Rapids eek out a win
In a home match the Colorado Rapids could ill afford to lose the team got a 3-2 win over the expansion Montreal Impact thanks to a Southern wind and atrocious officiating on Saturday night.
Tied at 2 and down a man with the 61st minute ejection of Tyrone Marshall, the Rapids got the victory off an 83rd minute free kick that a strong wind kept the ball dancing along the crossbar until Jaime Castrillon headed it into the back of the net. Martin Rivero sent the ball far post, substitute Scott Palguta headed it back across, and Montreal ‘keeper Greg Sutton slapped the ball setting up Castrillon’s goal.
Gaffe: While the wind was to thank for the dancing ball, the Rapids also got the benefit of dubious officiating. The center blew his whistle and was pointing to the corner as Castrillon delivered the winning goal. It was a gaffe at the level that should have someone handing in his whistle for some remediation. It was an embarassing mistake.
That atrocious call came on a night where Colorado (6-6-1, 19 points) scored on a penalty kick and off a midfield foul that Rivero delivered to the far post and Drew Moor headed home in the 39th minute.
A tie would have been a much fairer result for the Canadian visitors. Patrice Bernier opened the scoring in the 14th minute. Colorado drew level when Wells Thompson, starting at forward, was brought down in the penalty area and Jeff Larentowicz delivered on his second penalty kick in as many matches.
Colorado went into the halftime with a lead off of Moor’s goal, but Montreal answered. In the 48th minute, Bernier and Collen Warner set up Andrew Wenger, who delivered the equalizer.
Carded: Along with the two yellows to Marshall, Rivero, Thompson and Montreal’s Davy Arnaud also went into the book.
Forward Shortage: Colorado stuck with coach Oscar Pareja’s 4-3-3 lineup, and that necessitated some invention on the front line. With Omar Cummings out and Conor Casey scratched, the Rapids turned to Andre Akpan, Tony Cascio and Thompson up top.
Other than Thompson proving a pest and getting fouled to set up the PK, the forwards proved ineffective. Akpan departed for Palguta in the 64th minute and Kamani Hill came on for Cascio in the 74th minute.
Next Up: The Rapids travel to Tampa to take on the NASL’s Rowdies in the third round of the U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday night. Colorado then gets a long rest before traveling to Vancouver for a June 16 match against the Whitecaps. The team won’t play at home again until a June 20 match at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park against the San Jose Earthquakes.