Two first half goals leads to home tie
COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – The scoring was all Colorado Saturday, with Dallas taking the early lead on a Rapids own goal off Julien Baudet in the 22nd minute. Colorado responded quickly, however, earning the equalizer on a penalty kick four minutes later.
Despite not dominating possession through the first half, Dallas struck first with a 22nd-minute goal on a pass from Jair Benitez from the left wing. His pass was headed for Atiba Harris in front of the net, but it glanced off Baudet and past ‘keeper Matt Pickens to give Dallas the advantage.
The resilient Rapids responded by pressuring Dallas’ back third, earning a penalty on a handball from Harris. With Conor Casey a late scratch, Mehdi Ballouchy took the penalty kick, blasting his shot into the upper left corner as goalkeeper Kevin Hartman guessed wrong and dove to the right.
Colorado’s lineup had significant changes compared to previous weeks. Jeff Larentowicz, who played in the MLS All-Star game midweek, began on the bench and was replaced by Jamie Smith. Omar Cummings pushed up to the lone striker role as Casey was given the game off for precautionary reasons following his hit to the head in the Seattle game last week. Left back Danny Earls was unavailable after sustaining a tweaked groin at Friday’s practice and was replaced by Kosuke Kimura, who made his first career start at left back.
Each goalkeeper made good saves to keep the game tied. First Dallas keeper Kevin Hartman tipped over a Jamie Smith freekick in the 43rd minute. In the second half, Colorado's Matt Pickens made a fine foot save off a David Ferreira shot from close range.
Dallas adapted well in the second half, claiming increased possession, but they were unable to create any strong chances to threaten Pickens in the net. Former Rapid Ugo Ihemelu had one of Dallas’ best chances in front of the net late in the second half, but was stopped by former Dallas defender Drew Moor.
The Rapids remained dangerous, however, with Marvell Wynne making a run down the right side on a feed from Jamie Smith, then chipping the ball into Omar Cummings, who just missed getting his head on the ball in front of the net.
Colin Clark followed with a one-on-one opportunity against Hartman, but he was unable to get a clean shot off. Clark later took a direct kick in the 78th minute, finding Moor, who headed the ball from close range. The FCD 'keeper, however, managed to tip the ball over the crossbar.
The draw extended a streak for each team, with Dallas pushing its unbeaten run to seven and Colorado completing its last seven matches without a win.
DAL – Own goal (Julien Baudet) 22
COL – Mehdi Ballouchy 3 (penalty kick) 26
DAL – Marvin Chavez (caution; Tactical Foul) 77
Colorado Rapids -- Matt Pickens, Marvell Wynne, Julien Baudet, Drew Moor, Kosuke Kimura, Pablo Mastroeni, Jamie Smith, Mehdi Ballouchy (Quincy Amarikwa 73), Colin Clark (Claudio Lopez 83), Wells Thompson (Jeff Larentowicz 63), Omar Cummings
Substitutes Not Used: Scott Palguta, Ian Joyce, Ross LaBauex, Anthony Wallace
FC Dallas – Kevin Hartman, Heath Pearce, Ugo Ihemelu, George John, Jair Benitez, Brek Shea, Daniel Hernandez, Eric Alexander (Bruno Guarda 79), Milton Rodriguez (Jeff Cunningham 65), David Ferreira, Atiba Harris (Marvin Chavez 55)
Substitutes Not Used: Josh Lambo, Eric Avila, Kyle Davies, Zach Loyd
Referee: Alex Prus; Referee's Assistants: --; --; 4th Official: --
Weather: Clear and 85 degrees