Colorado Rapids dropped points at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park for the first time this season thanks to Brian Carroll’s 92nd-minute equalizer on Saturday night.
A hard-fought game between the leaders of the Eastern and Western Conferences appeared to be heading towards the home side when Sam Cronin’s header found the far corner with three minutes left. After all, Rapids had won their first six games as hosts this season.
However the home side failed to clear their defensive line deep into added time and Carroll’s volley crept in at the near post.
The draw extends Rapids’ unbeaten record to nine games while Philadelphia have not tasted defeat in seven. Pablo Mastroeni’s side are 8-2-4 and still two points clear at the top of the Western Conference and the Supporters' Shield standings. Philadelphia are 5-3-5 for the season.
Rapids were without Jermaine Jones and Shkëlzen Gashi due to international duty while Marco Pappa had still not shaken off his knee injury. The only new absentee was the USMNT midfielder so Dillon Powers came in to play an offensive midfield role.
Rapids were their usual lively selves at the start of the game. They passed the ball crisply and retained their shape. However, their final pass lacked penetration while Philadelphia were urgent and organized.
The stand-out chance of the opening period came in the 32nd minute when Luis Solignac found space at the far post from Dillon Serna’s flick. The Argentine cut inside to lose Ken Tribbett. However, from eight yards out, he blasted the ball against the bar.
Rapids dominated after the restart and gradually they began to create chances too.
In the 67th minute, Kevin Doyle bulldozed through and sliced an effort just past the angle of post and bar. A minute later substitute Marlon Hairston found Powers unmarked in the area and he swept a shot against the bar when he should have scored.
Philadelphia had pressed effectively in the first half but gradually their energy levels dropped. Rapids took advantage and laid a minor siege on the visitors’ goal late in the game
They thought they had scored in the 81st minute after a melee in which Powers saw a shot saved and Solignac fired against the bar once more.
The former sent the ball over to the far post and the latter converted. However, in between, the assistant referee had flagged as Kevin Doyle had drifted offside.
It seemed a blow but, six minutes later, Rapids would find their goal. Hairston floated over a ball from the right and Cronin arrived on cue to guide home his first goal of the season.
However there would be a sucker-punch. In the final seconds, Philadelphia threw a desperate ball into the area. Fabian Herbes beat Axel Sjoberg in the air and Carroll raced in unmarked to fire home at the near post
Colorado Rapids 1-1 Philadelphia Union
May 28, 2016 - Dick’s Sporting Goods Park
COL: Sam Cronin 87’ (Hairston, Williams)
PHI: Brian Carroll 90’+2’ (Herbers, Gaddis)
Colorado Rapids: Zac MacMath, Mekeil Williams, Bobby Burling (Jared Watts 65’), Axel Sjöberg, Marc Burch, Micheal Azira, Sam Cronin, Dillon Powers, Dillon Serna (Marlon Hairston 61’), Luis Solignac, Kevin Doyle.
Subs not used: Chris Froschauer, Dennis Castillo, Eric Miller, Conor Doyle, Caleb Calvert.
Philadelphia Union: Andre Blake, Keegan Rosenberry, Ken Tribbett, Richie Marquez, Raymon Gaddis, Warren Creavalle, Brian Carroll, Chris Pontius (Fabian Herbers 71’), Sebastian Le Toux (Ilsinho 61’), Tranquillo Barnetta (Roland Alberg 85’), C.J. Sapong..
Subs not used: John McCarthy, Fabinho, Joshua Yaro, Leo Fernandes.
Colorado Rapids: 8-2-4 (28 points)
Philadelphia Union: 5-3-5 (20 points)