Match Recap: Colorado 2, Chivas USA 0

Atiba Harris and Nathan Sturgis score as defense posts fifth shutout of the season

Atiba Harris congratulated by Chris Klute and Martin Rivero

Photo Credit: 
Garrett Ellwood / Colorado Rapids

COMMERCE CITY, Colo.-- It was a tale of two teams headed in two vastly different directions on Saturday night.

The Colorado Rapids’ 2-0 win over Chivas USA at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park extended their unbeaten streak to six games, while the goats slipped to their sixth loss in seven games thanks to Atiba Harris’ early goal and Nathan Sturgis’ second half insurance finish. The Rapids also extended their undefeated streak versus Chivas USA to 10 in a row (8-0-0).

The home side dominated the contest from start to finish, controlling the wide majority of chances and the tempo of the match from the first whistle.

With the victory (their third in their last five games), the Rapids moved into fourth place in the West, while Chivas fell deeper into the Western Conference basement, stuck on 11 points for the fourth consecutive match.

COMPLETE MATCHCENTER WITH HIGHLIGHTS AND POSTGAME REACtION

On a clear and breezy night in Commerce City, it didn’t take long for the Rapids to begin prying the Chivas back line. Two minutes in, Deshorn Brown’s cross into the box found Harris open in front of net, but the veteran midfielder pushed his header wide of Dan Kennedy’s goal.

But nine minutes later Harris delivered. Following a string of one-touch passes, left back Chris Klute’s pinpoint cross into the box connected with a sliding Harris, who slotted past a helpless Kennedy for the quick 1-0 lead.

Colorado controlled the majority of the chances for the rest of the half, with Brown’s 28th minute header just over the crossbar highlighting a busy 45 minutes for the home attack, while the visitors struggled in the final third against the Rapids’ stingy back line.

In the second half, Chivas gained a stronger foothold, but struggled to break down Colorado in the final third. Eric Avila’s 67th minute blast went right into the arms of Rapids ‘keeper Clint Irwin, and substitute Jose Manuel Rivera’s 76th minute shot went just wide of Irwin’s net.

OPTA Chalkboard: Rapids clinical as they convert their only two shots on goal

But even with Chivas progressively working their way into the game in the second half, the Rapids sealed the match’s fate in the 78th minute. Right back Brian Mullan’s through ball found Brown speeding down the right flank, and the rookie’s cross into the box found Sturgis open in front of net for the easy finish.

There was one potentially significant downfall for the Rapids in the victory, however. Attacking midfielder Martin Rivero was forced to come off in the 44th minute with a right foot injury – the same foot he broke in late January. The team said Rivero would be further evaluated after the game.

Chivas’ Edgar Mejia was also forced to depart in the first half as well with a left foot sprain, and the midfielder was also set to undergo further evaluation post-game.

Following a U.S. Open Cup game on Tuesday in Orlando, the Rapids stay at home as part of their three-game homestand, next hosting first place FC Dallas on Saturday, while the Goats face the LA Blues in the Open Cup before heading home to host Seattle.

Scoring Summary:

COL – Atiba Harris 2 (Deshorn Brown 3, Chris Klute 2) 11'

COL - Nathan Sturgis 2 (Deshorn Brown 4, Brian Mullan 1) 80'

Misconduct Summary:

CHV - Carlos Alvarez (caution) 40'
CHV -  Bobby Burling (caution) 44'

Colorado Rapids lineup: Clint Irwin, Brian Mullan, Marvell Wynne, Drew Moor, Chris Klute, Nathan Sturgis, Pablo Mastroeni (Kamani Hill 83'), Martin Rivero (Dillon Powers 44'), Attiba Harris (Danny Mwanga 73'), Deshorn Brown, Edson Buddle

Substitutes not used: Steward Ceus, Anthony Wallace, Tony Cascio, German Mera

Chivas USA lineup: Dan Kennedy, Jorge Villafana, Mario de Luna, Carlos Borja, Bobby Burling, Eric Avila, Edgar Mejia (Oswaldo Minda 37’), Carlos Alvarez, Josue Soto, Jose Correa (José Manuel Rivera 73’), Gabriel Farfan (Marvin Iraheta 59’)

Substitutes not used: Patrick McLain, Giovani Casillas, Aaron Ponce, Joaquin Velazquez

Referee: Allen Chapman
Attendance: 18,204

Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.

MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match

Rank Player What We Saw
1 Deshorn Brown He's still a rookie, but Brown showed multiple facets of his still-developing game, and gave Chivas fits all night
2 Drew Moor Chivas' attack may be sputtering, but Moor was able to neutralize developing plays before they could become chances
3 Atiba Harris Harris is quietly enjoying a career resurgence in Colorado, by maximizing his offensive contributions and limiting his defensive liabilities