Match Report: VAR proves beneficial as the Rapids open with a tie in Tucson

Use of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system helped the Colorado Rapids snatch a stoppage-time equalizer on Wednesday, as they held Sporting Kansas City to a 1-1 draw in game one of the Desert Diamond Cup.

Referee Allen Chapman awarded the Rapids a penalty after reviewing a call for handball, before Dillon Powers stepped up to cancel out Amer Didic’s headed opener just after the break.

VAR is being trialed at the Desert Diamond Cup in Tucson, and will be in use for all games. It was called upon in game one, and worked in favor of the Rapids.

Offseason signing Bismark ‘Nana’ Adjei-Boateng got 45 minutes, appearing for the first time in a Rapids jersey. The Ghanaian was part of a first-half lineup which included Homegrown talent Kortne Ford alongside Bobby Burling, as well as SuperDraft picks Sam Hamilton and Liam Callahan.

It was a lineup which held its own against a much more experienced Sporting side, with head coach Peter Vermes fielding the likes of Zusi, Besler, Feilhaber, Espinoza and Dwyer.

Rapids’ head coach, Pablo Mastroeni, opted for a complete change for the second period, and that 11 found themselves a goal down just six minutes after the re-start. Tyler Pasher did well to work some space down the left, before watching his cross diverted beyond Cody Mizell by Didic.

In windy conditions at the Kino Sports Complex, Sporting KC had the better of the exchanges before the break. Zac MacMath was the busier of the two goalkeepers, wonderfully pushing wide a good look for substitute Soony Saad. Gerso Fernandes went narrowly wide with two decent chances, while Tim Melia was alert to the danger at the other end to spoil an opportunity for Kevin Doyle.

Giving up the goal aside, the Rapids enjoyed more openings in the final third after the break. Caleb Calvert was busy, while Powers had a shot charged down. Daniel Salloi of Sporting KC missed by a whisker with a dipping shot on the turn, but the very last word went to Powers, with an ‘assist’ from the VAR.

Next up for the Rapids is a game against New England Revolution this Saturday, February 18, kickoff 1:00pm MT. You can watch the match live HERE or, if you plan on being in Tucson, get TICKETS to the game.

The Rapids open their 2017 MLS season against the Revolution, at home, on Saturday March 4, kickoff 4:00pm MT. Tickets for that game are on sale now.

BOX SCORE
Colorado Rapids 1-1 Sporting Kansas City
Desert Diamond Cup, Kino North Stadium, Tucson, AZ
Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Disciplinary Summary
COL: Bismark Adjei-Boateng (caution) 40’
SKC: Christian Volesky (caution) 58’
SKC: Soni Mustivar (caution) 78’
SKC: Cameron Porter (caution) 90’
SKC: Adrian Zendejas (caution) 90’+
SKC: Benji Joya (caution) 90’+

Scoring Summary
SKC: Amer Didic (Tyler Pasher) 51’
COL: Dillon Powers (unassisted) 90+, pk

Rapids (first half): Zac MacMath; Eric Miller, Bobby Burling, Kortne Ford, Marc Burch; Sam Hamilton, Sam Cronin; Bismark Adjei-Boateng, Marlon Hairston, Liam Callahan; Kevin Doyle.

Sporting KC (first half): Tim Melia; Graham Zusi, Ike Opara, Matt Besler, Seth Sinovic; Ilie Sanchez, Benny Feilhaber, Roger Espinoza; Gerso Fernandes, Dom Dwyer (Soony Saad 31’), Latif Blessing.

Rapids (second half): Cody Mizell; Dennis Castillo, Jared Watts, Axel Sjöberg, Mekeil Williams; Ricardo Perez, Micheal Azira; Dillon Powers, Jaime Siaj (Liam Callahan 81’), Dominique Badji; Caleb Calvert.

Sporting KC (second half): Adrian Zendejas; Igor Juliao, Kevin Ellis, Amer Didic, Tyler Pasher; Soni Mustivar, Benji Joya, Jimmy Medranda; Christian Volesky, Soony Saad (Cameron Porter 76’), Daniel Salloi.

Referee: Allen Chapman

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