In 2022's first installment of the Rocky Mountain Cup rivalry, Pablo Ruiz and Lalas Abubakar traded goals as the Colorado Rapids drew Real Salt Lake 1-1 on Saturday night at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.

For much of the first half, the Rapids were on the front foot thanks to Diego Rubio and Jonathan Lewis pressuring the RSL backline. But just before halftime, RSL got a goal against the run of play when Keegan Rosenberry clipped Justin Meram inside the box, and Video Review upheld Ted Unkel's original call. Ruiz made good on the penalty to put the visitors up 1-0 just before the half ended, to the great displeasure of the home fans.

The Rapids equalized in the 56th minute via a patiently-worked play ending with Michael Barrios threading a ball through the RSL defense to the far post, as Abubakar slid in and toe-poked the ball past Zac MacMath with a striker's aplomb.

Both teams pushed for a late winner, with Barrios nearly creating that for the hosts in the 73rd and 82nd minutes, and Sergio Cordova forcing William Yarbrough into a brilliant 76th-minute save. Rubio then got his head to a Jack Price set-piece kick in stoppage time that went wide of the target, which proved the last best chance for either team.

Goals

  • 45' — RSL — Pablo Ruiz (PK) | WATCH
  • 56' — COL — Lalas Abubakar | WATCH

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: Both RSL and Colorado remain in the West’s top five spots following the draw, and while it’s too early to think about sneaking in a quick ski excursion around an Audi MLS Cup Playoff match, both look like they may factor into the postseason. Rapids fans are going to be salty about the penalty that allowed RSL to take the lead before the break, and on balance they likely deserved the win. But RSL hanging onto a point on the road against last year’s top team in the Western Conference shows that maybe last year wasn’t a fluke after all.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: The Rapids’ equalizer ended beautifully with a defender doing his best attacker impersonation, but Barrios did a lot of the work to make it possible, and his pass in was impeccable.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Abubakar had the sweet goal, of course, but was also a pillar in defense, keeping Real Salt Lake from scoring in open play.

Next Up

  • COL: Saturday, April 9 at FC Dallas | 8:30 pm ET (MLS LIVE on ESPN+)
  • RSL: Saturday, April 9 vs. Toronto FC | 8 pm (MLS LIVE on ESPN+)