SANDY, UTAH – Real Salt Lake hosted Colorado Rapids on Saturday night in the first installment of the Rocky Mountain Cup in 2021. The night would prove to be another RioT nightmare for the Burgundy Boys, and it all started with a William Yarbrough own goal.
William Yarbrough Own Goal Downs Rapids at RioT in RMC
Both teams came in with some personnel changes. Bobby Wood got a rare start up top for RSL and would make it count. Diego Rubio was injured, allowing Andre Shinyashiki to start at striker. Collin Warner was in midfield with Kellyn Acosta still at the Gold Cup.
The game got off to a decent pace with both teams getting chances. RSL pressed well and created transition chances off turnovers. Colorado did well to find Michael Barrios in space to force RSL to give up set pieces.
Damir Kreilach and Lalas Abubakar turned the game physical in the opening 15 minutes with some Concacafy fouls.
The all-too-familiar nightmare for Colorado began in the 14th minute. Playing out of the back, Abubakar passed back to Yarbrough. The goalkeeper was not attentive enough, allowing the ball to off his inside heal and roll over the line.
Colorado were stunned after that. They were poor on the ball and on set pieces. RSL capitalized on that on the half hour mark. After an unsuccessful set piece, RSL won the ball in midfield. Bobby Wood dribbled from midfield all by himself, danced past Keegan Rosenberry and found the back of the net.
The half ended 2-0 with Colorado forced to sub out Danny Wilson due to an injury.
The Rapids had one good chance in the second half. It came in the 64th minute. Auston Trusty got a header off a corner but Ashton Morgan was there to clear the ball off the line.
RSL saw off the game (and possibly the 2021 Rocky Mountain Cup) in the 76th minute. Substitute Rubio Rubin found space between the center backs as RSL passed through the midfield with relative ease. He took a touch to control and scored with little space.
The match ended 3-0.
This sport, man.
Never a dull moment. 😅 pic.twitter.com/wfXBpTANKQ
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) July 25, 2021
Three Key Takeaways:
Rocky Mountain Cup order restored?: This was a statement game in this derby for RSL. They lost the trophy last year in historic fashion. This match was a return to a typical game for Colorado at Rio Tinto stadium, in score line, performance, and emotions.
RSL strikers get it done: Wood and Rubin both got a goal in this game. For all the talk about low expectations for RSL, especially in the attack, they’re doing a job.
Injury to insult: The Rapids got punked, again. They let themselves get punked. And they did it to themselves too. On top of that, Danny Wilson went down with an injury. He will have two weeks to get healthy though as with the yellow card in this match, he’s suspended for the game at Austin FC.