Byron Foss Named Man of the Match as Rapids Shut Out Real Salt Lake 2-0

DENVER (September 21 2005) - The Colorado Rapids defeated Real Salt Lake 2-0 on Wednesday at INVESCO Field at Mile High to all but secure themselves a playoff spot as well as take the lead in the Rocky Mountain Cup competition on goal-differential.

(To view video highlights from this match CLICK HERE).

The Rapids had the first scoring opportunity of the game in the 17th minute when Terry Cooke swung in a free kick and Jeff Cunningham headed the ball but Real ‘keeper D.J. Countess moved into position the stop the header.

Jean-Phillipe Peguero nearly gave the Rapids the lead in the 24th minute when he received an Eric Denton cross with his back to goal. The Haitian’s spectactular backheel attempt however was somehow stopped by Countess.

Peguero almost scored one of the most beautiful goals of the year in the 28th minute when he one-timed a Cooke cross that whistled just over the RSL crossbar.

The third time was the charm for Peguero when he took a short pass from Eric Denton at the top of the penalty area and blasted a hard shot to the left of a diving Countess and into the back of the net to put the Black & Blue up 1-0.

Byron Foss making his first career MLS start in goal for the Rapids stoned Marvin Tarley’s point-blank header in the 51st minute to preserve the shutout.

Cooke almost poached his third goal of the campaign in the 74th minute when he took a left-footed one-timed shot that curled toward the RSL goal but just nicked the post and went wide.

Dedi Ben-Dayan put the nail in RSL's coffin when he scored his first MLS goal in the 87th minute. Terry Cooke broke down the open sideline and cut toward the near post and then played an early ball across to Ben-Dayan. The Israeli international took his time and cut back across the goal before bending a beautiful ball inside the post for the 2-0 Rapids lead.

The Rapids will next be back in action this Saturday when they travel to the Home Depot Center to take on Chivas USA in a game that will be broadcast live at 8 p.m. (MT) on Altitude Sports and Entertainment.

With either a win or a tie against Chivas the Rapids will clinch a spot in the 2005 MLS Cup Playoffs. To view the entire Rapids playoff picture and potential possibilities in detail CLICK HERE.

Real Salt Lake (5-18-4) vs. Colorado Rapids (10-13-4)
September 21 2005 -- Invesco Field at Mile High

Colorado Rapids Man of the Match: Byron Foss

Scoring Summary:
COL -- Jean Philippe Peguero 6 (Eric Denton 4) 49
COL -- Dedi Ben-Dayan 1 (Terry Cooke 2) 87

LINEUPS:

Real Salt Lake -- D.J. Countess Gustavo Cabrera Eddie Pope Paul Broome Adolfo Gregorio (Chris Brown 70) Brian Kamler (Seth Trembly 69) Clint Mathis (Leslie Fitzpatrick 71) Robert Scarlett Jamie Watson Melvin Tarley Andy Williams.
Substitutes Not Used: Nelson Akwari Jay Nolly

Colorado Rapids -- Byron Foss Eric Denton Nat Borchers Mike Petke (Dan Gargan 75) Ritchie Kotschau Jovan Kirovski Kyle Beckerman Pablo Mastroeni Terry Cooke Jeff Cunningham (Dedi Ben-Dayan 53) Jean Philippe Peguero (Fabrice Noel 86).
Substitutes Not Used: Bouna Coundoul Leo Cullen Hunter Freeman Luchi Gonzalez Ricky Lewis Diego Serna

Misconduct Summary:
COL -- Mike Petke (caution; Reckless Foul) 46+
COL -- Jean Philippe Peguero (caution; Persistent Infringement) 61
RSL -- Jamie Watson (caution; Reckless Foul) 71

Referee: Abbey Okulaja
Referee's Assistants: Craig Lowry; Steven Taylor
4th official: Marcel Yonan
time of game: 1:54
attendance: 6736
weather: Cloudy -and- 75 degrees