MONTREAL – The Colorado Rapids snapped a three-game losing streak in bold fashion on Saturday, claiming a 4-3 win in a wild game at Stade Saputo capped by a stoppage-time winner.
Tony Cascio hit Montreal on the counter five minutes into stoppage time, benefitting from a deflection to add onto Colorado goals scored by Atiba Harris, Dillon Powers and Deshorn Brown, meanwhile Daniele Paponi – with his first two goals in MLS – and Hassoun Camara replied for the home side.
With 23 points from 18 games, Colorado jump to sixth place in the West, while Montreal stay top of the East on 29 points from 15.
Montreal started the match by looking for Marco Di Vaio, who had scored in every home game this season until Saturday night. The Italian seemed to target Brian Mullan on the left flank, but only truly threatened Rapids goalkeeper Clinton Irwin once, hitting a weak shot that was easily saved in the 12th minute.
The Rapids’ response remained timid until the 24th minute. On a free kick won by Nick LaBrocca, Dillon Powers served a pinpoint delivery to Harris, who outjumped Camara and Matteo Ferrari and looped a header inside the far post.
Content with the one-goal lead, Colorado toyed with the Montreal midfield for the next few minutes, passing the ball around for fun and frustrating both the Impact and the now nearly silent home crowd.
Yet, Montreal found an equalizer in the 38th minute via Camara after Irwin failed to hold onto a loose ball following Paponi’s corner. Camara, who won the original header, fell flat on his back during the ensuing scramble, but managed to chip the ball up then hook the ball into the net with his right foot from six yards for a redemptive strike.
Four minutes later – and seconds after Edson Buddle hit the crossbar – the Impact took the lead. Di Vaio slipped Paponi in on the break, and the younger Italian took two touches with his right foot to evade both Mullan and Drew Moor before curling a beauty into the far corner from outside the box.
Powers’ equalizer came on 59 minutes, seconds after Impact captain Davy Arnaud made his long-awaited return from injury. The rookie found a pocket of space in the box to redirect a Nathan Sturgis cross with the outside of his right boot.
Arnaud would eventually make his mark on the game, though, as he did well to chase down a ball near the touchline. Another cross, another goal, as Paponi slotted in his second while the Rapids looked on helplessly.
There was still plenty of scoring left in the match, however and goal No. 6 came from a cross yet again. This time it was Colorado left back Chris Klute who centered the ball at the penalty spot for an onrushing Deshorn Brown. The substitute forward blasted it home first time, leaving Montreal to chase an equalizer that never came – and to vacate space for the Rapids who duly exploited it via Cascio in stoppage time.
Midweek action awaits both teams. Montreal will be away at archrivals Toronto FC on Wednesday, and the Rapids host the New York Red Bulls at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Thursday in a Fourth of July match.
COL - Atiba Harris (Dillon Powers) 24'
MTL - Hassoun Camara 38'
MTL - Daniele Paponi (Marco Di Vaio, Alessandro Nesta) 42'
COL - Dillon Powers (Nathan Sturgis) 59'
MTL - Daniele Paponi (Davy Arnaud, Felipe Martins) 72'
COL - Deshorn Brown (Chris Klute) 77'
COL - Tony Cascio 95'
COL - German Mera (Caution) 48'
COL - Nick LaBrocca (Caution) 52'
MTL - Jeb Brovsky (Caution) 55'
Colorado Rapids lineup: Clint Irwin; Brian Mullan (Marvell Wynne 81'), Drew Moor, German Mera, Chris Klute; Hendry Thomas, Nathan Sturgis; Atiba Harris, Dillon Powers, Nick LaBrocca (Deshorn Brown 74'), Edson Buddle (Tony Cascio 89').
Substitutes not used: Steward Ceus, Brenton Griffiths, Jaime Castrillon, Danny Mwanga.
Montreal Impact lineup:
Troy Perkins; Jeb Brovsky, Alessandro Nesta, Matteo Ferrari, Hassoun Camara; Andrea Pisanu (Davy Arnaud 55'), Patrice Bernier, Felipe Martins, Andres Romero (Blake Smith 67'), Daniele Paponi (Andrew Wenger 83'), Marco Di Vaio
Substitutes not used: Evan Bush; Dennis Iapichino, Wandrille Lefèvre, Collen Warner.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Powers/Thomas/Sturgis||This is cheating, but Colorado won the game by winning the midfield battle. The trio completed 180 passes with 15 misses. Impressive.|
|2||Hassoun Camara||That goal was a thing of beauty -- true improvisation -- but Camara was active on both sides of the ball all night long.|
|3||Daniele Paponi||That was quite the goal, especially as your MLS opener. The second was a poach job, but Montreal have to be encouraged.|