Match Recap | Altitude Sickness For Loons After Colorado Comeback


A hot start by the Loons made it seem as though Saturday night’s results would end with the Loons taking 3 points off Colorado. But in the end, a stunning second half from the Rapids would wash away a 3-1 halftime advantage and leave MNUFC with a somewhat disappointing 3-3 draw against their Western Conference foes. The standout of the Loons’ strong showing in the first half had to be Sang Bin Jeong, as the attacker’s speed would kill the Colorado defensive third from the jump. The first of a 2-score evening would come in the 8th minute off a beauty of a pass from Robin Lod. But, this is a much-improved Rapids squad from the 2023 version. There would be a quick rebuttal from the home team with young attacker Kevin Cabral’s score soon after in the 18th minute to even things up. 1-1.

Tani Time would strike in the 24th minute, with Oluwaseyi pouncing on the rebound from an initial shot by Joseph Rosales, which the striker would put in the back of the Rapids net…only to see the flag raise for an offsides call. VAR would prove the score from Tani was legitimate. 2-1, COYL. This would be followed by the second Sang Bin strike of the evening, when he would hit the jets and get a step on the Colorado defense to beat newly-acquired Rapids keeper Zack Steffen, and cap off an exciting first 45. 3-1, Minnesota.

The match, however, was still well within the reach of a Rapids’ attack that presented the MNUFC defense with some difficulties in the second half. And, those difficulties would swiftly give the Rapids some life early in the second forty five, as they would see their attacking pressure pay off in the 62nd minute when a back-post header from Rafael Navarro would bring Colorado one step closer. The next shoe would drop when DJ Taylor’s tackle earned the yellow in the box to set up the Rapids’ Navarro for the penalty kick in the 69th minute. But, Dayne St. Clair would deny the striker with a brilliant save to keep the Loons clinging to their one-goal advantage.

The joy of the save would quickly be dashed away again by Colorado’s Kevin Cabral just minutes later, when his header deflected off the gloves of St. Clair and into the net to bring the Rapids all the way back to even, 3-3.

It would be a back and forth between the teams the rest of the way, with Colorado creating several dangerous opportunities while the Loons were able to nearly steal back the W when Teemu Pukki’s baseline shot in the 87th minute hit the post and deflected away harmlessly. Ultimately, the Loons will be able to at least take at least 1 point in the standings, but it will still feel like a missed opportunity after such a hot first half. But, we’ll have to lick our wounds quickly with LAFC awaiting the boys for a match Wednesday night in Los Angeles.