A scintillating substitute performance from Michael Barrios led 10-man Colorado Rapids back from a 1-0 deficit, stunning Minnesota United FC in a 3-1 road victory Sunday at Allianz Field.
HIGHLIGHTS: Minnesota United FC vs. Colorado Rapids | October 10, 2021
Despite being a goal down, after Adrien Hunou's first-half opener, and a man down, thanks to Danny Wilson's red card, Colorado scored three times in the final 20 minutes, with Barrios involved in each goal.
MNUFC's second-half collapse has dented their hopes of a home playoff game, while the Rapids proved they're a top Western Conference side despite being humbled by the Seattle Sounders on the road last week. With three points, Colorado are just one point shy of second-place Sporting Kansas City with a comfortable five-point cushion over fourth-place Portland Timbers.
When Wilson was sent off for DOGSO on Hunou in the 57th minute, Minnesota held a 1-0 lead. The hosts seemed primed to pull away and take a result that would have pushed them to fifth place in the West standings.
Instead, a 64th-minute substitution from Robin Fraser, bringing on Barrios, completely changed the game. The Colombian forward saw an opportunity with a weakened Loons defensive line, who were without powerhouse defenders Michael Boxall and Romain Metanire, and grasped it. He broke into the box on the counter in the 73rd minute and beat Miller to a ball before MNUFC's goalkeeper brought the ex-FC Dallas winger down in the box. Midfielder Cole Bassett deposited the ensuing penalty kick and leveled the game.
Barrios then doubled their lead during the 84th minute, once again on the counter, stunning the home crowd. The dagger came late in stoppage time after Lucas Esteves added a third goal, with all of Allianz Field falling silent.
Hunou opened up the scoring early for Minnesota, finding the back of the net with a low-driven shot into the bottom corner after Franco Fragapane found him for his eighth assist of the season. The Loons' early strike seemed to have put them in control, but a shocking second half leaves them clinging onto the West's seventh and final Audi MLS Cup Playoffs spot.
- THE BIG PICTURE: As Colorado chase the Western Conference's No. 1 spot, this is a dream result for Robin Fraser's group. They showed resolve on the road to overcome several setbacks, beating a possible playoff opponent in the process. For Minnesota, it's a disappointing result at home as the race tightens to secure a postseason bid come November.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Barrios' 84th-minute goal. Colorado's second strike sent Minnesota into panic mode, giving the visitors a season-defining result.
GOAL: Michael Barrios, Colorado Rapids - 84th minute
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Michael Barrios. He played a key role in all three Rapids' goals and completely changed the game once he entered the pitch.
- MIN: Saturday, October 16 at Austin FC | 9 pm ET (MLS LIVE on ESPN+)
- COL: Saturday, October 16 at Real Salt Lake | 9:30 pm ET (MLS LIVE on ESPN+)