The emphatic victory keeps the Rapids well in the race for the West's top spot, while Austin remain rooted to the foot of the Conference.
The contest was fairly staid for the first half-hour, then decidedly ratcheted up in emotion come the 36th minute. That's when McKinze Gaines – getting his first MLS start straight off winning AT&T Goal of the Week honors for his debut banger last Sunday – raced past Lalas Abubakar and appeared to be en route toward goal. But then Abubakar pushed Gaines just outside the box, and though Austin had a possible shout for a DOGSO call, it wasn't given by the officials.
The first half ended dramatically and in the Rapids' favor. During first-half stoppage time, a Jack Price ball in toward a waiting Lewis first glanced off his head and then took a clear deflection off Nick Lima before finding the net, giving Colorado a 1-0 halftime lead.
The Rapids then doubled their lead within the second half's first minute. Austin goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell, spelling first-choice Brad Stuver, sent a soft clearance that Mezquida pounced on and sent past the unlucky backup to expand Colorado's lead to 2-0.
Matters then got worse for Austin thanks to an Auston – Auston Trusty, to be specific, who elevated over Julio Cascante to head home a corner kick, adding another tick to the Rapids' tally. Aside from a few scattered scoring attempts, mostly from Designated Player Ceclilio Dominguez, the visitors couldn't get themselves into the match, and the Rapids recorded their first win since Sept. 4, after a string of four draws that at least kept their unbeaten streak going, to better define the West as a three-horse race.
- THE BIG PICTURE: The result was enough for Colorado to keep pace with Seattle and Sporting KC in a clear top three in the West, and that doesn’t look to be changing for what could be a Coach of the Year campaign from Robin Fraser. Austin, high after their win against the Galaxy just three days prior, dealt with three matches in seven days by rotating their squad for this one. Still, though, they had enough firepower to make this match closer than it turned out to be – and the resulting drubbing made it six losses in their last seven.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: It only took one goal to win, and this was a weird one. How weird? You be the judge.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Though the goal was a little unconventional for Lewis, it was certainly coming for the US international, who made it a long night for Austin’s backline with his movement and the eventual opener.