Substitute Nicolas Mezquida struck from the edge of the penalty area in the 89th minute, and the Colorado Rapids secured a dramatic 3-2 victory over Columbus Crew SC in Week 13 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.
Tommy Smith also scored off an early corner kick header and Jonathan Lewis added his first goal for his new team as the Rapids won for a second consecutive match and the first time at home in 2019. They're now 2W-2L-0D under interim head coach Conor Casey after an 0W-7L-2D start led to Anthony Hudson's firing.
Columbus twice equalized from a goal behind before Mezquida's late winner, with Pedro Santos scoring not long after Smith's opener and Gyasi Zardes adding his team-leading fifth goal early in the second.
Those fightbacks were for naught after Mezquida took a slick first touch on a second phase following a corner kick, then unfurled a right-footed shot that dipped and swerved inside the left post to set off the first truly jubiliant scenes in Commerce City in some time.
- 23' - COL - Tommy Smith | WATCH
- 28' - CLB - Pedro Santos | WATCH
- 45'+7' - COL - Jonathan Lewis | WATCH
- 54' - CLB - Gyasi Zardes | WATCH
- 89' - COL - Nicolas Mezquida | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: The Rapids have won two in a row for the first time since August of last year. More importantly, they've been a much more consistent side under Casey: They've been in every game, scoring in all four of their matches since he took the helm. As for the Crew, they at least snapped out of a two-match scoreless stretch, but clearly the adjustment process for new manager Caleb Porter and his team is still in process.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: After Kei Kamara's sensational bicycle kick attempt was thwarted in the 66th minute, it was unclear if either side was capable of producing one more special moment. Mezquida came on with literally the next dead ball, and 22 minutes later, unleashed this gem.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Jonathan Lewis. The former New York City FC man may have scored his first goal for the Rapids. Equally impressive was his incisive passing, giving his new team a dimension they have often lacked prior to his arrival at the MLS Primary Transfer Window deadline.