International Soccer

Player ratings as Mihailovic’s brace seals comeback for the hosts

Djordje Mihailovic’s brace propelled Colorado Rapids to a 3-2 comeback victory over LAFC Saturday afternoon at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

Former Manchester City goalkeeper Zack Steffen was called to action early on with an impressive fingertip save to deny a volleyed effort from reiging Golden Boot winner Denis Bouanga. However, LAFC’s persistence saw them score the opening goal of the match thanks to Eduard Atuesta’s curling effort into the far right corner that Steffen had no chance of saving.

The Black and Gold had a few more looks at goal as the clock ticked on in the first half but they were unable to double their advantage. The Rapids managed to bring the game to level terms as young center-back Moise Bombito rose highest to head home from a corner kick just before the halftime break. New signing Hugo Lloris got a glove to Bombito’s header but couldn’t keep it out of his net.

The second 45 saw the game enter a bit of a lull up until LAFC boss Steve Cherundolo chose to bring on 18-year-old David Martinez, who had an immediate impact on the match. After receiving the ball out wide, Martinez cut inside and elegantly dribbled past a pair of would-be LAFC defenders before guiding his shot to the far bottom corner. It was Martinez’s first goal at his new club that put the visitors up 2-1 with roughly 15 minutes to play in normal time.

Colorado’s newest No. 10 Djordje Mihailovic assisted Bombito’s headed effort in the first half, and he wasn’t done having his say on the game just yet. Colorado won a free kick just outside LAFC’s penalty area, and Mihailovic lined up to take the free kick alongside Sam Vines and Cole Bassett. It was Mihaolivic that stepped up to send the fans at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park into a frenzy after his astounding free-kick effort found the back of the net that left Lloris rooted to the spot.

Things then went from bad to worse for the Black and Gold, as Martinez went from hero to zero after receiving a second yellow card for a challenge from behind on Mihailovic — which proved to be costly.

The Rapids led for the first time on the day when Mihailovic capped off a brilliant team move for the hosts. Kimani Stewart-Baynes played Mihailovic through on goal with a flicked header, and the former AZ Alkmaar player found the back of the net with his right knee with ease to score the winning goal for the home side.

Bouanga caused problems for the Colorado defense

Bouanga caused problems for the Colorado defense / Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

GK: Hugo Lloris – 5/10 – There was no stopping Mihailovic’s free kick, but he could’ve done better on Bombito’s headed goal.

RB: Sergi Palencia – 6/10 – The player neither helped nor hindered his side.

CB: Jesus Murillo – 5.5/10 – Made several key interventions showcasing his exceptional anticipation but faded as the game wore on.

CB: Aaron Long – 5/10 – Like Murillo, he too started strong but disappeared in the second half.

LB: Ryan Hollingshead – 7/10 – An overall solid showing from the versatile full-back.

CM: Tim Tillman – 7/10 – Put in a shift alongside Sanchez and Atuesta but like his teammates, he too faded in the latter stages of the contest.

CM: Ilie Sanchez – 7/10 – Another impressive performance from the midfield general but it wasn’t enough to secure the three points.

CM: Eduard Atuesta – 7.5/10 – Found the back of the net for the second straight game with a beautiful effort from outside the box.

RW: Cristian Olivera – 5/10 – A poor showing from the Uruguay international who was lacking sharpness in the final third.

ST: Mateusz Bogusz – 6.5/10 – Excelled at linking up with his teammates but wasn’t threatening enough in front of goal.

LW: Denis Bouanga – 7.5/10 – Caused Steffen plenty of problems in the opening stages but failed to take the game over like we’ve seen him do plenty of times before.

Substitutes

SUB: David Martinez (63′ for Olivera) – 5/10 – Scored his first goal for LAFC in style with a brilliant piece of individual skill before being sent off for an unnecessary challenge.

SUB: Kei Kamara (77′ for Hollingshead) – 6/10 – Did little to impact the game after coming on.

SUB: Eddie Segura (77′ for Sanchez) – 5/10 – Committed the foul that led to Mihailovic’s brilliant free kick that was inches away from being a penalty.

Manager

Steve Cherundolo – 6/10 – No problems with his starting lineup, but the team seemed very inconsistent throughout the game. LAFC started strong but failed to put away chances as the game wore on — which resulted in their third defeat of the season. Bringing on Martinez was almost a masterstroke before the youngster got sent off with a second yellow card.

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