Saturday, April 13, 2024

Colorado Rapids 3-2 Los Angeles FC: Mihailovic nets twice in late comeback

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 30 Mar 2024

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Colorado Rapids twice came from behind to beat Los Angeles FC 3-2 in Saturday’s thrilling MLS clash at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

Djordje Mihailovic was the Rapids’ hero, with two goals in the space of six minutes late in the first half.

Moise Bombito’s first-half header had pulled Colorado level in the first half, cancelling out Eduard Atuesta’s early strike.

David Martinez had put LAFC seemingly in control, yet the LAFC substitute turned from hero to zero when he was sent off in the 85th minute, paving the way for Mihailovic to follow up a stunning equaliser with a close-range winner.

The Black and Gold made a quick start as Denis Bouanga hit the bar with a wayward cross shortly before the opening goal.

Atuesta rifled his long-range shot into the bottom-right corner, netting his second goal in as many games for LAFC.

The momentum shifted in favour of the Rapids in the later stages of the first half, and they capitalised on it as Bombito rose highest on a corner to score his first MLS goal – a thumping header past Hugo Lloris into the near post.

Bouanag was denied by Zack Steffen, but the visitors got their goal when Martinez capped off a mazy run with a low finish beyond the Rapids goalkeeper.

Yet Martinez’s day was soon to turn sour as, after Mihailovic’s excellent free-kick had restored parity, he picked up a second yellow card in the space of seven minutes.

The Rapids made their numerical advantage count, with Mihailovic stretching out a leg to prod home in the 89th minute, sealing a memorable win that took Colorado into third place in the Western Conference.

Colorado find their shooting boots

It looked like Colorado’s poor streak on home turf was going to be extended, but Mihailovic’s double ensured they would pick up their first three points in Denver season.

A lack of a clinical edge seemed set to cost them again, with Colorado having managed just five goals from their five games before Saturday’s encounter, but the floodgates opened this time around.

Coach Chris Armas has pointed to their finishing as a problem area, so he will undoubtedly be thrilled to see the work pay off, as the Rapids also made it five straight wins against LAFC at home.

LAFC’s misery on the road continues

For the third time this season, the Black and Gold lost on the road, and Steve Cherundolo will be rueing their missed opportunities.

Despite making a bright start in both halves, they struggled to maintain their momentum, especially after Colorado’s equalisers.

A win would have taken them top in the Western Conference, temporarily at least, but their dropped points mean they sit in eighth, with seven points from their six games so far.

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