Taking an unfortunate deflection of George John, Kandji’s toe-poke bounced over the goalline to give his team the lead in the 107th minute.
A slow game for most of regular time, Colorado did well to quell the ever-dangerous Dallas attack.
The bitter temperatures at BMO Field influenced the play in the early going as both sides seemed sluggish from the whistle. Dallas’ usual attractive style didn’t show up until later in the half, while Colorado, more accustomed to the cold, had slightly more of the possession as the match opened up.
Grabbing the first chance of the match were the Rapids, who benefited from some nifty passing. Brian Mullan slotted in behind the defense in the 8th minute to give FCD something to think about. His shot at an angle was easily grabbed by Hartman.
That half-chance was the only piece of action before things started to get heated around the half hour mark. Some scuffling in the FCD box between Jair Benitez and Conor Casey resulted in the hulking forward going down with the obvious screams for a penalty to follow. They went unnoticed by referee Baldomero Toledo and the match continued at a more frenzied pace.
The teams traded a couple of weak headed chances before the league’s MVP, David Ferreira, opened the scoring for the Western Conference champions in the 35th minute.
Finding himself in a bit of space down the right flank, Marvin Chavez pushed toward the Colorado goal. Whipping in a lovely ball with his right foot, Chavez found a cutting Ferreira in the middle of the box. Losing his marker, the 31-year-old rammed home the pacey cross, giving Rapids keeper Matt Pickens with no chance for a save.
Colorado picked up the pace a bit in the half’s remaining 10 minutes but weren’t able to pull one back before the whistle.
The second half started the way the first half did: with very little going on. Dallas controlled the tempo and the ball for the most part, with Colorado doing a lot of chasing.
It took just over 10 minutes for Colorado to stamp their presence on the match as their dependable forward Casey banged home a workman’s goal in the 57th minute.
Rapids winger Jamie Smith scooted himself into some space down the left and put in a hard low ball to Casey at the edge of the six-yard box. Battling FCD keeper Kevin Hartman and Benitez, the bludgeoning striker outmuscled the two of them from the ground to push the ball over the line.
The Rapids kept up the pressure in the 62nd minute and won a free kick from about 30 yards out. Midfielder Jeff Larentowicz had the ball slid over to him and he fired one of his trademark low rockets that forced a world class diving save out of Hartman. At this stage in the match, the Rapids were clearly the aggressor.
Dallas weren’t one of the best attacking teams in the league for nothing, however, and they worked themselves back into the match as it pushed on towards 90 minutes. Creating a flurry of quick chances in the 72nd minute, the Hoops didn’t have a shot on goal but really tested the Rapids backline.
Both teams battled hard in the game’s remaining time but neither were able to break the deadlock and extra time was needed to settle things.
The first 15 came and went with little to speak of as it seemed as though the teams were set on penalty kicks before the whistle even blew to start the extra sessions.
Dallas had more of the ball and looked better than Colorado but they didn’t really press the issue and took more of a neutral approach when on the ball. The addition of Eric Avila towards the end of the first period showed attacking intentions, but his impact wasn’t immediately felt.
Then it all went south for Dallas as the second period opened up. Mac Kandji charged into the area down the right. Beating Benitez around the corner, Kandji chipped in a ball that took an awkward deflection off of George John inside the six-yard box and floated effortlessly into the back of the net past a grounded Hartman.
After the goal Dallas pressed for an equalizer but Colorado held strong despite a number of chances for the Hoops as time winded down.
The win gave the Rapids their first ever MLS Cup win in front of a sellout crowd at BMO Field in Toronto.
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