COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — Jaime Castrillón’s 83rd-minute goal lifted the 10-man Colorado Rapids to a highly entertaining 3-2 win over the Montreal Impact at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Saturday night.
It appeared as though the Rapids had settled for a share of the points following Tyrone Marshall’s 61st-minute red card on a second yellow, but defender Scott Palguta’s redirection off of a Martín Rivero set piece danced along the top of the crossbar and ultimately landed on Castrillón’s head for the Colombian’s fourth goal of the season, and certainly his most important to date.
The goal disguised a second half dominated by the Impact, who settled for several outside shots and constantly pried Matt Pickens’ net, ultimately to be stung by Castrillón’s late strike.
The action came quickly on a hot and breezy night in suburban Denver. The visitors struck first just 14 minutes in, when midfielder Patrice Bernier took a clever lay-off from Brazilian playmaker Felipe Martins and chipped Pickens for the lead.
The Rapids didn't take long to reply. Just four minutes after Montreal's opener, Rivero’s through ball to Wells Thompson resulted in Thompson taking a hard shoulder from Hassoun Camara in the penalty box, and referee Mark Kaldecik pointed to the spot. Jeff Larentowicz stepped up and drilled the penalty kick into the bottom left to level the score.
After the back-and-forth beginning, things began to settle down somewhat — until Colorado flipped the score line just prior to the halftime whistle. In the 39th minute, defender Drew Moor put on his attacker's hat and powered an open header on Rivero’s free kick service from 35 yards out to give the home side a 2-1 edge at the half.
But the lead would be shortlived. Just three minutes after emerging from the tunnel for the second stanza, Montreal rookie and 2012 No. 1 SuperDraft pick Andrew Wenger found the net to pull his side even.
Following Wenger’s second goal of the season, Montreal continued to dictate possession and tempo, prying the Rapids back line, and ultimately gaining a man advantage when Marshall received a second yellow for a midfielder challenge on Felipe.
The Impact spent the remainder of the match looking for the third goal that ultimately wouldn’t come, but they came close on a 69th-minute effort from former Rapid Sanna Nyassi and and 81st-minute attempt from Felipe.
But where Montreal was unlucky, Colorado was fortuitous.
With just seven minutes remaining in regulation, Rivero served a perfect set piece to the far post that Palgutta — one of two defensive substitutions from Colorado head coach Oscar Pareja following Marshall's ejection — desperately headed cross goal. Impact 'keeper Greg Sutton, who himself had come on in the second half to replace Donovan Ricketts, got a hand on it, but the ball skipped atop the cross bar and fell to Castrillón, who guided it home.
Both teams will enjoy a three-week break before resuming MLS play. Colorado next travel to Vancouver on June 16 and Montreal head to Seattle on the same date. However, the Rapids will have a quick turnaround and will travel to Tampa for a May 29 showdown against the Rowdies in the third round of the US Open Cup.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Patrice Bernier||Deep-lying midfielder fueled Montreal's attack – he scored a goal and added an assist – while also fulfilling his defensive duties.|
|2||Martín Rivero||Midfielder was influential on all three of the Rapids goals; he sent the throughball that led to the PK, served Drew Moor for a score, and his free kick was eventually buried by Jaime Castrillon for the win.|
|3||Felipe Martins||Brazilian playmaker was the cornerstone of the Impact's attack, and it was his creative genius that led to the opening goal.|
WATCH: Full Match Highlights