FRISCO, Texas – After advancing to the Premier Division semifinals for the first time in their club’s Generation adidas Cup history, the Colorado Rapids faced Club Tijuana with a championship on the line. The Mexican side came out aggressively, but the Rapids used savvy counterattacking play to relieve pressured and score two first-half goals. After Donovan Roux forced Tijuana into conceding an own goal, then Jason Robles finished a breakaway with a composed volley into the back of the net.
With goalkeeper Andrew Cordes keeping Tijuana off the scoreboard with timely saves and catches, it looked as though Colorado’s organized defense could guide the team to the final. But with the pressure mounting in the closing stanza of regulation, Tijuana scored two goals within a span of four minutes to force extra time.
After surviving the first five-minute period of extra time, the Rapids eventually conceded a winner to Tijuana, ending their dreams of a Premier Division trophy.
“I’m not sure there was too much difference between the two halves,” Rapids head coach Erik Bushey told MLSsoccer.com after the match, “But, in the end, we could only make it through fifty minutes – not fifty minutes plus stoppage time.”
The Rapids still have one more match at GA Cup, as they will play D.C. United on Saturday at 10 am ET..
“We’ll look at it as another opportunity to show a truer picture of who we are and who we can be,” Bushey said.
During the Generation adidas Cup group stage, Columbus Crew SC scored 15 goals, more than any other team in the Premier Division. But in the semifinals against FC Midtjylland, the attack dried up against a stout Danish defense. An early second-half goal from FC Midtjylland was the difference as the Crew’s run to the knockout round ended with a frustrating 1-0 loss. Despite strong possession for large parts of the match from midfielders Elton Chifamba and Anthony Hernandez, the Crew could not create enough chances to find an equalizer.
“In the first half, I think we could’ve been a little more calm on the ball,” Columbus head coach Andreas Engelmark told MLSsoccer.com after the loss. “But the guys showed good mentality and executed our tactical plan. We just couldn’t break them down once they could protect their 1-0 lead.”
Columbus' last match at GA Cup will come on Saturday morning at 10 am ET, when they will play Vancouver Whitecaps FC in what promises to be a high-intensity match after the Crew advanced to the semifinals over the Whitecaps despite the latter not conceding a goal in group play.