Two goals from Hope Avayevu were not enough, as Tyshawn Rose’s sending-off loomed large over North Texas SC, and the already short defensive unit conceded four second-half goals to fall to Colorado Rapids II.
Both Amet Korca and Nolan Norris were on the plane to Minnesota with FC Dallas, meaning North Texas SC was short of some key defensive pieces. Henri Santos started alongside Colombian debutant Manuel Caicedo in the heart of the defense.
After 20 minutes of play, North Texas earns a Penalty kick as Hope Avayevu dribbles past his man in the box and is taken down. Hope scores the ensuing penalty for his second of the year to give the visitors a 1-0 lead early on
Less than 10 minutes after taking the lead, Antonio Carrera is called upon to make a huge save from outside the box and answers with a stunning dive to deny the home side, his third of the match.
North Texas finished out the half holding on to a one-goal lead, but on the back heel and with a lot of time spent in their defensive half.
GOAL North Texas! The team responds to their first-half form with a great second-half start, as a Jose Mulato backheel sets up Hope who bends in a beauty, bar down and in, for his second of the match.
The home team equalizes a few minutes after their first, as plenty of open space in behind the North Texas defense is exploited.
Similar to the game versus Austin II, when the floodgates open, they stay open. Hope slips collecting a pass from Carrera in the midfield, two passes later the ball is in Carrera’s net as Caicedo lost his mark in his blind spot.
Colorado scores a dagger to make it 4-2 with just over 10 minutes to play, as Tyshawn Rose’s absence continues to take its toll on the North Texas backline.
That scoreline would hold until the final, as great performances from Hope and Carrera are washed away by four conceded in the second half.
Breakdown and Quotes
Tyshawn Rose’s second-half absence was a huge blow to this team, and the player and team are allowed to feel hard done by the call. But the goals they conceded after his sending-off were all mostly avoidable, with plenty of space afforded to Colorado in behind.
“We are not mature enough, this was my message to the players… We conceded and were very vulnerable with our fullbacks.” Remarked head coach Javier Cano after the match.
“The lesson needs to be how to manage the game 2-0 up while 1 player down… we need to work on self-control.”
“Antonio held us in the game, but it is tough to evaluate.” Cano on Carrera matching his career high with an 8-save performance but also conceding four.
“A good one to learn from” Carrera punctuates the North Texas performance on the night “We did not manage [the red card] in the right way… it won’t happen again”
North Texas returns home to face St Louis II Sunday, May 7th.