Rapids survive "weird" encounter at Chivas, but believe they deserved more than draw
It was just your typical game with three red cards and a missed penalty kick.
In the Rapids’ 1-1 draw with Chivas USA at the StubHub Center on Sunday night, Colorado managed to extend their unbeaten run to eight games, but they missed several opportunities to claim three points in a wildly strange encounter in Los Angeles.
Taking advantage of playing up a man on two different occasions for almost half of the match, the Rapids claimed an overwhelming 69-31 possession advantage and a 26-6 attempts edge as well.
But they will fly back to Denver with only a share of the points thanks to Deshorn Brown’s missed penalty in the 27th minute and a slew of other head-scratching misses in a game in which they should have collected all three points to continue their climb up the Western Conference standings.
“The boys are not happy with a point anymore, which is good,” Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja told reporters postgame. “I thought we came back from a game that was weird. With what happened in the game, [and] I’ve been in those games before, you don’t have answers. But I thought the players had answers in the second half especially, and I’m very proud of them.”
It was nothing short of a weird match. The oddities started at the very beginning when Brown missed a wide-open look in the third minute, mysteriously pushing his open effort well wide of Dan Kennedy’s goal. Then, in the 27th, Kennedy read Brown’s penalty perfectly and palmed away what would’ve been the equalizer.
But that was just the start of Sunday’s tinfoil hat encounter. In the 33rd minute, Chivas’ Gabriel Farfan gifted Colorado a lifeline with a harsh tackle on right back Shane O’Neill, resulting in a straight red card and putting the Rapids up a man.
Then, on the other side of the halftime whistle, Rapids midfielder Tony Cascio saw yellow for a high challenge, evening the teams back up again at 10 aside.
Finally, not to be outdone, Chivas’ Tristan Bowen appeared to spit at Rapids left back Chris Klute in the 63rd minute, resulting in a straight red for Bowen and another man advantage for Colorado.
“Definitely disappointing,” Klute said of the result in audio provided to MLSsoccer.com by the Rapids. “We know we should’ve come out of here with three points. We definitely need the three points for playoffs."
The Rapids nearly walked away from LA empty-handed, but Martín Rivero’s 80th-minute header salvaged a point from a match that appeared to have X-Files theme music playing in the background all night long.
“It was one of those games,” Pareja said. “Sometimes the game is tough when you play with one man up, and the other team is just sitting and waiting. It’s not easy, but what we can say is Chivas didn’t have any options when they were one man down and we controlled them all the time.”
Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.