Diego Rubio scores career-high 12th goal of season as Rapids tie Columbus Crew

COMMERCE CITY – Let the Talismans find clutch targets.

The Colorado Rapids made it this Saturday night at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City when Diego Rubio scored his 12th career goal of the season and the teams tied 1-1.

Still, Rapids head coach Robin Fraser said a tie was the fair result considering both teams weren’t decisive enough.

“Both teams opened up and were vulnerable in transition,” Fraser said. “Obviously (Columbus) has very, very good attacking players and that gave us some problems early on. … We created half-chances in the second half but weren’t as clean as we should have been and the game really just went back and forth at the end. I’m not sure if both teams deserved the win.”

Columbus Crew’s Cucho Hernandez opened the scoring in the fifth minute with his sixth goal in the last seven games. With Crew’s first corner kick of the night cleared, the game was brought back into the mix when Pedro Santos played a brilliant ball that bounced between Kegan Rosenberry and Lucas Esteves. Hernandez, while mid-air, shot it down and tucked it away.

It was the third time in the last three games that the Rapids had conceded in the first 10 minutes.

“I have the feeling that our lack of ball quality means that we and our press cannot adapt,” Rosenberry said after the game. “…I feel like we’ve been preaching focus, focus and detail and all those buzzwords for a long time, and yet again it’s just a moment too early in the game. That’s the play that gave them a tie.”

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After coming under intense pressure from Columbus for the first 25 minutes, Colorado eventually opened up with a couple of half-chances. In the 23rd minute, Gyasi Zardes thought he had scored against his old side after being thwarted from point-blank range and sent the rebound home. But after a replay by the video assistant referee, he was ruled offside.

Colorado had two corner kick opportunities, including a Lalas Abubakar header that went wide.

In the 40th minute, Michael Barrios sent a high cross that Jonathan Lewis was the first to try with his head. However, it hit Steven Moreria’s hand and referee Jon Freemon didn’t hesitate to point to the penalty spot.

Diego Rubio sent goalkeeper Eloy Room the wrong way and made personal history in the process to equalize. It was Rubio’s 12th goal of the season, a new career high for the Chilean, and it was also the eighth straight game in which he has contributed either a goal or an assist. This mark linked a career record from 2019.

In the second half, both teams didn’t play for losers and switched to a defensive mindset, although the crew had half a chance seconds after halftime, but Abubakar, the former crew man, dodged the danger.

Colorado’s best chance came in the 65th minute. Substitute Sam Nicholson had a shot that deflected badly but Room saw the curling ball and made a good save.

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