Mitrita broke the deadlock in the 83rd minute, running onto a headed clearance by Lalas Abubakar, taking a touch and firing past substitute goalkeeper Clint Irwin, who came on for an injured Tim Howard late in the first half. Howard left with a strained right calf.
Against the run of play, the Rapids took the lead in the 6th minute on 16-year-old Sebastian Anderson’s first MLS goal. Jonathan Lewis got a measure of revenge against his former club, winning a footrace with Sebastien Ibeagha to a through ball before playing across the face of goal where a sliding Anderson tapped into the net.
Anderson’s memorable night ended early as the Homegrown defender was sent off on a straight red card by referee Christopher Penso for a dangerous sliding tackle on Ronald Matarrita in the 33rd minute.
Six minutes later, NYCFC leveled through Heber, who took a floated pass from Maxi Moralez off his chest at the edge of the six-yard box and slotted past Howard for his eighth goal of the season.
Heber had a golden chance for his second when Irwin parried the rebound of Keaton Parks shot into his path, but the Brazilian missed the target completely in the 73rd minute. But that bit of frustration was forgotten 10 minutes later when Mitrita secured the Cityzens first win in Commerce City.
- 6’ — COL — Sebastian Anderson | WATCH
- 40’ — NYC — Heber | WATCH
- 83’ — NYC — Alexandru Mitrita | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: Anything less than all three points would have been bitterly disappointing for NYCFC on a night the visitors outshot the Rapids, 29-7, and had 77.8 percent of possession. The win snaps a two-game losing streak in league play as NYCFC, at least temporarily moved ahead of the rival Red Bulls into fourth place in the East. The Rapids are now 10 points behind the playoff line in the West.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: NYCFC asked almost all of the questions before Anderson was sent off, and certainly did after this moment. Was it deserved?
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Keaton Parks was a bright spot in NYCFC’s midfield, which missed Alex Ring to yellow card accumulation. But Mitrita is the reason the visitors took all three points with an opportunistic goal in his return from injury.