The Colorado Rapids Soccer Club defeated the New England Revolution 1-0 in the 2017 Home Opener at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Saturday afternoon. Dominique Badji’s second half tally proved to be the difference as the Rapids extended their regular season unbeaten streak to 18 matches.
The Rapids grabbed momentum right from the start with Kevin Doyle barely missing a streaking Marlon Hairston at the far post. A few minutes later, Sam Cronin would send a dangerous cross into the box that sailed just wide of the goal.
On the other end, Kei Kamara had the best chance of the first half for the visitors. A timely placed ball into the box put Kamara in behind Colorado’s defense. His shot across goal forced goalkeeper Zac MacMath to make a nifty one-handed save.
Colorado quickly responded with their most dangerous opportunity at the 20th minute mark. Doyle's low shot would be denied by Cody Cropper after getting a through ball in between New England's center backs. Half-chances ensued at both goals but the game remained scoreless going into the half.
It would take the Rapids just seven minutes after the restart to find the back of the net for the first goal of 2017. Doyle redirected a Dillon Powers free-kick but his attempt would ricochet off the far post. After a scramble inside the six-yard box, Dominique Badji's header sent the Rapids faithful into a frenzy.
A flurry of substitutions were made by both sides in the final 30 minutes, including the return of midfielder Dillon Serna, who had been sidelined since June 29 of last year after suffering a season-ending knee injury at FC Dallas during a U.S. Open Cup match.
The Revs pushed for the equalizer but were unable to break down a strong backline led by 2015 Defender of the Year finalist Axel Sjöberg.
Next up for Pablo Mastroeni’s men is a cross-country trip to take on the New York Red Bulls next Saturday, March 11 at 2:00 p.m. MT (UniMas). In their only meeting of 2016, the Rapids edged the Red Bulls 2-1 in Commerce City.
Colorado Rapids 1-0 New England Revolution
Dick’s Sporting Goods Park; Commerce City, CO
Saturday, March 4, 2017
COL: Dominique Badji (Jared Watts) 52’
NE: Chris Tierney (caution) 14'
COL: Caleb Calvert (caution) 68’
COL: Dillon Powers (caution) 70’
COL: Sam Cronin (caution) 75’
NE: Kei Kamara (caution) 79'
Colorado Rapids: Zac MacMath; Eric Miller, Jared Watts, Axel Sjoberg, Marc Burch; Micheal Azira, Sam Cronin, Dillon Powers (Dillon Serna 79’); Marlon Hairston (Caleb Calvert 62’), Dominique Badji (Alan Gordon 84’), Kevin Doyle.
Subs not used: Cody Mizell, Bobby Burling, Mekeil Williams, Nana Boateng.
New England Revolution: Cody Cropper; Andrew Farrell, Antonio Delamea, Benjamin Angoua, Chris Tierney (Je-Vaughn Watson 74’); Scott Caldwell, Kelyn Rowe, Diego Fagundez; Lee Nguyen (Daigo Kobayashi 57’), Juan Agudelo (Teal Bunbury 83’), Kei Kamara.
Subs not used: Brad Knighton, Josh Smith, London Woodberry, Xavier Kouassi.
Colorado Rapids: 1-0-0 (3 points)
New England Revolution: 0-1-0 (0 points)