A late equalizer forced Colorado Rapids to settle for a 1-1 draw at D.C. United on Sunday.
Rapids had chances to extend their lead but, late on, D.C. United went in search of the leveler. They found it in the 80th minute when Fabián Espíndola fired home through a crowded area.
The result leaves Pablo Mastroeni’s side 1-1-1 in the nascent season. This might have been a full three points but getting one on the road is nearly always creditable.
There was only one change from the side that beat LA Galaxy last weekend. The match-winner from that game, Pappa, came in on the left of midfield as Shkëlzen Gashi was suspended; ironically for entering the field of play as he celebrated the Guatemalan’s goal.
D.C. United were the better team in the first 45 minutes. Patrick Nyarko caused the majority of the problems down the left but the Rapids defense ensured Zac MacMath was not truly tested except for a couple of straightforward efforts from Lamar Neagle.
Indeed, Rapids nearly took the lead on the half-hour. Mekeil Williams crossed, Dominique Badji touched the ball down and Kevin Doyle, who had slipped over in the build-up, flicked a shot against the post when grounded.
Mastroeni’s men were a different proposition after the interval. However, they had to survive a scare on 67 minutes when an unmarked Steve Birnbaum, up from defense, volleyed over at the far post.
Seconds later, Rapids were ahead when Powers nodded home from Pappa’s corner. It had been fully deserved on the balance of play since the break.
The visitors were made to pay soon afterwards when Taylor Kemp crossed from the left and MacMath’s attempted catch fell to Nyarko. Marc Burch blocked his shot on the line but the ball fell to Espindola, who made no mistake.
The goal swung the game back to D.C. United, however they never truly threatened to find a winner.
D.C. United 1-1 Colorado Rapids
March 20, 2016 - RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C.
COL - Dillon Powers 1 (Marco Pappa) 69'
DC - Fabian Espíndola 1 (unassisted) 80'
COL - Watts (caution) 19'
COL - Powers (caution) 45' + 1
COL - Sjoberg (caution) 49'
COL - Azira (caution) 73'
DC - Sarvas (caution) 86'
D.C. United: Travis Worra; Sean Franklin, Steve Birnbaum, Bobby Boswell, Taylor Kemp; Chris Rolfe (Álvaro Saborío, 73'), Marcelo Sarvas, Nick DeLeon, Patrick Nyarko; Luciano Acosta (Fabián Espíndola, 60'), Lamar Neagle.
Subs not used: Charlie Horton, Luke Mishu, Kofi Opare, Jared Jeffrey, Rob Vincent.
Colorado Rapids: Zac MacMath; Mekeil Williams, Jared Watts, Axel Sjöberg, Marc Burch; Micheal Azira, Sam Cronin, Dominique Badji, Dillon Powers, Marco Pappa (Luis Solignac, 72'); Kevin Doyle.
Subs not used: Eric Miller, Dillon Serna, Marlon Hairston, Bobby Burling, Conor Doyle, Chris Froschauer.
Referee: Chris Penso
Assistant Referees: C.J. Morgante, Gianni Facchini
4th Official: Geoff Gamble