D.C. United's winless streak to start the season ran to five games, as the Black-and-Red salvaged a late point in a 1-1 draw with the Colorado Rapids. Looking for their first win of the MLS season after a loss and draw in their first two games, United were pegged back in the second half through a Dillon Powers header.
Fabian Espindola, who was a second half substitute, found the back of the net for United in the 80th minute, earning United their second point of the season, in the team's home opener in MLS play.
United were in control of the early proceedings, but did little to test Zac MacMath in goal. Luciano Acosta created mayhem in the Colorado box with a takeaway in the 11th minute, but his initial shot was blocked, and Lamar Neagle's effort from a secondary cross was headed wide of the goal.
Patrick Nyarko found Nick DeLeon in the box after some fancy footwork four minutes later, but DeLeon's effort, which either could have been a shot or a cross, didn't find a teammate, or test MacMath on it's way out for a goal kick. Neagle took aim from a free kick on the side of the box in the 20th minute, but the angle allowed MacMath to push the shot away for a corner without much trouble.
Colorado had done little in the way of attacking in the first until, but nearly went ahead in the 30th minute, as Kevin Doyle struck the woodwork, Dominique Badji knocked down a cross in the box, and Doyle, who was on the ground, somehow managed to take aim towards goal, only for the shot to bounce off the post. The ball then careened off of keeper Travis Worra, and United was able to deal with the resulting corner.
DeLeon had a shot blocked in the 35th minute from a layoff from Acosta, before Taylor Kemp had to dive in on Badji two minutes later to prevent the winger from getting his shot on target from inside the box.
Chris Rolfe's nifty turn in the 40th minute opened up an opportunity for the Black-and-Red, with Neagle finding space for a run into the box. Rolfe spotted the run, and picked out Neagle with a perfectly placed pass, but MacMath made an one-handed save to deny Neagle a second goal on the season.
Despite being second best for most of the first half, Colorado came out in the second half on the front foot, creating chances, and looking more likely to score early on. Powers picked out Badji with a through ball in the 52nd minute, but Worra was quick off his line to get a touch in, poking the ball away from the streaking Badji.
Mekeil Williams, the Rapids' right back, skipped past a challenge in the 56th minute, creating an opening to send a cross into the box. Doyle timed his run into the middle, but Williams' curling cross was just out of the reach of a diving Doyle.
After a lull in play, United saw their fortunes change dramatically in the matter of moments. In the 67th minute, D.C. should have been ahead through Steve Birnbaum. After Marcelo Sarvas won a ball in midfield, Neagle was able to play a ball to the back post for Birnbaum. The center back was right on the doorstep, but failed to direct his volley on frame.
And moments later at the other end, the Rapids were ahead. The Rapids were able to force a corner, and Marco Pappa, the hero last week in the win against the LA Galaxy, found Powers in the middle, with the midfielder heading home from close range for the 1-0 lead.
Sam Cronin nearly made it two for Colorado in the 76th, skipping a shot just wide of the goal. Luis Solignac was able to knock a header down in the box, allowing Cronin to take aim, but with just Worra to beat, the ball went wide of the far post.
That paved way for Espindola's equalizer, as United were on level terms in the 80th minute. Kemp delivered a left footed ball into the box, with MacMath failing to secure the ball. The loose ball then dropped to Nyarko six yards out, but his shot was blocked. Espindola was there then to clean it up, putting his shot away for his first goal of the 2016 season.
United looked the likeliest to find a winner in the last ten minutes, creating several chances. Espindola took aim from a tight angle in the 82nd minute, but the shot burned over the goal. Espindola then found fellow substitute Alvaro Saborio with an early cross in the 84th minute, but the Costa Rican could only weakly turn his header towards goal, allowing MacMath to collect easily.
D.C. United, with two points from three games, returns to action next Saturday at home against FC Dallas.