The Colorado Rapids (MLS) needed a dramatic, come-from-behind effort to defeat the Oklahoma City Energy FC (USL) 3-2 in the Fourth Round of the 2017 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. The go ahead goal came off a Dillon Powers corner that connected with Dennis Castillo in the 89th minute.
The Rapids have been competing in the US Open Cup since the club’s inaugural season in 1996 and Tuesday night’s contest marked the first time in the Rapids’ tournament history that they have overcome a two-goal deficit.
With both sides missing or resting regular starters, Oklahoma City appeared to start the game content to sit back and defend, willing to wait for counter attacking opportunities. The Rapids almost made them pay early, when Dillon Serna had a rocket miss just wide in the 8th minute.
Oklahoma City’s patience paid off in the 38th minute when Daniel Jackson found Daniel Gonzalez to open up the scoring.
Things went from bad to worse for the Rapids when in the 40th minute, defender Bobby Burling appeared to take a knock on his leg, and headed straight to the locker room. The Rapids were forced to play with 10 men while a Dominique Badji prepared to be subbed in. Oklahoma City took quick advantage, with Philip Rasmussen scoring off another assist by Daniel Jackson.
At halftime, the lower division Energy had the top flight Rapids reeling with a 2-0 lead.
The Rapids came out from halftime with an increased sense of urgency, and found joy in the 49th minute when a Dennis Castillo cross found Badji at the top of the six-yard box to cut the deficit in half.
Oklahoma City dodged a bullet shortly after when in the 53rd minute, it appeared that Energy defender Kyle Hyland pulled down Rapids’ midfielder Josh Gatt in the box. Referee Karen Abt was not impressed however and did not call for a penalty kick.
The Rapids continued the pressure into the second half, and found the equalizer off a corner kick in the 66th minute when Eric Miller redirected a header from Alan Gordon into the net. The game appeared to be destined for extra time, knotted up 2-2 until the 89th minute when Dennis Castillo scored off of a Dillon Powers corner kick. The final whistle blew shortly after, completing the desperate 3-2 victory for the Rapids.
— Colorado Rapids (@ColoradoRapids) June 14, 2017
Statistically, the Rapids dominated the game, in both in shots (12-8) and possession (56.4%-43.6%) The Rapids also held a decisive advantage on corner kicks for the night, shutting out the visitors 7-0.
The Rapids move on to the Fifth Round of the US Open Cup looking to break a streak of 13 straight US Open Cup tournaments without multiple wins, a Modern Era record.
In MLS league play, they will welcome the Portland Timbers to Dicks Sporting Goods Park on Saturday night at 7 p.m. MT.
The Oklahoma City Energy will return to USL league play on Friday night, as they visit the Timbers USL affiliate, T2, in Portland Friday night at Providence Park.