The Colorado Rapids 2 defeated STL CITY2 2-1 at Ralph Korte Stadium on Saturday night. Loan player Gustavo Vallecilla and midfielder Yosuke Hanya were the evening’s two goalscorers, helping the team to their second consecutive away win.
“There will be no applause or real rewards outside of victory,” said head coach Erik Bushey. “It was clear to me tonight that every player puts the team above them and that is necessary to win games.”
Saturday night got off to a quick start as Rapids pushed up the field and created a penalty opportunity in the opening minutes of the game. Defender Gustavo Vallecilla stood over the ball and converted from the spot to give Rapids 2 their first of the night.
“Obviously we take the penalty after 20 seconds and Gustavo (Vallecilla) steps up and burys it,” said Bushey. “With that goal maybe comes a little more faith.”
The half continued as STL CITY2 put heavy pressure on Colorado’s backline and controlled possession in the offensive third. Goaltender Isaac Nehme defended his team well, making two big saves in the first half and defending against eight corner kicks from St. Louis. Meanwhile, defensemen Blake Malone and Sebastian Anderson put their bodies on the line for the Colorado backline with aggressive defense and organization in the box.
Colorado found its offensive rhythm in the second half after conceding just one shot on target in the first. The team’s first opportunity came in the 49th minute when Yosuke Hanya and Dantouma “Yaya” Toure made overlapping runs to open up space at the top of the box. Hanya carried the ball but the chance was smothered by CITY2 keeper Michael Creek.
The dynamic duo of Hanya and Toure regained their composure in the 66th minute and scored the team’s second goal from a through counterattack. Take the ball into the box and sent a 60-yard punt to Toure’s feet, who picked up the ball with composure and put through a pass to Hanya. Hanya maneuvered his way around the keeper to find the back of the net, giving the Rapids the decisive goal of the evening.
“As an attacking player, I just have to score as many goals as possible,” said Hanya. “Yaya (Dantouma Toure) and Yapi (Darren Yapi) have scored three or four goals so far, that motivates me a lot. I’m really happy to have scored my third goal this season.”
Colorado struggled to maintain the lead and continued to show great defensive performances. Nehme ended the evening with five saves against St. Louis and conceded just one goal against the home side in the 97th minute. The Rapids attack was led by Vallecilla, Toure and Hanya, all of whom had shots on goal during the game.
The Rapids will be looking to continue their winning streak when they return home next week to face Sporting KC II on Sunday, July 10 at the University of Denver Football Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 7pm MT. Buy tickets for the next Rapids 2 game here.