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Colorado Rapids comeback to beat RBNY 5-4 for first road win of 2022

colorado rapids comeback

HARRISON, NJ – New York Red Bulls hosted Colorado Rapids on Tuesday night at Red Bull Arena. This was a rare Tuesday night game due to RBNY playing a club friendly against Barcelona over the weekend. The home side were coming off a crazy 10 days, whilst Colorado were still in search of their first road win of the year.

Colorado Rapids comeback to beat RBNY 5-4 for first road win of 2022

The first half was non-stop action. Dru Yearwood opened the scoring six minutes in. His shot went off the head of Lalas Abubakar with goalkeeper William Yarbrough diving the wrong way. New York made it 2-0 three minutes later with Aaron Long getting an open header on a set piece from Lewis Morgan.

Colorado gave RBNY a taste of their own medicine in the 21st minute. Brian Acosta pressed Cristian Cásseres Jr., winning the ball just outside the box. He passed the ball to an open Diego Rubio who picked out the far bottom corner to make it 2-1. It was Rubio’s tenth goal of the season.

Abubakar had the howler of the night two minutes later. He gave up the ball on a weak pass to Luquinhas, then pulled him down from behind. The play was initially ruled a penalty and a red card. After VAR, Abubakar was given a yellow. Lewis Morgan converted the spot kick. Keegan Rosenberry made it 3-2 in the 38th minute with a blast from outside the box.

The second half calmed down significantly. Both teams tightened up at the back and dealt with the press better. Colorado still struggled to get the ball into the final third. They had some half chances on restarts. Substitute Michael Barrios had a great chance in the 73rd minute but Sean Nealis cleared it from inside the six yard box.

Colorado’s dramatic comeback began in the 77th minute. Collen Warner scored on a rebound off a corner after Max Alves had a header denied from point blank range. Then in the 80th minute, Colorado got out in transition with some great passing started by Rubio. Michael Barrios eventually got the shot off, deflecting it in.

Yaya Toure could have had a brace in the final five minutes. He put the ball in the net in the 85th minute but the goal was disallowed with Gyasi Zardes called offside. He would get his revenge four minutes later with a tap in set up on a rebound off a shot by Rubio. The game was far from over though with Rosenberry called for a soft penalty in stoppage time with Tom Barlow converting to make it 5-4. Barlow appeared to make it 5-5 in the 100th minute with a looping header, but he was offside. The match ended 5-4 to the visitors.

Three Thoughts:

Pressers don’t deal with the press: New York are the best pressing team in the league. Colorado are decent at the press and have gotten better with Gyasi Zardes up top. Both teams struggled playing out against the press of the other. Abubakar and Cásseres had bad moments. Neither team ever got good at playing out of the back and getting set up in the final third with danger. Both teams had to play long in the end. Colorado did more with those transition moments.

Finally a road win, and a Colorado Rapids comeback: The Rapids came into this game 0-7-3 on the road. They’d been inconsistent. They’ve lacked energy and intensity. They’ve made mistakes that compound and cost them. They did all those things in the first 10 minutes. They were polar opposites in the second half. This is a season defining win and possibly the best Colorado Rapids comeback of all time.

“I’m so proud of the group. We made some mistakes early. The team was un-phased. We kept fighting. This is the team that I’ve known for years. They were excellent. It was frustrating to give up two goals the way we did. To go in at halftime 3-2 with some confidence that we could hurt them, we felt like we could hurt them. We were playing with a different purpose,” head coach Robin Fraser said postgame.
“I hope this is the start of something. The subs were amazing. This is a team performance for sure. I hope this is the first one of a couple wins,” Diego Rubio added.

Chaos, MLS is on a roll: This was a wild game. Nine goals. An exciting hot mess. Not high level quality soccer though. There have been several 4-4 games in the last few weeks. Philadelphia Union is scoring touchdowns against bad teams. This league makes no sense. MLS should play on Tuesdays more often.

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