Thursday, May 26, 2011

6 Minute Shootout In NY Leads To Draw

The Rapids started the game with only 2 offensive players hoping just to battle to a low-scoring draw. That worked for about 25 minutes. Between minute 27 and 33 all hell broke loose, then they went back to the plan for the remaining 57 minutes of the game. In the end they got the draw they wanted, but it was a much higher scoring 2-2 draw than what they expected.

In the 27th minute Akpan was knocked down outside the box and fell into the box. The referee missed the call and awarded a PK, which Larentowicz took and had saved, only to have the rebound come straight to him so he could finish it off. NY took the ball right back down the field though and sliced the Rapids defense open so an unmarked(!) Henry could level the score.

After a couple of minutes to catch our breaths it happened again. Henry took down Thompson outside the box getting a card and a free kick for the Rapids. They rolled the ball outside to Ginger Ninja who blasted it through the wall to re-take the lead. Again it only lasted a minute though as NY came right back down the field. This time Rogers got behind the defense and chipped the ball over an on-rushing Pickens to finish the night's scoring.

Both teams had decent chances after that, though the Rapids actually had the better shots. In 2nd half stoppage time both Casey and Amarikwa had a chance to beat the NY keeper who had come out but they couldn't finish the job. It was 3 points we could have had, but nobody should complain about getting a point given our injury situation.

My key to the game was attacking pressure to prevent NY from opening up a shooting gallery. The Rapids actually did a better job of this than I expected. Early in both halves NY was pushing hard but Colorado managed to re-balance the field with some good attacks.

Other Observations:
  • Interesting lineup decision by Smith to rest Casey and go with a 4-5-1. It seemed to work, though its not something I want to go back to when two top forwards are healthy.
  • On goal 1 Wynne, Kimura, and Pablo lost their men. On goal 2 Drew Moor found out that Rogers was faster than he realized.
  • Adventures In Goalkeeping last night, and Bouna didn't play for NY. Pickens made a lot of great saves, but he was forced into some of those due to bad positioning or decision making. The second rule of goalkeeping (after Don't Get Beat Near Post) is If You Come Out, You Must Get The Ball, which he failed to do on the second goal.
  • Nyassi is a case of "you take the good with the bad". He had a "shot" that barely went out for a corner instead of a throw-in. 2 minutes later he took another shot from almost the same spot that slammed off the crossbar. He continued that pattern of lousy and great balls all night. Still he'll be missed for the Philly and possibly the Portland game when he goes to Gabon to play for Gambia.
  • Ross LaBauex looked good for a young guy getting only his second career start. If he can keep that up he'll replace Thompson.
  • I hate to say this, but Thompson has become the new Ballouchy. He just kills any ball movement that goes through him.
  • Akpan is starting to take a commanding lead in the battle with Amarikwa. He's still 4th choice behind C+C Goal Factory and Folan though (and possibly 5th once Kandji comes back).
  • Nane had possibly the best pass we've seen all season late int he game. A perfectly weighted through ball that put Casey in 1v1 with the GK and only a great save and a further clearance from the NY defense kept Colorado form scoring.
  • You could see the level of play from front rise when Casey came in. He's clearly missed.
  • 6 straight without a loss! Too bad 5 of them have been draws.
  • Draws are great on the road, we need to win at home, starting this weekend against the SporKC's.
Player of the Game: Jeff Larentowicz. Yes he got a goal off a PK that shouldn't have been given, but he kept his head on the save and calmly tapped the ball back in, then followed it up woith a great free kick goal.

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