In a game of few opportunities, Miguel Ibarra made the most of his as the Colorado Rapids lost a third game on the bounce, with the latest reversal coming inside TCF Bank Stadium on Sunday night.
Rapids were forced into making two changes to the side which began against Real Salt Lake the previous weekend. Bobby Burling stepped in for the suspended Jared Watts. Mohammed Saeid - against his former team - made his first start for the Rapids, in place of the injured Nana Boateng.
Ibarra’s diving header from close range followed a fine push onto the post by Rapids goalkeeper Zac MacMath, from an Ibson volley. Johan Venegas reacted quickest, diverting his own diving header into the path of Ibarra, who gobbled up his first goal in MLS with 18 minutes remaining.
As the game wore on, Adrian Heath’s team found more space in the Rapids’ defensive third. MacMath had twice denied the Loons before being beaten by Ibarra, with the home side snatching back the initiative after the interval.
The Minnesota strike came just moments after the visitors had failed to convert their best chance of the game. Eric Miller’s pass along the six-yard line was met by Dominique Badji, only for the Senegalese player to slam his effort against the underside of the crossbar. A gaping opportunity went begging, and they were punished.
In the first half Colorado were the better side. They were positive in the opening 20 minutes, before balance was struck. During the hot spell, Marlon Hairston got too much on what appeared a goal-bound shot from Saeid, and pushed it away from the danger zone.
With few clear-cut chances presenting themselves, it was vital that the few that came along were taken. For the second weekend in a row, the Rapids will rue a failure to be clinical in front of goal.
The Rapids are back on the road again next Saturday, when they make a first-ever visit to Orlando City SC’s new stadium. Orlando are 5-1-0 for the season, and 4-0-0 at home. The Rapids at Orlando is live on UniMas (2:00 p.m. MT), as well as Altitude Sports Radio AM 950 and La Invasora 87.7FM.
Minnesota United 1-0 Colorado Rapids
TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN
Sunday, April 23, 2017
MIN: Miguel Ibarra (Johan Venegas) 72’
COL: Dominique Badji (caution) 18’
MIN: Kevin Molino (caution) 33’
COL: Mekeil Williams (caution) 90’+2
Minnesota: Bobby Shuttleworth; Jerome Thiesson, Brent Kallman (Jermaine Taylor 66’), Francisco Calvo, Marc Burch; Sam Cronin, Ibson; Kevin Molino (Justin Davis 84’), Johan Venegas, Miguel Ibarra; Christian Ramirez. Subs not used: John Alvbage, Collen Warner, Bashkim Kadrii, Ismaila Jome.
Rapids: Zac MacMath; Eric Miller, Bobby Burling, Kortne Ford, Mekeil Williams; Michael Azira, Dillon Powers; Marlon Hairston, Mohammed Saeid, Dominique Badji (Alan Gordon 75’); Kevin Doyle. Subs not used: John Berner, Mike Da Fonte, Caleb Calvert, Joshua Gatt, Sam Hamilton, Ricardo Perez.
Minnesota: 2-4-2 (8 points)
Rapids: 1-4-1 (4 points)