both teams playing very direct.

Finishing your chances: This game had 33 shots but just 11 on goal. Both striker groups missed chances with Bill Hamid and Clint Irwin making several critical stops. Ultimately, it was a goal scored by substitute Jonathan Lewis on a broken play that was the difference.

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