Colorado took a second half lead thanks to Omar Cummings’ second goal in as many games, however, poor man-marking again cost his side as FC Dallas scored twice in the last half hour and escaped with a victory in Commerce City, CO.
Colorado took a second half lead thanks to Omar Cummings’ second goal in as many games, however, poor man-marking again cost his side as FC Dallas scored twice in the last half hour and escaped with a victory in Commerce City, CO. The frustrating pattern of being victimized on set-pieces is continuing for the Rapids as they have now dropped 5 of their last 6 matches.
Colorado came out and virtually dominated the first half. Cummings received a nice ball from Drew Moor in the 10th minute and snapped a header into goal but he was ruled offsides by the linesman. Jaime Castrillon was also getting in goal-scoring areas but a freekick to his foot in the 13th minute went just high and a great ball sent in by Hunter Freeman was headed over as well 5 minutes later. “We tried to come out put pressure early, take shots, put them on the back foot and I thought we did that the first 15-20 minutes,” Cummings told soccer365.com. “I thought we had a much better first half than they did.”
“The first 15-18 minutes we were really back on our heels,” admitted FC Dallas Head Coach Schellas Hyndman. Dallas settled a bit more and in the 36th minute had their own near-miss in front of goal while the Rapids were temporarily down to 10 men. Shea also had a ball served to his foot but the shot was skied over the top. In fact it wasn’t until the 47th minute that FC Dallas got their first shot on goal as Shea took an off-balance glancing header that was snared by Matt Pickens diving to his left.
The second half looked promising for Colorado as Cummings immediately let a through ball roll to Martin Rivero, whose shot was hammered just over the crossbar. However, in the 50th minute, Cummings received a nice feed from Conor Casey and his first touch put him directly onto Kevin Hartman’s goal. Omar placed a low ball just inside the near post for the 1-0 lead. Colorado continued to pummel the Dallas defenders with counter-attacks for the next 5 minutes but couldn’t find another score.
FC Dallas began to make some adjustments at that point, according to Hyndman, in an attempt to cut off the service to Cummings and also take some pressure off their own defenders by allowing Shea to work up front. “The thing that changed was moving Breck (Shea) to the striker position and moving Fabian (Castillo) to the flank,” said Hyndman. “Breck was really unable to keep the balls over there with (Colordo defender) Hunter (Freeman) and he became a handful for the two center-backs so I thought that started opening it up for us. Fabian did a good job tracking back so Colorado didn’t have as many services.”
“Castillo wasn’t getting to much, we were keeping him pretty contained,” said Moor on Dallas’ switch, “and Breck’s a handful. We were able to keep him in check for the most part. Breck uses his body well but I didn’t think he gave us a lot of problems.”
Hyndman also noted that they were looking at the Colorado’s buildup through the center as an area to focus on. “We had talked about Daniel Hernandez staying there and holding that central midfield, because Casey was stepping back and getting balls, Rivero was stepping back and getting balls, and what was happening was that was the ball that was leading to Omar. We finally got it straight with our center backs to not check with Conor.”
Second half substitution Carlos Rodriguez made a quick difference as he drifted to the far post on a loose ball in the 60th minute. Castillo found him with the cross and an open Rodriguez calmly placed his header for the equalizer.
“We were getting tired and what we were able to do was chip the ball far post because the two things that have been hurting Colorado the most are set-pieces and weak-side defending,” said Hyndman noticing what has become a pattern for the Rapids recently.
“Some guys didn’t follow their man,” said Colorado captain Moor. “We leave the guy wide open, one of the smallest guys on the field, and he heads it in. We weren’t locked up. That’s accountability on 1v1 matchups.”
Cummings almost put Colorado up in the 72nd minute as substitute Tony Cascio tracked down a loose ball deep in Dallas territory. His pass dropped to Cummings in a similar scoring position as earlier but this time the well-placed shot clanked off the post and away.
In the 81st minute, Rodriguez snuck behind Luis Zapata just beating the offsides call and took a shot on an onrushing Pickens. The ball got by but was cleared off the line by Moor. However, the rebound was easily banged in by Castillo on the doorstep for the game-winner.
Although he tried not to let the frustration visibly show, Cummings was almost in a bit of disbelief the Rapids didn’t walk away with 3 points on the night. “You felt like during the game you had control of it then something comes out of nowhere. We tried to get back in the game but with us trying to break them down we got exposed a little bit for the last goal so it was kind of a gamble. I think we did well trying to push for the second goal which we should being at home but they got a break and scored.”
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