Tommy Smith headed in the winner in the seventh minute of second-half stoppage time, and the Colorado Rapids snapped a nine-match winless skid with a 3-2 victory over Minnesota United on Saturday night.
Substitute Joe Mason equalized some 23 minutes earlier on his first touch of the game for Colorado, which had drawn its previous league match after losing the eight prior. Edgar Castillo added an earlier blistering strike from distance as the Rapids moved off the bottom of the Western Conference standings for at least a moment, with Seattle and San Jose playing later.
Miguel Ibarra and Christian Ramirez both scored from close range for Minnesota. Ibarra would later be sent off in the aftermath Mason's equalizer for a swipe toward the back of the substitute's head.
Colorado fullback Marlon Hairston departed in the first half, several minutes after he appeared to graze the goalpost with his forehead during a defensive sequence.
- 20' - MIN - Miguel Ibarra
- 50' - COL - Edgar Castillo Watch
- 65' - MIN - Christian Ramirez
- 74' - COL - Joe Mason Watch
- 90'+7' - COL - Tommy Smith Watch
- THE BIG PICTURE: Whether the Rapids possess the talent or time to truly claw back into the MLS Cup Playoff race remains to be seen, but three points is three points. Meanwhile, Minnesota has their dreadful away record (1-7-0) to thank for being only four points ahead of Colorado. Only the Rapids have earned fewer points on the road (0-5-1) this season.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: With the minimum of six minutes of added time already played, Colorado won a corner on the left and threw everyone into the box. Smith made an incisive run along the 6-yard box, out-muscled his marker and buried Shkelzen Gashi's service into the back of the net.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Gashi continues to have trouble staying healthy, but his 69th-minute introduction shows why the Rapids have shown patience. It was his throughball — aided by a slip from defender Brent Kallman — put Mason in on goal for the equalizer. And it was his tempting corner that Smith reached first.
- COL: Wednesday, July 4 vs Seattle Sounders
- MIN: Friday, June 29 vs FC Dallas