Mastroeni, Ballouchy Give Rapids 2-1 Win
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Colorado picked up their second consecutive victory as Pablo Mastroeni's 73rd minute drive handed the Rapids a 2-1 victory over New England at Gillette Stadium. The Rapids are now 3-1-1, 10 points on the season, the most after five games in team history.
Mehdi Ballouchy staked Colorado to a lead after 14 minutes with a one-hopper to the far post from the edge of the penalty area. Click here to watch Ballouchy's goal.
New England equalized five minutes later after Marko Perovic curled a free kick over the Rapids wall. Jeff Larentowicz and Ballouchy hit the woodwork later in the first half before Mastroeni decided the match in the second stanza by lashing home a one-timer to give Colorado its second road win of the season.
New England boss Steve Nicol made one change to the side that lost 2-0 in San Jose last Saturday. Kheli Dube earned a recall up front as Perovic slid into a left midfield berth and Chris Tierney dropped to the bench. Nicol also omitted Shalrie Joseph (right hip flexor strain) for the fourth time in five matches.
Former Revolution midfielder Wells Thompson earned his first league start for the Rapids as Gary Smith made two changes in response to last Sunday's 3-1 win over Toronto FC. Thompson replaced Colin Clark on the left wing, while Ballouchy replaced the injured Jamie Smith (right hamstring strain) on the right flank. Julien Baudet settled for a spot on the bench after returning from a one-match ban.
Colorado enjoyed the better of the early exchanges, but New England carved out the first chance after 13 minutes. Seth Sinovic curled a cross to the far post, but Dube managed to pop up his volley attempt from close range to permit Rapids goalkeeper Matt Pickens to collect easily.
The miss came back to haunt the Revolution moments later as Ballouchy opened the scoring. New England afforded Ballouchy too much time and space on the edge of the penalty area and the Moroccan responded by firing a one-hopper just inside the far post for his first goal of the season.
New England responded five minutes later in stunning fashion as Perovic notched his first MLS goal. Pablo Mastroeni gave away a foul on Sainey Nyassi on the left edge of the penalty area. Perovic stepped up and curled his 20-yard effort over the Rapids wall and past Perkins to draw the Revs level.
Colorado continued to enjoy the better of the play, and Omar Cummings' cultured chip from the edge of the penalty area played Ballouchy just wide of the far post. Ballouchy opted to loop a bicycle kick to the far post, but his effort bounced off the inside of the post and deflected off New England goalkeeper Preston Burpo. Casey reacted first, but managed to stuff his rebound attempt off the recovering Burpo before the Revs finally hacked clear.
As the Revolution pressed higher, Colorado enjoyed more room on the counter and the Rapids reaped the rewards with the match-winner in the 73rd minute. Cummings wriggled free down the left wing and flighted a cross into strike partner Casey. The burly forward held the ball up well and dropped a pass back for Mastroeni to lash home first-time from distance to restore the Rapids' lead.
New England threw on Kenny Mansally minutes later and switched to a 3-5-2 formation in search of the equalizer, but it never arrived as the Revolution fell to a second consecutive defeat.
COLORADO RAPIDS: Matt Pickens, Kosuke Kimura (Julien Baudet 78), Marvell Wynne, Drew Moor, Danny Earls (Scott Palguta 88’), Pablo Mastroeni, Jeff Larentowicz, Mehdi Ballouchy, Wells Thompson (Colin Clark 74’), Omar Cummings, Conor Casey
Subs not used: Ian Joyce, Claudio Lopez, Ross LaBauex, Quincy Amarikwa.
NEW ENGLAND: Preston Burpo, Seth Sinovic (Kenny Mansally 78), Darrius Barnes, Cory Gibbs (c), Kevin Alston, Marko Perovic, Pat Phelan, Joseph Niouky, Sainey Nyassi , Kheli Dube (Khano Smith 70), Zack Schilawski (Edgaras Jankauskas 62)
Subs not used: