Colorado Rapids blow two-goal lead in Fourth of July loss to Austin FC – The Denver Post


COMMERCE CITY — The Colorado Rapids proudly host an annual Fourth of July game and have done so every season but two dating back to 1996.

While the postgame fireworks show always sends fans home happy, it hasn’t been accompanied by a win for the Burgundy Boys in recent seasons. And it was no different Monday night, when Colorado got off to a strong start, but ultimately blew a two-goal lead in a 3-2 loss to Austin FC.

The Rapids have not won a Fourth of July contest since 2015 — a 2-1 win against Vancouver. Colorado is now 0-4-2 in that time frame.

The Rapids (5-8-4, 19 points) had a strong start and led 2-0 midway through the first half, but the defense had too many communication breakdowns, which resulted in the visitors storming back for the win.

Colorado Rapids head coach Robin Fraser said he wasn’t concerned with the team’s position in the table, 12th in the West, but was concerned with their play in both boxes of the field. From here on, he said it’s about concentration and determination to lift the group out of a funk.

“We have survived — we have thrived — because of the collective,” Fraser said postgame. “And when the collective doesn’t have the same level of engagement or concentration, then I think you find weaknesses. It’s not about any particular one player, it’s about collectively, we need to have more resolve.”

Colorado got on the front foot early and created plenty of chances from the opening whistle. The Rapids found the opener in the 19th minute on a set piece. On a free kick, Bryan Acosta whipped in a ball and Lalas Abubakar was at the back post to flick it home to make it 1-0.

The Rapids scored a second three minutes later. Diego Rubio played an enticing ball over the top of the Austin FC back line and Jonathan Lewis was played in on goal. Lewis made a few moves to fake Brad Stuver out and chipped the goalkeeper to make it 2-0 on his third goal of 2022.

While DSGP was rocking, Austin FC (10-4-4, 34 points) didn’t mind. Austin was a team in good form, entering the holiday tilt with the second-most points in MLS and unbeaten in its last four. In the 28th minute, Austin FC pulled its first back as Jon Gallagher played in a ball to Ethan Finlay, who got on the end of it and chipped William Yarbrough to make it 2-1.

Austin FC tied the game right on the stroke of halftime, as Gallagher got his second assist of the match with an inch-perfect pass to the foot of Sebastian Driussi, who tapped it home for his 10th goal of the season, tied for the most in MLS.

In the second half, Austin FC took the lead in the 59th minute. Driussi had a pass played into him by Finley but let the ball roll past him in a “dummy” move to catch the defense off guard, and Maxi Urruti finished to make it 3-2. The visitors nearly took the lead a few minutes earlier, but Urruti’s stunning volley was ruled out by a Video Assistant Referee (VAR) check.

After blowing the two-goal lead, Colorado had a few chances to level the match. Substitute Michael Barrios nearly made an instant impact after Gyasi Zardes squared the ball to him, but his shot was saved by Stuver, who reached back to deny a goal. On a corner kick in the 74th minute, Abubakar’s header was denied by the woodwork.


Source link