Fusion 2, Rapids 1
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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) _ Reserve midfielder Alex Pineda Chacon scored two second-half goals in a four-minute span as the Miami Fusion defeated the Colorado Rapids 2-1 in the season-opening match for both teams Saturday night.
Chacon’s two-goal outburst overcame a 1-0 deficit and helped lead Miami to its first opening-night victory in four MLS seasons.
A first-year player from Olimpia, of the Honduran First Division, Chacon entered the match at the 60th minute and immediately gave Miami the offensive spark it had been lacking.
After his eighth minute of play, Chacon tied the match after his shot just inside the penalty box area beat Colorado goalkeeper Adin Brown. Chacon positioned himself between Rapids’ defenders Jason Moore and Scott Vermilion and took advantage of Ian Bishop’s pass for a clear shot on goal.
Chacon scored the match-winner at the 72nd minute, when his left-footed shot outside the 6-yard box rolled inside the right post.
The goal was set up by Diego Serna’s crossing pass to Bishop, who then sent a touch pass to an open Chacon.
Fusion goalkeeper Nick Rimando stopped Colorado’s final threat at tying the match with a diving stop of Gibson’s point-blank header at the 78th minute.
Prior to Chacon’s two quick goals, John Spencer gave the Rapids a 1-0 lead with a goal at the 50th minute.
Spencer, a veteran of the Scottish Premier League playing his first MLS match, headed in a shot past Rimando after receiving a crossing header from Ross Paule.
The Fusion had several runs at the Rapids’ goal in the first half but couldn’t convert any shots past Adin Brown.
Preki’s shot inside the penalty box was stopped by Brown’s diving deflection in the fourth minute.
At the 16th minute, Serna’s header off a centering pass from Tyrone Marshall went over the crossbar. Colorado’s best scoring threat of the first half Imad Baba’s shot from the right wing which was stopped by Rimando.