D.C. United and the Colorado Rapids left it all on the pitch in a 1-1 draw on Saturday night.
The Rapids played aggressive and smart in the first half, which resulted in Drew Moor scoring his first goal of the season, but D.C. United refused to let that be the final score. It was an animated match, with questionable calls for both teams. One call led to Chris Pontius leveling the match with a penalty kick to give the game its final scoreline.
There is no doubt that the teams left it all out on the pitch, and each deserved a share of the points.
The match started the way every MLS match should start with both teams aggressive and clean. The first ten minutes the Rapids had most of the possession until Josh Wolf attempted to score, but was saved by Matt Pickens.
It was then D.C. United’s turn to control possession. Charlie Davies had some runs, but was unable to put the ball where it longs to be.
At the 23 minute mark Jamie Smith had a free kick and beautifully placed it in front of the net, where it bounced into the path of Drew Moor who placed the ball in the goal, making it 1-0 Colorado.
The runs from Davies seemed to stop, and it was soon obvious that he was struggling with a pulled hamstring. In the 33rd minute, Santino Quaranta subbed in for Davies.
D.C. United's Chris Pontius had two great shots in the 36th and 41st minutes respectively, but both were saved by Pickens. A few minutes later, Wolfe was subbed out with a groin strain.
Colorado's young forwards, Andre Akpan and Quincy Amarikwa, displayed maturity in their play, and D.C. ‘s defense stayed strong despite the injury issues up top.
In stoppage time Moor collided with Dax McCarty and was given a yellow card
At the end of an exciting half, with great play by both squads, D.C. headed to the locker room arguing that Moor didn’t get a red card while the Rapids enjoyed a small lead.
D.C. United came back on the pitch focused on picking up the pace and creating a chance to tie up the score. Quaranta had a free kick in the 54th minute, but it was blocked by the Rapids defense.
Matt Pickens was kept twice as busy in the second half as D.C. possessed the ball more and stayed aggressive in taking shots.
Akpan and Amarikwa had a good run in the 54th with a give and go which ended in a missed shot. That shot was followed up by Wells Thompson who shot the ball into the Bill Hamid’s arms.
The 61st was the minute that caused DC United fans to cheer, and Rapids fans' blood to boil. Pontius and Kosuke Kimura were shoulder to shoulder in the box. Pontius drew a questionable foul and earned a penalty kick. The forward scored his third goal of the season, putting the penalty into the back of the net.
The rain started pouring and the physical level of the match increased.
In the 67th Conor Casey stepped onto the field for Amarikwa, the first time since these two teams last met.
D.C. United's Joseph Ngwenya attempted a quick but strong shot in the 71st only to be saved by Pickens. The favor was returned as Casey attempted to head the ball in, but was caught by Hamid.
In the last fifteen minutes, D.C. United showed great ball play with no results. The Rapids determination held the score to 1-1.
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