A first-half header from Diego Rubio turned out to be a winning goal for the Colorado Rapids, who won their chilly home opener 3-0 over Atlanta United at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on Saturday.
HIGHLIGHTS: Colorado Rapids vs. Atlanta United FC | March 05, 2022
Shortly after a quickly-moving first half-hour, the home side opened the scoring in the 33rd minute. Michael Barrios sent in a brilliant cross from deep down the right-wing to find Rubio in the six-yard box, who headed in off of Brad Guzan's extended glove.
Jonathan Lewis then missed one golden chance to put the Rapids up 2-0 in the 39th minute, but took advantage of a second in the 48th minute, poking home a sumptuous leading pass from Rubio to double the lead.
Then, just after the Five Stripes went down to 10 men thanks to an 86th-minute second yellow card against Miles Robinson, Andre Shinyashiki emphatically announced his arrival into the match by scoring the third goal off a feed from Lucas Esteves.
- THE BIG PICTURE: After dropping their opener 3-0 to LAFC, the Western Conference’s top team from last year got back on track with what could end up being a statement win should 2022 turn out like 2021 did. However, Atlanta were missing some of the players who will be crucial to any kind of run this talented team makes. For now, though, both teams have a win and loss after two matches.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: The first goal, as Last Word on Soccer’s Matt Pollard observed, was Colorado's first in more than three hours, counting the probably-still-stings Concacaf Champions League exit game. And it was beautifully worked, with two cross-field passes in the buildup.
GOAL: Diego Rubio, Colorado Rapids - 33rd minute
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Rubio got the opening goal, assisted deftly on the second goal, and nearly assisted on another goal to maybe temporarily quell the “Colorado need a No. 9” talk.
- COL: Saturday, September 12 vs. Sporting Kansas City | 9 pm ET (MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US, DAZN in Canada)
- ATL: Sunday, September 13 vs. Charlotte FC | 4:30 pm ET (FS1, FOX Deportes)