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FIRING BLANKS: Armas’ Rapids ends NYCFC’s unbeaten streak at 5 with 2-0 win


Former Red Bulls head coach Chris Armas returned to Long Island on Sunday as a victorious hero.

Colorado Rapids forward Rafael Navarro (9) and defender Sam Vines (3) celebrate after scoring a goal. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

QUEENS, N.Y. – Former Red Bulls head coach Chris Armas returned to Long Island on Sunday as a winning hero.

On a rainy Sunday afternoon, Armas’ Colorado Rapids watched from the bench at Citi Field and snapped New York City FC’s five-match unbeaten streak with a solid 2-0 win.

Cole Bassett, who assisted Rafael Navarro’s first-half goal, stabbed City’s flanks with a goal in the 86th minute.

The win should give Armas, a native of Brentwood, NY, a good feeling, as his family still lives on the island and has many friends here as well.

There are probably many benefactors in Colorado as well. The Rapids (5-5-3, 18 points) matched their winning production from all of 2023, and into early May.

The Cityzens (4-5-2, 14), who had their five-game unbeaten streak snapped, finished their five-game homestand at 3-1-1, earning 10 of a possible 15 points. They suffered their sixth defeat in their last 31 home games in competitions. They will be tested in the coming weeks and will play three of their next four matches on the road.

City were tested again on Sunday and failed to solve goalkeeper Zack Steffen, who recorded a clean sheet.

As the away team, the Rapids (5-3-3, 18) held off well in the first half and took a 1-0 lead in the 16th minute.

Kevin Cabral started the scoring sequence with a pass to Bassett, who sent a right cross to Navarro on the left side of the penalty area. Navarro then curled a shot from 14 yards to the far right past goalkeeper Matt Freese.

Colorado held off several NYCFC spikes and took a 1-0 lead into the locker room at halftime.

As it turned out, that was all the Rapids needed as they fended off chance after chance from the Cityzens in the final half.

The hosts had many near misses at that point. That includes Keaton Parks’ close-range shot that went wide in the 52nd minute, Santiago Rodriguez’s effort that went wide left 12 minutes later, and Malachi Jones, whose back-post header bounced out of bounds in the 77th minute. the right side.

The Rapids essentially ended NYCFC’s hopes when Bassett buried a feed from Calvin Harris into the bottom left corner for his two-goal lead and his fourth goal of the campaign in the 86th.