And it looked like they would too. The Impact started pressing for the tie-breaking goal after Rapids defender Tyrone Marshall got his second yellow card.
"The effort was all right for a short spell but we weren't able to sustain it," forward Andrew Wenger said.
All the short-handed Rapids needed was a chance. They got it — and a fortunate whistle — on a free kick in the 83rd minute, and it led to the deciding goal in a 3-2 Colorado win in front of 17,877 fans.
The goal left Montreal (3-7-3) empty-handed and a little angry over what they perceived was a goal that should have been waived off.
The winning play happened after an ill-advised foul on Montreal. Martin Rivero sent the free kick to the far post, it was headed at the net but goalie Greg Sutton tipped it above the goal. It bounced on the crossbar before dropping down, and Jaime Castrillon headed it in.
While the Rapids celebrated the Impact argued that the whistle had blown the play dead.
"We all heard the whistle. It was pretty obvious," said Sutton, who came on in the second half. "Just after he headed it the whistle was blown, guys just turned and looked and stopped. Play continued. Beyond me."
That was the sentiment of coach Jesse Marsch, who was disappointed yet again in his team's inability to take advantage of superior numbers.
"Ten out of 13 games we score first and then tonight we give up the lead on a stupid foul," he said. "Then, up a man four times this year and four times we've given up a goal. We play good games, we play good, and we shoot ourselves in the foot way too often.
"We should have won that game a hundred different ways and we walk away without any points."
It was the second straight loss after a four-game unbeaten streak.
But it looked good early when Patrice Bernier's goal in the 14th minute gave Montreal a 1-0 lead. Colorado tied it on a penalty kick four minutes later, and then took a 2-1 lead at the half on Drew Moor's goal in the 39th minute.
Wenger tied it in the 48th minute when he finished a nice passing play by Collen Warner and Bernier.
Sanna Nyassi had a great chance to put them up 3-2 in the 51st minute but Colorado goalie Matt Pickens made a diving stop. Wenger followed with another scoring opportunity later in the half but was called offside before he could knock in his own rebound off the crossbar.
"I was offside but I'd like to have it back," Wenger said. "It's disappointing that we worked hard, came back, and scored some nice goals. We just gave us some goals we really should not have."
Especially the last goal in which a play they thought was blown dead instead sent the Impact into a three-week break on a sour note.
"Whatever the explanation was wasn't enough," Sutton said.