COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – So, about those scoring problems.
The Colorado Rapids erupted from their recent offensive slumber with a four-goal outburst in a 4-1 rout of the Montreal Impact on Saturday night in a thoroughly one-sided contest at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
Taking the early lead on a penalty and then sealing the outcome on two terrific goals from Kamani Hill and Shane O’Neill early in the second half, the Rapids collected their first win in four matches, while sending the Impact to their third straight league loss.
The visitors struggled mightily, conceding an avalanche of golden chances to the visitors while unable to score on an early series of opportunities.
It took no time for the Rapids to get on the scoreboard, a rare luxury for a side that came into Saturday’s match with just one first-half goal in their first 11 games of the season. In the fourth minute, referee Chris Penso pointed to the spot after Montreal’s Sanna Nyassi appeared to tug at Rapids striker Edson Buddle, and Dillon Powers converted for his first goal of the season and an early lead.
Three minutes later, Clint Irwin was called on to make a terrific one-on-one diving stop on Justin Mapp, keeping the Rapids’ early lead intact.
In the 15th minute striker Deshorn Brown, who joined up with the Jamaican national team after the game, outran two Impact defenders and looked certain to score, but Patrice Bernier made a terrific sliding stop to keep the Rapids lead at just 1-0.
The Rapids continued to keep the pressure on the Impact, with Drew Moor’s 27th-minute header and Kamani Hill’s 29th-minute shot both coming close for the dominant home side. But the best chance came in the 31st when Brown clanged another one-on-one opportunity straight off the post.
On the other side of the half, the Impact nearly leveled in the 50th minute on Mapp’s shot just outside the 18, which bounced off the outside of the post and just wide.
But then the rout began.
In the 54th minute, cutting in from the left side, midfielder Kamani Hill toed a perfectly placed curler, the Bay Area native’s first goal of the season and his first MLS goal since Oct. 27, 2012.
Four minutes later, defender Shane O’Neill spectacularly sealed the match with his first MLS goal on a precise blast from just outside the 18, all but ensuring the outcome before the hour mark.
And in the 84th, Powers turned around Heath Pearce and fired a perfect low strike to beat Impact goalkeeper Troy Perkins once again, sending the sellout home crowd into a frenzy one more time.
Andres Romero scored an 88th-minute consolation for the visitors, but by that point it was far too little, far too late.
The Rapids will next host the Houston Dynamo next Sunday at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park (6 p.m MT, TICKETS).
Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.