ORLANDO, Fla. – Colorado Rapids and Sporting KC met in their second game of MLS is Back Group D. After losing, both teams needed a result. Things appeared to be decided until two Colorado Rapids red cards.
Sporting KC Wins After Two Colorado Rapids Red Cards
Both teams were looking to have a good start and it was the Rapids who did. Kellyn Acosta put his team ahead in the 6th minute. Diego Rubio found space to make a run up the middle. Then Nicolas Benezet and Cole Bassett combined to find Acosta making a late run, who shot first time.
Sporting bounced back and played well the rest of the half. They had more of the ball and chances, but their best chances came on corners. Khiry Shelton nearly scored in the 15th minute but was denied by Jack Price, who headed the ball off the line.
The half ended 1-0 Colorado with both teams playing very physical. Nicolas Benezet was given a yellow card in the 41st minute for an elbow to Graham Zusi that could have been a red. Players on both sides became frustrated with David Gantar swallowing his whistle. That led to some retaliatory tackles.
The official was play a factor in the second half. Danny Wilson was called in the 59th minute for pulling down Alan Pulido as the last field player back. VAR had Ganter review the play and Wilson was given a straight red card for DOGSO.
Up a man, Kansas City tied it in the 65th minute. Gadi Kinda collected the ball at the touch line then crossed it across goal to Khiry Shelton who scored on a volley.
VAR awarded a PK in the 70th minute to Sporting for a hand ball as Zusi’s cross deflected off Rubio’s (slightly) outstretched hand. Alan Pulido converted it to take a 2-1 lead.
Jack Price was sent off three minutes later for reported violent conduct though nothing was obvious from the original live feed.
Substitute Jonathan Lewis took matters into his own hand in the 84th minute, shocking SKC with a goal in transition. Kei Kamara had the assist.
The game had more drama in it. In the second of twelve minutes of stoppage time, Zusi collected a cleared corner cross and shot. The ball deflected up in the air off Sam Vines. Goalkeeper William Yarbrough was unable to make the save, going to ground and the ball bounced in.
The dramatic match ended 3-2.
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) July 18, 2020
Rapid response: The Rapids started well and were in control of the game through 65 minutes. They responded well after going down a goal. The effort was there but they just didn’t have enough left in stoppage time down two men.
Officiating splitting hairs: VAR was critical to this game, correctly calling Wilson for a DOGSO red card. The PK to Rubio might have seemed harsh. The Rapids probably feel like they put in a good effort and lost due to being hard done by the officiating.
SKC goes from victims to victors: Sporting were not happy about the DOGSO red card to goalkeeper Tim Melia on Sunday. Fair or not, the officiating went their way in the form of a PK and two-man advantage. On Sunday, they were victims to VAR. On Friday, they took advantage of it and were victors in the end.