Gyasi Zardes hattrick: Colorado Rapids rain goals on Minnesota in 4-3 win

gyasi zardes hattrick

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – Colorado Rapids hosted Minnesota United FC on Saturday night. The hosts were coming off a crazy and potentially season defining win on Tuesday night. The Loons were without three key players due to yellow card accumulation.

Rapids rain goals on Minnesota behind Gyasi Zardes hattrick

For the second times this week for Colorado, the first half was bonkers with five goals. Abu Danladi got things started four minutes in. He beat Gustavo Vallecilla to a ball at the back post on a corner after a nice flick on header by Franco Fragapane.

Colorado would respond with three goals in eight minutes from the 7th to the 15th. First, Gyasi Zardes pounced on a rebound for a tap in. Dayne St. Clair could not collect the ball on a shot from distance from Diego Rubio. Rubio got on the scoresheet himself minutes later with a header from close range. Keegan Rosenberry delivered a great long throw in that dropped between three defenders. It was Rubio’s eleventh of the year, tying his all-time single season goal record in MLS. Then on another Rosenberry throw in, Michael Barrios found Zardes, who beat St. Clair 1-v-1 from inside the six yard box.

Minnesota got back in the game three minutes before halftime. Right back Alan Benítez nutmegged Lucas Esteves to find Luis Amarilla with space in front of goal. The forward took a great first touch to shoot across goal. The half ended 3-2.

During halftime, lighting struck near the stadium, causing a weather delay. Numerous lightning strikes cause halftime to last an hour and 45 minutes with the game finally resuming at 9:39 PM local time.

Colorado dominated Minnesota after that. St. Clair made several saves on open shots. Zardes completed his hattrick on the hour mark. Rubio again shot from the top of the box. The keeper again made the save but left the rebound for the striker to finish easily.

Minnesota raised their level after that. Brent Kallman headed home a ball off a corner in the 82nd minute to make it 4-3. Bongokuhle Hlongwane had a great chance on a breakaway but William Yarbrough came off his line to make a great save. The match ended 4-3 almost three and half hours after the original kickoff.

Three Thoughts:

Gyasi Zardes hattrick: Zardes came alive in this game. Two poacher goals indicate he’s anticipating and playing with better intensity. All three were cool finishes in the face of the keeper.

“When the wingers are getting higher up the field, it’s important I find the right spaces to crash the box. I always work hard. People on the outside say ‘if he’s not scoring he’s not playing well.’ It’s important that I keep keep going,” Zardes told Last Word after the game.

“Gyasi’s goals epitomize someone who’s determined. Those goals epitomized the performances of the last two games. Our attacking guys in general when they get into those opportunities, there’s a different confidence,” head coach Robin Fraser added.

Set pieces give life for Minnesota: The Loons were shorthanded big time defensively without Emmanuel Reynoso and Robin Lod. Two of their three goals came off of corners and were well taken. They were not good enough from the run of play. Colorado stayed organized with numbers at the back just well enough.

Six point week: This was the week Colorado needed. Two wins against teams in a playoff position. Nine goals in 180 minutes against playoff caliber teams. This is the foundation you build a run to the playoffs on.

“When you go against playoff teams, you go as hard as you can. That mentality has to be there every week now. We have to have a payoff mentality. We need to see every game as a final. The belief is there. We showed that we were ready,” Rubio said postgame.

Photo Credit: Mark Shaiken, Last Word on Soccer.