It couldn’t go on forever.
The comeback kids fell behind once again in Portland on Friday night. But even with a strong effort, the Colorado Rapids couldn’t do what they’ve trademarked over the last few weeks: Pull out a result despite an early deficit.
In the Rapids’ 1-0 loss at JELD-WEN Field on Friday night, a 13th-minute giveaway from defender Drew Moor led to Diego Valeri’s elegant chip over goalie Clint Irwin, giving the visitors only their second loss in their last 13 matches.
“It was obviously a mistake,” Rapids coach Oscar Pareja said of the goal postgame. “It’s unfortunate we lost points with it. It’s all on us.”
Heading into Friday’s game, the Rapids had given up the opening goal in four of their last six games, but in three of those four matches (1-2-1) they’d still managed to record at least a point despite the early hole.
And for large stretches on Friday, the Rapids looked like they’d pull off yet another comeback. They responded to Valeri’s goal with an inspired stretch, managing 13 shots to Portland’s nine. They had nine corners to the Timbers’ three and narrowly out-possessed the hosts 51-49.
But in the end, fair result or not, Moor’s early mistake held up as the difference.
“I think it was just a little bit of confusion on the goal,” defender Shane O’Neill said postgame. “But other than that, I thought we were solid. I thought me and Drew [Moor] kept it pretty compact and in the second half we even stepped up the line a little bit.”
Despite the positive aspects surrounding the loss, the Rapids fell into a precarious spot thanks to the dropped points. With 45 points through 30 games, they fell a point behind the Timbers, who hold a game in hand, and the Rapids are just a point ahead of the Galaxy, who have two games in hand.
The Rapids will have a 15-day break before returning to action October 5 against the Sounders at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park (10 pm ET; NBCSN).
Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.