Under-21s report | Wolves 1-2 Colorado Rapids

Wolves 1 (Fraser 54) Colorado Rapids 2 2 (Markanich 52, Toure 74)

Nathan Fraser’s fine strike proved in vain for the under-21s, whose MLS Next Pro campaign ended in defeat against Colorado Rapids 2. The teenager struck home off the inside of the post, but either side of that goal, the MLS side netted through Anthony Markanich and Dantouma Toure to seal the win.

As the curtain came down on Wolves’ trip to the States, the final challenge came in the form of another American side, who once again proved tough opposition, but the late kick-off benefitted James Collins’ side. They partook in a more even opening than on Saturday against the Real Monarchs and could have taken an early lead when Lee Harkin appeared to have been fouled in the area, but no penalty was given.

Midway through the first-half, the American side should have led, as both Dantouma Toure and Darren Yapi stayed onside and only had Joe O’Shaughnessy to beat, but rather than passing for an open goal for Yapi, Toure went for goal himself and the Wolves stopper made himself big to save. Then, moments later, Jack Hodnett’s free-kick needed saving by Abe Rodriguez, before Fraser’s overhead kick flew over the bar.

The young striker was proving a handful for the Colorado defenders, and it was him occupying them when Dylan Scicluna strode forward and tried his luck from range, but Rodriguez wasn’t overly tested, likewise when Harkin shot straight at him.

The even nature of the contest continued approaching half-time. O’Shaughnessy twice had to produce saves when it mattered, first getting down low to push away Robinson Aguirre’s free-kick, before showing fine reflexes to deny Anthony Markanich.

Half-time | Wolves 0-0 Colorado Rapids

While the opening period was full of endeavour without reward, the second was the opposite, and both sides were on the scoresheet within the opening ten minutes. It was Colorado who struck first, as Aguirre’s free-kick found Markanich at the back post, and he nipped in ahead of Harry Birtwistle to knock into an empty net.

But Wolves were behind for only one minute and it was a piece of real quality which drew them level. Hodnett robbed back possession in a dangerous area and Fraser was able to turn and rifle a right-footed effort in off the post, beyond the stretch of Rodriguez from distance.

The MLS side did respond when Yapi tried his luck from range, but O’Shaughnessy got down low to parry away. They did get their goal however, when a slick move dragged Kam Kandola out of position, and allowed Toure to run through, and although O’Shaughnessy denied him initially, the Rapids man could squeeze the rebound past Luke Matheson on the line.

Wolves pushed during the closing stages, but couldn’t force the issue, as Colorado ended victorious.

Full-time | Wolves 1 Colorado Rapids 2 2

Team: O’Shaughnessy, Birtwistle (Matheson 63), Hubner, Kandola, Scott (Keto-Diyawa 72), Tipton (Ojinnaka 63), Scicluna, Hodnett, He (Roberts 63), Harkin (Esen 63), Fraser (Farmer 63).

Unused subs: Arinbjornsson.