Colorado Rapids concede late goal to Los Angeles Galaxy, miss chance to close ground on top spot in Western Conference – Colorado Springs Gazette

The Colorado Rapids’ chance to close ground on the top spot in the Western Conference got burnt by a Los Angeles Galaxy goal on a hot Saturday afternoon at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

“The conditions were extremely difficult. It was probably the hottest day I’ve ever felt in the stadium, so it was tough for both teams, for sure,” Rapids coach Robin Fraser said after a 1-1 draw. “I think you saw that early in the first half where both teams probably didn’t execute as well as they wanted to. I definitely think fatigue and heat had something to do with that, but I was really pleased with some of the opportunities we created early.”

Both the Rapids and Galaxy created quality chances in the first half but failed to score in the first 45 minutes. Jonathan Lewis and and Michael Barrios got looks at goal in the first 10 minutes before Lewis had a shot denied by the woodwork just before halftime. Chicharito Hernandez and Sebastian Lletget failed to put their chances on goal for the Galaxy.

After coming on in the second half, Colorado’s Andre Shinyashiki noticed the visitors dragging a bit and took his time on a cross that 5-foot-4 teammate Michael Barrios jumped and got a head to, opening the scoring in the 66th minute.

“I was realizing when I came in that they were really tired, so it was taking them a while to close spaces. When I received that ball — I think it was the outside back Villafana — he was taking a while to close me. So I just took a touch and I know that Mikey makes those runs, and I know he’s going to beat any center back or outside back, to be honest, for pace, so I just tried to put it in a good place for him to attack it,” Shinyashiki said.

“Credit to Mikey, too. It wasn’t an easy finish. He did very well with that.”

The Rapids’ bid for the three points was spoiled when Samuel Grandsir, a Galaxy substitute, was first to a ball over the top and powered a shot past Colorado goalkeeper William Yarbrough.

“It’s disappointing to make the mistakes that we did to give up the second goal, but this is the way it is when you play good teams,” Fraser said. “Sometimes you get punished. Overall, I think (it was) a difficult day for both teams and probably a fair result.”

Colorado’s 16 shots doubled the Galaxy’s total, but both teams finished with three shots on goal.

After the draw, the Rapids sit second, but could drop to third with a Kansas City win, in the Western Conference. Colorado is three points behind the Seattle Sounders, who beat Minnesota United 1-0 Saturday.

The Rapids return to action Wednesday at Portland before returning home to play against Vancouver on Sunday.