Alan Gordon played the part he has made a career of playing in MLSon Saturday night: late hero.
Gordon came in to the Rapids match against the Montreal Impact with the game tied 1-1 and each team having been reduced to 10-men after both Jared Watts and Daniel Lovitz had been sent off. Both teams would finish the match with 9-men a piece.
In the 81st minute, Mekeil Williams played Dominique Badji in behind the Impact defense along the touch line. Badji quickly picked out Alan Gordon with a low cross, and Gordon tapped home the goal past Evan Bush.
The Rapids had taken the lead in just before the end of the first half. In the 45+3 minute, Stefan Aigner got his head to a cross from Mekeil Williams, tucking the bouncing header inside the far post.
The eventful game saw two aforementioned red cards, a number of players go off injured, and a video review incident that denied the Impact a penalty kick.
The Impact went up a man on the Rapids early after Jared Watts was sent off for an incident in the 10th minute. Watts went in for a tackle on Chris Duvall with his studs exposed. The resulting tackle was reviewed by referee Jorge Gonzalez and Watts was sent off for violent conduct. Duvall was forced from the game due to injury from the tackle.
The advantage was short lived for the Impact as Daniel Lovitz was also sent off for violent conduct in the 32nd minute. Jorge Gonzalez did not need video review to spot the infraction. Lovitz challenged Mike DaFonte for a header, and stuck a knee into the defender long after the ball was gone.
The Impact did manage to pull the game level for a short while in the second half, and even looked to have stolen the momentum in the match. Ignacio Piatti looked to have earned a penalty kick in the 52nd minute.
After initially awarding the penalty, Jorge Gonzalez ordered a video review of the incident and determined the tackle from Marlon Hairston was not a foul.
The Impact finally got on the board when Matteo Mancosu caught Tim Howard out of position with a long range effort in the 62nd minute. It was Mancuso’s fourth goal of the season, surpassing his total from his debut season in 2016.
While the loss will greatly hurt the Impact’s chances of making the playoffs, a bigger concern will be the injury to the recently re-signed Piatti. Without contact, Piatti dropped to the ground clutching his knee. The Impact had already made all of their subs up to that point and were forced to see out the game down an additional man.
Michael Azira and Mekeil Williams each left the game injured for the Rapids. Azira picked up what appeared to be a knee injury in the 79th minute when his cleat got caught underneath him. Williams injury came in the 90+1 minute when his cleat also got stuck underneath his body.
The Impact (11-15-6) will travel to Toronto with their playoff lives at stake, needing maximum points from their two remaining fixtures.
The Rapids (8-18-5) will be happy to finally be out of the bottom spot in the Western Conference in what has been a tough season for the team.
Man of the Match
Alan Gordon did what Alan Gordon does, winning a game off the bench with a late goal.
Moment of the Match
The video review negated penalty arrested some of the momentum the Impact had gained in the second half.
Match to Forget
Jared Watts and Daniel Lovitz should each think long and hard about their needless, reckless fouls that saw them exit this match in the first half.