Rapids Come Back to Tie Crew 1-1 in Columbus

Columbus OH (Sunday September 2 2007)- Thanks to a Conor Casey goal the Colorado Rapids came from behind to tie the Columbus Crew 1-1 on the road in an important match between the two playoff hopefuls.
(To view video highlights from this match click here.)

The two teams remain tied for the final MLS playoff spot but the Rapids own the tiebreaker due to their better goal differential.

Casey had the first opportunity of the game in the eighth minute. The Denver South HS product flicked the ball to himself over defender Frankie Hejduk and uncorked a shot from the top of the penalty area that Will Hesmer had no choice but to knock out for a corner kick.

Eddie Gaven got behind the Rapids' defense in the 13th minute and attempted to flick the ball over Bouna Coundoul but the shot went over the crossbar.

In the 18th minute Colin Clark took a pass from Jovan Kirovski and sped through the penalty area where he was up-ended by Hesmer. Referee Tim Wayland judged the ball too far from the Fort Collins native to award a penalty kick.

Casey had another opportunity in the 20th minute. Mike Petke sprung him behind the defense but his shot traveled wide of the Crew goal.

Columbus opened the scoring in first half stoppage time when Gaven snuck past the Rapids' defense received a pass from Stefani Miglioranzi and put his shot under an onrushing Bouna Coundoul. The goal was the first Coundoul and the Rapids defense had given up in 374 minutes of action.

Coundoul did extremely well to deflect a Jacob Thomas shot in the 67th minute. Alejandro Moreno hit the goalpost on a breakaway and just when Thomas thought he had a wide open net Coundoul came across to get a piece of the shot and deflect it out.

Mehdi Ballouchy had another scoring opportunity for the Rapids in the 75th minute. A Kirovski free kick bounced out to the Moroccan who caught the ball as it fell but his shot was deflected and Facundo Erpen was just too far away to knock it in.

The Crew were lucky to have not given up a penalty in the 80th minute. Ballouchy sent in a left-footed cross and Hejduk gave Jacob Peterson a two-handed shove in the back at the top of the goal box. The U.S. National Team player got away with it as referee Tim Weyland looked the other way.

Colorado got their equalizer in the 84th minute. Substitute Herculez Gomez lofted a ball to Ballouchy and the former Colorado Rapids U-23 player then picked out Casey in the box who headed home powerfully for his second goal of the season.

The Rapids remain on the road as they travel to Los Angeles to take on the Galaxy at the HomeDepotCenter on Saturday Sept. 8 in an 8:30 p.m. MT kickoff. The game will be broadcast exclusively by Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Sports en Espanol.

Scoring Summary:

CLB – Gaven (Miglioranzi) 46+

COL – Casey (Ballouchy Gomez) 84

Lineups:

Colorado Rapids –Bouna Condoul Facundo Erpen Ugo Ihemelu Mike Petke Brandon Prideaux Mehdi Ballouchy (Nicolas Hernadez 91+) Tony Sanneh Pablo Mastroeni (Herculez Gomez 47) Colin Clark (Jacob Peterson 71) Conor Casey Jovan Kirovski

Substitutes not used: Zach Thornton Omar Cummings Jose Cancela Daniel Osorno

Columbus Crew – Will Hesmer Frankie Hejduk Ezra Hendrickson Rusty Pierce Stefani Miglioranzi Guillermo Barros Schelotto Danny O’Rourke Duncun Oughton Ned Grabavoy (Jacob Thomas 65) Eddie Gaven Alejandro Moreno (Andy Herron 74)

Substitutes not used: Andy Grenebaum Tim Ward Jason Garey Robbie Rogers Ricardo Virtuoso

Misconduct Summary:
COL – Erpen (Caution) 26

COL – Casey (Caution) 49

COL – Ihemelu (Caution) 63

CLB – Oughton (Caution) 88

COL – Ballouchy (Caution) 88

Referee: Tim Weyland

Referees Assts.: Rob Fereday Craig Lowry

Fourth Official: Mikael Lundqvist