Dominique Badji’s third goal in as many games was not enough as the Colorado Rapids Soccer Club dropped a 2-1 contest against the Western Conference leaders, Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday night at BC Place.
After earning a win and a draw in the previous two contests, interim head coach Steve Cooke opted for the same lineup for the third consecutive match. Designated Player Shkëlzen Gashi fell out of the 18 due to a left hamstring injury and was replaced on the bench by defender Mike da Fonte.
Before either team could settle into the match, Fredy Montero would give his side the lead with a great header following a pin-point cross by Yordy Reyna in the fourth minute. The Colombian striker tallied his 13th tally of the season, and second against Colorado.
The Rapids, playing their fifth road match in the last six, were able to weather the storm with strong play by the back six and goalkeeper Tim Howard. The USMNT international was forced to make four solid saves to keep his side in the match.
At the other end, Colorado would eventually make the home side pay just before the break. Badji tallied his team-high ninth of the season after a defensive miscue by Tim Parker in first-half stoppage time, stunning the home crowd at BC Place.
Despite gaining some momentum at the end of the opening stanza, the Rapids would go down once more in the 54th minute, this time for good. Roles would be reversed, as Montero chipped a ball in behind Colorado’s backline finding Reyna all alone on goal. The Peruvian international made no mistake, tallying his fifth game-winner of the season, giving the Western Conference leaders their second lead of the match.
The Rapids pushed forward and came close in the 67th minute when Micheal Azira tried his luck from just outside the penalty area, but Vancouver goalkeeper David Ousted pushed aside the Uganda international’s one-time rocket.
Despite the changes, and a pair of late half-chances, the Rapids were incapable of coming out of BC Place with a result. With the loss, the Rapids finished the 2017 season series against Vancouver with a 0-2-1 record.
Colorado (7-17-5; 26 points) returns to league play on Wednesday, September 27 at FC Dallas before returning home to take on the Montreal Impact next Saturday, September 30 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Kickoff on Wednesday in Frisco, Texas is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. MT at Toyota Stadium (Altitude).
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2-1 Colorado Rapids
BC Place; Vancouver, British Columbia
Saturday, September 23, 2017
VAN: Fredy Montero (Yordy Reyna) 4’
COL: Dominique Badji 45’
VAN: Yordy Reyna (Fredy Montero) 54’
COL: Jared Watts (caution) 14’
VAN: Tim Parker (caution) 34’
COL: Mekeil Williams (caution) 43’
COL: Micheal Azira (caution) 87’
Vancouver Whitecaps FC: David Ousted; Jakob Nerwinski, Andrew Jacobson, Tim Parker, Marcel de Jong; Aly Ghazal, Tony Tchani; Cristian Techera (Bernie Ibini-Isei 70’), Yordy Reyna, Brek Shea (Alphonso Davies 77’); Fredy Montero (Erik Hurtado 82’).
Subs not used: Stefan Marinovic, Jordan Harvey, Russell Teibert, Nicolas Mezquida.
Colorado Rapids: Tim Howard; Eric Miller, Kortne Ford, Axel Sjöberg, Mekeil Williams; Micheal Azira, Jared Watts (Nana Boateng 75’); Marlon Hairston (Stefan Aigner 60’), Mohammed Saeid, Joshua Gatt (Alan Gordon 65’); Dominique Badji.
Subs not used: Zac MacMath, Mike da Fonte, Bobby Burling, Dillon Serna.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC: 14-9-6 (48 points)
Colorado Rapids: 7-17-5 (26 points)