Kortne Ford’s first professional goal 11 minutes into the match would be the difference as the Colorado Rapids edged Sporting Kansas City 1-0 on Saturday night at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
The Rapids Homegrown got on the end of a perfectly placed cross by Shkelzen Gashi after Dominique Badji was taken down just outside the box. Ford anticipated the ball well and redirected his header to the bottom left corner to give the home side the early lead.
Following a crushing road defeat at Philadelphia Union last weekend, Pablo Mastroeni would make four changes to the lineup, while sticking with the 4-4-2 formation. Ford and Marlon Hairston returned to the back line, Dillon Powers was once again paired alongside Micheal Azira in the center of the field, and Badji would go up top as the second forward.
Immediately after going down, Sporting KC would turn it on and dominate possession of the ball, outshooting the Rapids along the way 25-6. The visitors came close a number of times throughout the evening but Mastroeni’s men defended well and eventually earned their third shutout of the season.
Sporting KC’s best chance of the first half came in the 28th minute, when Graham Zusi found himself all alone on the right side of the box. The USMNT international chipped the ball over Tim Howard, but Bobby Burling was there to head the ball off the goal line.
The second half was more of the same story. SKC created plenty of half-chances through Latif Blessing, Benny Feilhaber and Gerso Fernandez but the Rapids kept the danger away. The best opportunity would come in the dying moments of the match as left back Seth Sinovic blasted a left-footed rocket from 25 yards out but the ball would skim off the crossbar for a Rapids goalkick.
The Rapids (3-8-1; 10 points) will play their second of four consecutive home matches next Saturday night against Columbus Crew SC. Kickoff at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. with live coverage of the match on Altitude TV, Altitude Sports Radio AM 950 and La Invasora 87.7FM.
Colorado Rapids 1-0 Sporting Kansas City
Dick’s Sporting Goods Park; Commerce City, CO
Saturday, May 27, 2017
COL: Kortne Ford (Shkëlzen Gashi) 11'
COL: Bobby Burling (caution) 19’
COL: Eric Miller (caution) 22’
SKC: Roger Espinoza (caution) 41’
COL: Tim Howard (caution) 86’
COL: Kevin Doyle (caution) 89’
SKC: Roger Espinoza (second caution/ejection) 90’+3’
Colorado Rapids: Tim Howard; Marlon Hairston (Mekeil Williams 86’), Bobby Burling, Kortne Ford, Eric Miller (Mike da Fonte HT); Mohammed Saeid (Joshua Gatt 76’), Micheal Azira, Dillon Powers, Shkëlzen Gashi; Dominique Badji, Kevin Doyle. Subs not used: Zac MacMath, Sam Hamilton, Dillon Serna, Alan Gordon.
Sporting Kansas City: Tim Melia; Graham Zusi, Ike Opara, Matt Besler, Seth Sinovic; Ilie Sanchez, Roger Espinoza, Jimmy Medranda (Soony Saad 74’), Benny Feilhaber, Gerso Fernandez; Latif Blessing. Subs not used: Andrew Dykstra, Igor Juliao, Saad Abdul-Salaam, Soni Mustivar, Cameron Porter, Daniel Salloi.
Colorado Rapids: 3-8-1 (10 points)
Sporting Kansas City: 6-4-4 (22 points)