Rapids Come From Behind to Draw Chivas

COMMERCE CITY CO (Sunday September 16 2007) - The Colorado Rapids were reduced to ten men early on today but came from behind to take a point from Chivas USA in a hard fought 1-1 draw that saw a 42-minute lightning delay at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
(To view video highlights from this match click here.)

The Rapids bombarded Brad Guzan’s goal right out of the gates.In the second minute Colin Clark played a cross into the area and onto the head of Jovan Kirovski.Kirovski put a great effort on goal only to be saved by a diving Guzan.Mehdi Ballouchy chased down the rebound.Hot off scoring his first goal in a Rapids uniform last game the Moroccan midfielder was eager to score again.His effort from the left side of the six-yard box beat the ‘keeper but not the crossbar as it slammed off the wordwork and sailed across the area to Terry Cooke.The Englishman sent his shot into the side netting from a tight angle capping the hectic series of events.

Cooke’s next effort was on goal.In the sixth minute the winger took a rare header off a Clark cross only to be saved by a stellar diving effort from Guzan.

The Rapids sustained a blow in the 12th minute when Laurent Merlin broke away from the defense and was bearing down on goal.Facundo Erpen was able to chase Merlin down but as soon as he reached out Merlin went to ground.The referee called the foul and because Erpen was the last defender he received a red card.Sacha Kljestan converted the resulting penalty in the 13th minute.

In the 35th minute Kirovski was fouled 25 yards from goal.Kirovski stepped up and took the resulting free kick.His effort went through the wall but just wide of the left goal post.

A man down the Rapids continued to dominate play in the first half.Clark took a free kick from just outside the box and crossed it to a waiting Kirovski.Though he did well to get his head to it Kirovski saw this effort go just inches wide in the same spot as his last shot.

The game was stuck in midfield at the beginning of the second half with the first real opportunity coming when Francisco Mendoza played a through ball to Merlin at the top of the 18.The Chivas striker unleashed a long-range shot that forced Coundoul into action but the sure-handed Senegalese ‘keeper was up to the task.

In the 72nd minute lightning was detected within six miles of Dick’s SportingGoodsPark and the game was delayed for 42 minutes.

The Rapids broke through in the 76th minute to score the equalizer.Casey was the spark as he received a ball from Cooke in free space on the right side and held the ball up until his team caught up with him.The Denver South graduate slid the ball across the top of the 18 to Clark who chipped the ball into the box and followed it up with an acrobatic finish for his second goal of the season.

Chivas missed an outstanding opportunity in the 81st minute.After a free kick from Jose Cancela Guzan cleared the ball into space for Maykel Galindo.Galindo streaked down the field with Anthony Hamilton in a two-on-one with only Ugo Ihemelu defending.Galindo slipped a clever pass through Ihemelu’s legs only to see it sent wide by Hamilton.

There was some late controversy soon after when Casey received the ball on the left beat two Chivas defenders and was in the penalty area when he was brought down by a Chivas defender. Appeals for a penalty from Rapids players and fans fell on deaf ears as referee Richard Heron looked the other way.

The Rapids will next travel to Salt Lake City as they attempt to clinch the Rocky Mountain Cup for the third straight year this Saturday Sept. 22. The game against RealSaltLake will be televised by Fox Soccer Channel and will kick off at 7:30 p.m. at Rice Eccles Stadium.

Colorado Rapids Man of the Match: Colin Clark

Scoring Summary:

CHV – Kjlestan (penalty kick) 13

COL – Clark (Casey Cooke) 76

Lineups:

Colorado Rapids –Bouna Coundoul Tony Sanneh Ugo Ihemelu Mike Petke (Stephen Keel 23) Facundo Erpen Pablo Mastroeni Terry Cooke Jovan Kirovski (Jose Cancela 79) Colin Clark Mehdi Ballouchy (Jacob Peterson 54) Conor Casey

Substitutes not used: Zach Thornton Daniel Osorno Omar Cummings JordanHarvey

Chivas USA – Brad Guzan Lawson Vaughn (Anthony Hamilton 79) Jason Hernandez Shavar Thomas Jonathan Bornstien Jesse Marsch Sacha Kljestan Paulo Nagamura Francisco Mendoza Laurent Merlin (Maykel Galindo 68) Ramon Nunez (Alex Zotinca 63)

Substitutes not used: Preston Burpo John Cunliffe Orlando Perez Claudio Suarez

Misconduct Summary:
COL – Erpen (ejection) 14

COL – Mastroeni (caution) 41

CHV – Marsch (caution) 60

Referee: Richard Heron

Referees Assts.: Corey Rockwell; Michael Salyers

Fourth Official: Ben Chouaf

Attendance: 14503