Rapids’ season ends with 1-0 loss to Portland Timbers in second round of MLS Cup Playoffs

The Colorado Rapids gave up a 90th minute goal to lose to the Portland Timbers 1-0 in the second round of the playoffs on Thursday afternoon.

“Really disappointing way for our season to end obviously,” head coach Robin Fraser said. “Credit to Portland, they did what they had to do to win. It felt like we had them under a ton of pressure in the first half. We were unfortunate not to get one during that time period and then in the second half I think we lost a little bit of control.”

The state has embraced the Rapids. The pre-game video included best wishes from Denver Broncos, Denver Nuggets and members of the Colorado Avalanche.

There were some worries that a game on Thanksgiving Day was going to hamper fan attendance. That was not the case as 17,438 fans were in attendance at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park to watch the first ever playoff game on Thanksgiving Day.

“They were phenomenal,” Fraser said. “We heard them the whole way. We’d love to give them something more to cheer about. But it was the best atmosphere I’ve ever seen.”

That was the highest attendance of the season.

“It’s not any fault of [the fans] by any stretch of the imagination,” captain Jack Price said. “They were with us the whole way. We’re just very disappointed as a group, staff and club, that we just couldn’t deliver today for them because they came out in numbers on Thanksgiving.”

The first half saw no goals but a lot of chances for the Rapids. They had nine shots in the first half and created eight chances. The most clear-cut chance came from Dominique Badji who got a free header and was brilliantly stopped by Portland goalkeeper Steve Clark.

The second half is when the momentum started to flip. The Rapids continued to create chances but Portland was much more aggressive on the counterattack. They continued to put pressure on the Rapids and eventually, in the 90th minute, the goal came.

Kellyn Acosta deflected the corner kick straight up into the air, it landed in the box and then there was chaos. The ball landed at Larrys Mabiala’s feet and he put it home to give his team the 1-0 lead late in the game.

“It’s one of those things that at times you can’t really control,” Fraser said. “It just becomes a crapshoot in the middle of the box.”

The Rapids had some time to make a final push. But more chaos ensued which included a red card to Portland’s Dairon Asprilla. The final push was to no avail and the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference was bounced from the playoffs in the first round.

Looking at the bright side is always extremely difficult for the Rapids and their supporters immediately following the game. It was a record-setting season in terms of wins and where they finished in the regular season.

They captured the entire state, they packed Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Thanksgiving Day and it’s only the beginning for the young team.

“I feel like we’ve come leaps and bounds this season,” Price said. “We’ve grown as a team, the bond and togetherness is as strong as ever. This will only make us stronger again.”

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