Rapids Gain Valuable Road Point With 2-2 Draw vs. Real Salt Lake

SALT LAKE CITY (Saturday May 27)- The Colorado Rapids earned a valuable road point today as they and Real Salt Lake battled to a 2-2 tie in an entertaining match played at Rice Eccles Stadium.

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

The first scoring opportunity of the day came in the 10th minute when midfielder Terry Cooke sent an outswinging cross in to the heart of Salt Lake’s penalty area. The dangerous ball was met by an onrushing Clint Mathis whose header went sailing over the crossbar.

The second chance of the day came in the 12th minute when a free kick was awarded to the Rapids outside of the penalty area. Dedi Ben-Dayan took charge of the situation but his 20-yard shot sailed over the crossbar as well.

A constant drizzle fell over the city of Salt Lake the entire day making the artificial turf playing surface extremely fast and the ball difficult to control.

A header inside of the Rapids' penalty area in the 23rd minute by Willis Forko was the first scoring opportunity for the home team.

Another header inside of the penalty area this time by Jason Kreis in the 30th minute came close to opening the scoring for RSL but his header went flying over the crossbar.

Jovan Kirovski finally scored the first goal in the 34th minute when he netted his fifth goal of the season. A 35-yard shot by Mathis was denied by goalkeeper Scott Garlick who sent the ball out for a corner kick. Mathis played a short ball from the corner to Eric Denton who dummied the pass and unleashed a powerful shot on goal. Garlick deflected the shot but was unable to control the rebound. The loose ball was ricocheting dangrously around the box before Kirovski finally banged it once off the post and then pushed his own rebound into the back of the net.

Real Salt Lake equalized in the 74th minute when Jeff Cunningham converted on a controversial penalty kick. Salt Lake was awarded the penalty when referee Colin Tait judged Mike Petke to have handled the ball inside the Rapids' penalty area but video replays showed Petke was well outside of the eighteen yard box when the ball bounced off his arm.

The Rapids regained the lead when Daniel Wasson scored the first goal of his professional career in the 85th minute. The Colorado Springs native had come into the game just five minutes earlier and was left wide open on a corner kick. Wasson sprung above all RSL defenders and masterfully headed the ball down and into the back of the net from the top of Garlick’s goal box. The assist was from Cooke and it was his league-leading fifth of the season.

The game was tied again in the 88th minute when Kreis got onto the end of a flicked ball from Cunningham and slid to get a touch on the ball to slip it under a charging Bouna Coundoul.

Colorado will be back on the pitch for their first home game in 25 days when they take on the Los Angeles Galaxy at 7:30 p.m. at INVESCO Field at Mile High this Wednesday night May 31st. The Rapids beat the Galaxy 1-0 at the Home Depot Center on May 20.

Scoring Summary:
COL – Kirovski 34
RSL – Cunningham 74 (penalty kick)
COL – Wasson 84 (Cooke)
RSL – Kreis 88 (Cunningham Klein)

LINEUPS:

Colorado Rapids- Bouna Coundoul Eric Denton Mike Petke Chris Wingert Hunter Freeman Dedi Ben-Dayan (Fabrice Noel 65) Kyle Beckerman Terry Cooke Jacob Peterson Clint Mathis (Daniel Wasson 80) Jovan Kirovski

Real Salt Lake- Scott Garlick Nelson Akwari (Andy Williams 69) Carey Talley Daniel Torres Jason Kreis Mehdi Ballouchy Atiba Harris Kenny Cutler (Jeff Cunningham 46) Willis Forko Chris Klein Kevin Novak

Misconduct summary:
COL -- Dedi Ben-Dayan (caution; Dissent) 15
RSL -- Atiba Harris (caution; Tackle from Behind) 54
RSL -- Jeff Cunningham (caution; Delaying a Restart) 67
RSL -- Atiba Harris (ejection; Second Caution) 82
COL -- Hunter Freeman (caution; Dissent) 89
RSL -- Andy Williams (caution; Dissent) 89
COL -- Bouna Coundoul (caution; Interference (GK or Throw-in)) 92+