Match Report: Rapids lose 2-1 in the first Rocky Mountain Cup showdown of 2017

With two goals in the last five minutes of the match, Real Salt Lake defeated the Colorado Rapids 2-1 on Saturday night at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

Pablo Mastroeni made one change to the lineup from last week’s contest at Sporting KC - Dillon Powers got the nod in midfield in place of Shkëlzen Gashi. Recent newcomers Mohammed Saeid and Joshua Gatt both made their Rapids debut, coming off the bench for Nana Boateng and Marlon Hairston, respectively.

The Rapids almost took the lead five minutes into the match as Kevin Doyle broke away from Chris Schuler, finding himself with one man to beat. The Irish international looked to put one past Nick Rimando at the near post but the veteran keeper made a one-handed stop, sending the attempt for a corner kick.

At the other end, Zac MacMath - wearing the armband in the absence of Tim Howard - was tested a couple of times via shots from Sebastian Saucedo and Yura Movsisyan.

Doyle would eventually get his second goal of the season just inside the 30 minute mark. Boateng - who had to be replaced shortly after the goal due to an apparent lower back injury - found a streaking Hairston down the left flank. After beating his man, Hairston would find Doyle at the near post to give Colorado the lead.

In the second half, the Rapids dominated the rhythm but could not capitalize on their chances created in the final third, giving Real Salt Lake the opportunity to claw their way back into the match.

Five minutes from time, defender Jared Watts was called for a handball in the box and was shown a straight red card. Movsisyan’s perfectly placed penalty kick beat an outstretched MacMath to tie things up. Three minutes later, Brooks Lennon would tally the game-winner for the visitors with a low shot from just outside the area - stunning the Rapids faithful.

Colorado had not tasted defeat at home in regular season play since the 2015 season finale - a 1-0 loss against Montreal Impact.

The Rapids (1-3-1; 4 points) return to action next Sunday afternoon on the road at Minnesota United FC (4:00 p.m. MT - Altitude). Last month, Badji and Hairston found the back of the net in Colorado’s 2-2 draw against the Loons at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

Colorado Rapids 1-2 Real Salt Lake
Dick’s Sporting Goods Park; Commerce City, CO
Saturday, April 15, 2017

COL: Kevin Doyle (Marlon Hairston, Nana Boateng) 29’
RSL: Yura Movsisyan (PK) 85'
RSL: Brooks Lennon (Demar Phillips) 88'

RSL: Chris Wingert (caution) 52'
COL: Mekeil Williams (caution) 84’
COL: Jared Watts (ejection) 85’

Colorado Rapids: Zac MacMath; Eric Miller, Jared Watts, Kortne Ford, Mekeil Williams; Micheal Azira, Nana Boateng (Mohammed Saeid 32’); Marlon Hairston (Joshua Gatt 80’), Dillon Powers, Dominique Badji (Bobby Burling 86’); Kevin Doyle.
Subs not used: John Berner, Sam Hamilton, Shkëlzen Gashi, Caleb Calvert.

Real Salt Lake: Nick Rimando; Danilo Acosta, Chris Wingert, Chris Schuler, Demar Phillips; Kyle Beckerman, Luke Mulholland (Luis Silva 64’), Sebastian Saucedo (Ricardo Velazco 71’), Albert Rusnák (Omar Holness 90’+3’), Brooks Lennon; Yura Movsisyan..
Subs not used: Matt VanOekel, Reagan Dunk, Jose Hernandez, Justin Schmidt.


Colorado Rapids: 1-3-1 (4 points)
Real Salt Lake: 2-3-2 (8 points)