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Mar 31, 2024 3:12 am

Djordje Mihailovic scores twice, rallies Rapids past LAFC

Eduard Atuesta

Djordje Mihailovic scored his first two goals for his new MLS club during the final 10 minutes and Colorado rallied to a stunning 3-2 victory over visiting LAFC on Saturday afternoon.

Mihailovic’s first came on an 83rd-minute free kick while LAFC was still at full strength. His second — an improvisational finish from close range in the 89th — came after LAFC substitute David Martinez was sent off for receiving his second yellow card.

Moise Bombito also scored his first career MLS goal late in the first half for the Rapids (2-2-2, 8 points), who twice rallied from a one-goal deficit to secure their first home win under first-year coach Chris Armas.

Martinez had previously given LAFC (2-3-1, 7 points) the lead with a brilliant individual goal in the 76th minute. But the 18-year-old’s ill-advised kick of the ball after a foul resulted in a second yellow card for dissent, setting the stage for the Black-and-Gold to remain without a point earned away from home this season.

Eduard Atuesta scored his second goal of the season much earlier in the match. Kei Kamara, who is third on MLS’ all-time scoring list, made his LAFC debut as a late substitute after signing a deal earlier this week.

But it was Mihailovic — who was previously teammates with Kamara at CF Montreal and signed a Designated Player deal with Colorado before the season — who made the difference in the late stages.

On the equalizer, Omir Fernandez earned the free kick when he was brought down maybe a foot outside the penalty area to the left of the penalty arc.

Mihailovic struck a right-footed shot over the defensive wall that appeared to fool LAFC goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who was left rooted to the ground as it sailed into the top right corner.

Then Martinez’s ejection set the stage for Colorado to push for a winner.

Striker Rafael Navarro created the decisive opportunity when he found Kimani Stewart-Baynes on the right side of the area with an inswinging cross from the left.

Stewart-Baynes headed the ball back across goal, where Mihailovic used his knee to redirect the bouncing service past Lloris from about eight yards out.

–Field Level Media

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