Rapids Handily Defeat League-Leading Revolution

DENVER CO (August 17 2005) - The Colorado Rapids defeated the top team in MLS the New England Revolution 2-0 on Wednesday night at INVESCO Field at Mile High.

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

The Revolution had the first scoring opportunity of the game off of a free kick in the 6th minute. Joe Franchino took the kick from about 25 yards out and Joe Cannon dove to his left to punch the ball away.

Kyle Beckerman almost scored for the Rapids in the 9th minute when a corner kick was not properly cleared. He one-timed the ball that Revolution 'keeper Matt Reis was forced to drop to his knees to save.

Cannon came up huge again in the 30th minute when he smothered a low shot from Revs forward Clint Dempsey that was heading towards his far post.

A dangerous cross from Terry Cooke almost led to the first goal of the match in the 35th minute. The cross found the head of Alain Nkong whose rocket of a header barely cleared the New England crossbar.

Despite numerous scoring chances for the Rapids both teams entered the locker rooms at halftime with the score knotted at 0-0.

Just after entering the match after halftime and in his first game for the Rapids since June 25 Pablo Mastroeni came close to scoring his second goal of the season in the 47th minute when he buried a rebound into the chest of Reis.

Just before being substituted out of the game Luchi Gonzalez found himself alone in Revolution penalty area bearing down on the near post but his shot went just outside the post.

In the 61st minute a low shot by Nkong was saved by Reis and the rebound was cleared out for a corner. The corner kick was headed across the box by Mike Petke to Pedro Peguero whose header was stopped by Reis.

Great hustle by Cooke led to the Rapids' next scoring chance. He outhustled Franchino for the ball and played a cross to Peguero who headed the ball just over the net.

Reis who was constantly bombarded in the second half by the Rapids attack somehow stopped another Peguero header in the 73rd minute that was headed towards the back of the Revolution goal.

Fabrice Noel in only his second Rapids appearance only minutes later played a beautiful ball to Nkong whose header pinballed around the goal box before Reis pounced on the ball.

The Rapids' pressure finally paid dividends in the 78th minute when new signing David Ben Dayan played a ball into the box to Eric Denton who dropped the ball back to Nkong. Nkong hit a powerful rocket from about 20 yards out and his MLS Goal of the Week candidate blasted past Reis sending the home crowd into convulsions.

Noel drew the first penalty kick of his young career in the 83rd minute when he beat the Revs' defense and wound up in a one-on-one with Reis. The Revs goalkeeper did not even try to play the ball and took Noel out with a powerful chest challenge. Reis received a red card on the play and spent the rest of the game in the locker room. Backup Revs 'keeper Doug Warren came in for his first minutes in a league match this season and his first touch was picking the ball out of the back of the net as Peguero sent him the wrong way as he converted from the penalty spot giving the 2-0 Rapids lead.

The Rapids will not return to MLS action until Sept. 3 when they host defending champions DC United at 7 p.m. at Invesco Field on the Rapids' Military Appreciation Night which will also feature a complimentary postgame fireworks show. In the interim Colorado will take on United in the annual Hall of Fame Game exhibition match in Oneonta NY on Monday Aug. 29 to commemorate the hall of fame inductions of Marcelo Balboa and Fernando Clavijo.

Colorado Rapids Man of the Match: Alain Nkong

Scoring Summary:
COL -- Alain Nkong 5 (Eric Denton 3 David Ben Dayan 1) 78
COL -- Jean Philippe Peguero 5 (penalty kick) 86

LINEUPS:

Colorado Rapids -- Joe Cannon Hunter Freeman (Pablo Mastroeni 46) Nat Borchers Mike Petke Ritchie Kotschau Terry Cooke (David Ben Dayan 70) Kyle Beckerman Alain Nkong Eric Denton Luchi Gonzalez (Fabrice Noel 57) Jean Philippe Peguero.

Substitutes Not Used: Leo Cullen Byron Foss Dan Gargan Wolde Harris Ricky Lewis Guy Melamed.

TOTAL SHOTS: 18 (Alain Nkong 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 8 (Alain Nkong 3 Jean Philippe Peguero 3); FOULS: 12 (Jean Philippe Peguero 3); OFFSIDES: 4 (Jean Philippe Peguero 2); CORNER KICKS: 2 (Terry Cooke 2); SAVES: 2 (Joe Cannon 2)

New England Revolution -- Matt Reis Jay Heaps Michael Parkhurst Joe Franchino James Riley Andy Dorman Daniel Hernandez (Khano Smith 71) Shalrie Joseph Marshall Leonard (Luke Vercollone 83) Clint Dempsey Jose Cancela (Doug Warren 84).

Substitutes Not Used: Jeff Larentowicz Pat Noonan.

TOTAL SHOTS: 4 (Clint Dempsey 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 2 (Clint Dempsey 1 Joe Franchino 1); FOULS: 15 (Shalrie Joseph 4); OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 3 (Jose Cancela 3); SAVES: 6 (Matt Reis 5)

Misconduct Summary:
COL -- Alain Nkong (caution; Delaying a Restart) 32
NE -- Clint Dempsey (caution; Reckless Foul) 38
NE -- Shalrie Joseph (caution; Reckless Foul) 74
NE -- Matt Reis (ejection; Serious Foul Play) 83

Referee: Alex Prus
Referee's Assistants: George Gansner; Jose Corro
4th Official: Scott McCaslin
Attendance: 6881
Time of Game: 1:52
Weather: Clear-and-81-degrees