COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (AP) — Trailing by a goal at halftime, Oscar Pareja made a request of his team.
“We were behind by a goal and hadn’t played badly,” the Colorado Rapids coach said. “We needed to take more control of the tempo.”
The Rapids did just that.
Jaime Castrillon scored the tying goal in the 70th minute and the Colorado Rapids extended their unbeaten streak to seven games with a 2-2 draw with Real Salt Lake on Saturday.
“I am proud of the team for the way they responded,” Pareja said. “The boys showed what they are made of in the second half.”
Castrillon’s goal off a header was his first of the season. Deshorn Brown added a goal for Colorado (9-7-8).
The Rapids are 4-0-3 in their past seven games after a 0-4-1 stretch.
Midfielder Atiba Harris left in the first half with a right quad injury. The Rapids were already without Hendry Thomas, who served the first of a two-game suspension after receiving a second yellow card in last week’s game with Los Angeles.
The game was halted for an hour and two minutes in the first half due to lightening in the area. Several downpours of rain made for difficult field conditions.
“The weather really didn’t bother us,” Brown said. “We were concentrating so much on getting the three points.”
Alvero Saborio and Ned Grabavoy scored goals for Real Salt Lake (11-7-5).
Real Salt Lake maintained a three-point lead over Colorado for first place in the Western Conference.
“That was the most critical part of the game,” Real Salt Lake Robbie Findley said. “We would have liked to have come out of here with three points, but we are glad we came out of this with a point.”
Real Salt Lake scored a minute and 20 seconds into the game when former Rapids player Kyle Beckerman found Grabavoy in front of the left post. Grabavoy easily beat Clint Irwin for his fifth goal of the season.
Brown got the equalizer for the Rapids in the ninth minute with his sixth goal. Brown outmuscled Nat Borchers for the ball inside the scoring zone and lofted a kick over goalkeeper Nick Rimando into the net.
Findley drew a penalty kick when was hauled down by Colorado defender Drew Moor in the 21st minute. The kick was delayed when play was halted due to lightening in the area.
When play was resumed, Saborio converted the penalty kick in the 21st minute. Irwin had no chance on the ball that whistled past his right hand.
Irwin showed his frustration by shoving Saborio to the ground after the goal, earning a yellow card.
Rain continued to fall at a steady rate throughout the second half.
Rimando made two saves on shots in the 53rd minute. The second was made on Castrillon with Rimando on his knees.
Colorado went on the offensive for the winning goal.
Castrillon got behind the Real Salt Lake defense and Christopher Klute found him with a cross. Castrillon sent a header past Rimando.
“I was thought it was great the way we came out and scored our first goal and then got the lead on the penalty kick,” Real Salt Lake coach Jason Kries said. “And then we had the really bad play between two experienced players.”
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