Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Rapids Not Yet Out Of Their Playoff Misery

The Rapids played a good 30 minutes and an adequate 60 minutes on Sunday night, which was enough to get out of Vancouver with a 2-2 draw and a slight playoff hope.  The early game was controlled by the Whitecaps, with Pickens having to come up twice on big saves and Wynne making multiple clearances.  Around the 30th minute Colorado started to take control of the game and really put Vancouver under pressure.  In the 34th minute Rivero took a pass from Wynne just over midfield and drove towards the goal. The Whitecaps decided not to pressure him so at the top of the box Martin let it rip and nailed the post.  For once this season the Rapids got a lucky break and the rebound came right to Cummings who finished it from a narrow angle for the early lead.

Colorado continued the pressure, with Vancouver's keeper being forced to make a big save off a Castrillon header right before half.  They picked it up again after the break and keep control of the game.  About the 60th minute though the momentum switched and the Whitecaps started to drive the game.  Off a corner kick that was cleared into the far corner Koffie beat Cummings and sent a cross in that Rochat redirected past Pickens to level the game.  4 minutes later Robsen played a good through ball past Marshall and Wynne to an on-rushing Miller who made it a 2-1 lead for the home team.

Things weren't looking good for the Rapids at this point as this appeared to be another game where Colorado would get a lead only to give it back on defensive miscues.  Jamie Smith had other ideas though.  8 minutes from the end of the game he snagged a misplayed ball from the Vancouver defense, forced himself past 3 defenders, and slammed home the tying goal.  Great individual effort.  The Rapids had a shot to win the game in the 90th minute only for Knighton to come up with one final big save.

My key to the game was defense and sure enough, a 5 minute span of mental mistakes cost us.

Other Observations:
  • Casey missed a lot of headers on Sunday night.  He really needs a run of healthy games to knock off the rust, but there's only 4 games left.
  • The Rapids looked like the better team for the 15 minutes on either side of halftime.  The rest of the time they let Vancouver stay in the game and it cost them.
  • On the first Vancouver goal the 3 closest Rapids to the ball were Cummings, Casey, and Castrillon.  Something's wrong there.
  • This was the first game where I wasn't impressed with Thomas.  He wasn't horrible, but he didn't control the midfield like he had in his prior games.
  • Good to see the team battle back after going down, we haven't seen enough of that this year.
  • The Rapids need a miracle to make the playoffs but it still is possible.  Amazingly we're going to still be mathematically alive when we enter October, as the earliest we can be eliminated now is Vancouver's game on October 3rd.
Player Of The Game: Jamie Smith.  Maybe that never-say-die goal is what this team needs to wake up.

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