Rapids' failure to put Dallas match away early proves costly

The Colorado Rapids managed two goals in an MLS match for the first time in eight games on Saturday night, but it wasn’t enough to overcome a string of missed golden chances in a 3-2 loss at FC Dallas, leaving the Rapids’ playoff hopes hanging by a thread.

Rapids striker Omar Cummings was the biggest culprit for Colorado’s woes finishing in front of net, squandering two prime opportunities in the match’s first 35 minutes. With Colorado unable to build on an early 1-0 lead, Dallas responded with two quick goals before the end of the first half, helping send the Rapids to their seventh loss in eight league matches.

And while Colorado managed two goals on Jaime Castrillon’s 12th minute strike and Jeff Larentowicz’s 55th minute long range effort, the Rapids knew they should’ve had more.

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“In the first half, we had multiple opportunities to go up multiple goals and we let them hang around,” Larentowicz told MLSsoccer.com after the match. “[We had] the opportunity to go up two or more in the first half, and [Dallas] seized their opportunities.”

In the 22nd minute, FC Dallas 'keeper Kevin Hartman — who made several outstanding stops for the home team — came well outside his penalty box on an ill-advised attempted clearance, leading to Cummings having an uncontested chance on an open goal. But the Jamaican international chose to forego the pass to a streaking Martín Rivero to lob it at goal from 30 yards away, narrowly missing his mark and his chance to double the visitors' 1-0 lead.

Minutes later, Cummings again had an opportunity to add on to the Rapids’ 1-0 advantage, but he failed to finish on two looks from inside the penalty box, denied by Hartman both times. [WATCH]

The game fittingly finished with another outstanding Hartman save on a Larentowicz shot from just outside the penalty box during second half injury time, and despite 12 attempts on goal, Colorado managed only two goals and suffered their sixth straight defeat on the road as a result.

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“We didn’t take our chances; you have to be able to put the game away,” Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja told MLSsoccer.com following the game. “It keeps happening over and over. We’re not having that killer instinct to get the job done. We complicate ourselves, and we love to complicate ourselves.”

The Rapids’ frustration finishing in front of net boiled over from an unlikely source. With the team down 2-1 at halftime, Rapids team president Tim Hinchey replied publicly on Twitter to a tweet from MLSsoccer.com by calling out Cummings.

“[Cummings] should finish way more, especially both of those wide open chances. Disappointing to say the least,” wrote Hinchey.

Cummings declined comment to MLSsoccer.com after the match.

Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.