Two goals conceded in three matches? Not terrible.
Zero goals scored in three matches? Disastrous.
This result was bound to peg consecutive scoreless draws as positive or negative for the Portland Timbers, who fell to the Colorado Rapids 2-0 on the road Saturday evening.
Diego Rubio’s first-half free kick and a smooth stoppage-time finish from Mark-Anthony Kaye gave the Rapids a well-earned win.
Despite going down a man, Colorado maintained control of the match. Aljaz Ivacic saved a 1-v-1 chance from Jonathan Lewis and Portland never gained any sort of momentum, even after using all five substitutions.
The Timbers’ best chances were all wasted:
- Marvin Loria had a decent shot go right to Yarborough. Loria also skied a shot from close distance into the parking lot.
- Zac McGraw’s header was saved comfortably by William Yarbrough.
- Dairon Asprilla skipped a left-footed shot wide from the top of the 18.
- Even a beautiful one-two between Yimmi Chara and Bill Tuiloma failed to hit target.
Ivacic had a standout performance in goal, making four difficult saves. He also went face-to-face with Auston Trusty in the 66′ after Trusty invaded his space during a high claim. Both players received cautions.
Those were two of the 11 total cautions in Commerce City Saturday night.
The Rapids hadn’t lost a regular season* home game in over a year — with the asterisk being Larrys Mabiala’s 90th-minute playoff winner on Thanksgiving 2021, of course. He wouldn’t be as fortunate this time.
A sleepy first half woke up with a Diego Rubio free kick in the 30′. Mabiala received a yellow card for the hard foul leading to the free kick, and Rubio hit it right over the center back’s head for the opening goal.
Rubio’s fortunes turned in the second half, though. His slide tackle on Justin Rasmussen earned him a second yellow, bringing Colorado down to 10 men for the remaining half-hour.
Colorado had a goal called back by VAR in the 22′. Lewis blocked Ivacic in a narrow offside decision, denying Lalas Abubakar the opener.
Portland had a few key injuries in this one:
- Marvin Loria replaced Sebastian Blanco in the starting XI.
- Eryk Williamson made his second consecutive start for Diego Chara.
- Justin Rasmussen started in place of Claudio Bravo at left back.
Blanco and Chara were listed as out on this week’s injury report, but Bravo wasn’t.
Colorado’s newest player, Gyasi Zardes, missed a golden opportunity to open his Rapids account in the 55th minute. Zardes, who’s fallen out of favor with Caleb Porter in Columbus, started and played 80 minutes in his Rapids debut after signing on April 22nd.
Portland has a tough stretch ahead, with a trip to New Jersey next weekend and a midweek cup match at LAFC.