Rapids Defeat Galaxy Take 3 Points From Western Conference Foe

DENVER CO – (August 6 2005) - The Colorado Rapids defeated the Los Angeles Galaxy 2-0 Saturday night at INVESCO Field at Mile High behind goals from Jeff Cunnungham and Jean-Philippe Peguero and strong goalkeeping from Joe Cannon who recorded his fifth shutout on the season.

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

The first chance of the game came from the feet of Colorado midfielder Alain Nkong. Early on Nkong collected the ball in the LA penalty area and shot for the far post but Kevin Hartman made a diving save to keep the game scoreless.

Jeff Cunningham put the Rapids on the board in the seventh minute when Terry Cooke faked a cross and dribbled towards goal and pushed a pass into the path of Cunningham. The Jamaican- born Cunningham stalled for a moment just outside the goal box but recovered and hit the ball strongly into the far side of the goal for his 11th goal on the season. The Rapids' hitman continues to lead all players in Major League Soccer in goals scored.

In the 24th minute the Galaxy got their first scoring opportunity when Herculez Gomez received a ball at the top of the top of the box and unleashed a shot that sailed over Joe cannon’s crossbar.

Cunningham nearly had his second of the night in the 27th minute when he one-timed a cross that went off the far post and was cleared out of danger.

Jean-Philippe Peguero put the Rapids up by two with a great individual effort in the 30th minute with his third goal of the year. Peguero received the ball near the midfield line and beat one Galaxy defender with a step-over and then outraced two others before striking the ball which snuck under Hartman.

Two minutes from halftime Landon Donavon was given a long ball that he possessed and then beat two Rapids defenders only to have a sliding Ritchie Kotschau cut him off and clear the ball on a fantastic defensive play that sent the Rapids into the locker room at halftime up 2-0.

After a lackluster opening 20 minutes of the second half Cannon had to come up big as a Los Angeles corner came in front of his goal but he alertly punched the ball down and it was cleared away by the Colorado defense.

Nkong had a couple of chances in the 70th minute. In the first he played a give and go with Eric Denton and his shot from just outside the 18 was stopped by a diving Hartman. Just seconds late he unleashed a 30-yard blast that was stopped again by Hartman.

The Rapids are back in action this Saturday as they travel to Spartan Stadium to take on the San Jose Earthquakes for the fourth and final time this season. The game will be shown live on Altitude Sports and Entertainment with kickoff scheduled for 8 p.m. MT and coverage starting at 7:30.

Colorado Rapids vs. LA Galaxy
Sat. Aug. 6 at Invesco Field

Colorado Rapids Man of the Match: Jeff Cunningham

LINEUPS:
COL –(4-4-2)- Joe Cannon Hunter Freeman Mike Petke (Dan Gargan 80) Nat Borchers Richie Kotschau Terry Cooke Kyle Beckerman Alain Nkong Eric Denton Jean-Philippe Peguero (Guy Melamed 90) Jeff Cunningham (Luchi Gonzalez 73)
Substitutes not used: Bryon Foss Ricky Lewis Leo Cullen Fabrice Noel Sasha Gotsmanov Wolde Harris

TOTAL SHOTS: 11 (Jeff Cunningham 3 Alain Nkong 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 8 (Alain Nkong 3); FOULS: 15 (Mike Petke 3); OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 3 (Eric Denton 2); SAVES: 1 (Joe Cannon 1)

LA – (4-3-3)- Kevin Hartman Chris Albright Troy Roberts (Michael Umana 46) Ugo Ihemelu Todd Dunivant Peter Vagenas Paulo Nagamura (Guillermo Ramierz 46) Cobi Jones Jovan Kirovski Herculez Gomez (Joseph Ngwenya 66) Landon Donovan
Substitutes not used: Steve Cronin Michael Enfield.

TOTAL SHOTS: 6 (Landon Donovan 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 1 (Landon Donovan 1); FOULS: 6 (Ugo Ihemelu 3); OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 4 (Landon Donovan 3); SAVES: 6 (Kevin Hartman 6)

SCORING:
COL – Cunningham (Cooke) 7' Peguero (unassisted) 30'
LA – None

MISCONDUCT SUMMARY:
LA -- Paulo Nagamura (caution; Reckless Foul) 5'
COL -- Jeff Cunningham (caution; Game Disrepute) 7'
COL -- Nat Borchers (caution; Reckless Foul) 26'
LA -- Guillermo Ramirez (caution; Reckless Foul) 73

Referee: Erich Simmons
Referee's Assistants: Robert Fereday; Greg Barkey
4th Official: Ben Chouaf
Attendance: 14714
Time of Game: 1:52
Weather: Clear-and-94-degrees