FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Colorado Rapids coach Pablo Mastroeni grasped the importance of Brad Knighton’s intervention shortly after the critical save.
Colorado conceded the opener to New England forward Juan Agudelo after just 12 minutes, but the Rapids produced a neat and incisive sequence to prompt Dillon Powers’ chance near the penalty spot six minutes later. Powers fired his effort on goal, but Knighton managed to push it to safety and steer the Rapids away from a prompt response.
There were other moments where the undermanned Rapids – stripped of several regulars due to international commitments – nearly cut the Revs open. But that sequence – and the escape it provided for a Revs team in desperate need of a win – proved vital in the Rapids' 2-0 defeat, according to Mastroeni.
“Goals change games,” Mastroeni told MLSsoccer.com after the game. “Goals change momentum. Goals instill belief and take belief away. I think that moment was pivotal for us.”
Agudelo cited the impact of that 18th minute save on his team in his postgame comments (“He kept us in the game,” Agudelo said of Knighton, “To have a save like that and to have everyone run to the 'keeper, it was something special.”), while Mastroeni noted how the stop captured the Rapids’ plight on the night.
Instead of turning the game back in their favor and stoking doubt in the Revs’ ranks, the Rapids still found themselves down a goal. The visitors' commitment level was high, but their inability to take chances on the night -- Knighton made another spectacular stop on Powers in the 60th minute -- and a couple of uncharacteristic defensive lapses ultimately cost them an opportunity to secure a result ahead of the critical Western Conference clash at FC Dallas next Saturday (9 pm ET on MLS LIVE).
“I think, looking at the whole performance, I thought it was a very hard-fought, very steely performance from the guys,” Mastroeni said. “I think we created enough chances to get on the board. At the end of the day, we weren’t critical enough in the final third and that ended up being our demise.”