KANSAS CITY - The Colorado Rapids dropped a 1-0 decision to the Kansas City Wizards on the road on Saturday night. Kansas City's Kei Kamara flicked in a header from a freekick over Rapids goalkeeper Matt Pickens in the 48th minute for the game's lone goal. Click here to watch highlights from the game.
The result moves the Wizards to 2-0-0, while the Rapids fall to 1-1-1 on four points.
Hampered the last two weeks by an ankle injury suffered against D.C. United, KC's Ryan Smith showed no signs of rustiness in the early going. The winger nearly created a handful of goals in the first 10 minutes alone. Smith blew past Kosuke Kimura just two minutes in to deliver a low ball across the six-yard box that was knocked out for a corner kick.
Five minutes later, Smith split two defenders in the midfield and attempted an audacious chip from nearly 40 yards that Colorado goalkeeper Matt Pickens acrobatically tipped over the crossbar.
In the 9th minute Colorado escaped a possible penalty kick when Marvell Wynne bowled Smith over in the penalty area, but the referee waved off Kansas City’s appeals.
Colorado were unlucky not to score in the 25th minute when a long throw dropped to Cummings, who fired a half volley that goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen deflected out for a corner with his head.
Colorado should have gone ahead in first-half stoppage time when Cummings found Medhi Ballouchy unmarked in the area. But the Moroccan midfielder blazed his right-footed shot over the bar.
That miss would look even worse three minutes into the second half when Kamara gave the Wizards the lead. Colorado committed a foul 35 yards from goal and Smith sent a looping ball into the area. Kamara outjumped the crowd and flicked the ball over the outstretched arms of Rapids ’keeper Matt Pickens for his second goal of the season.
Clark came close to pulling the Rapids even in the 60th minute when he shrugged off a challenge from Michael Harrington to put himself in on goal, but Nielsen blocked his low drive to preserve the lead.
The Rapids didn’t have time to catch their breath though as Kansas City came right back and created yet another chance. Jack Jewsbury was played through alone behind the defense, but the Pickens was able to get an outstretched mitt on Jewsbury’s shot.
Rapids manager Gary Smith brought on Jamie Smith and Wells Thompson after the 60th minute, and the moves nearly helped Colorado even the match when Cummings and Casey combined in the penalty area. The ball ended up in the back of the net, but the sideline official had his flag raised for offside.
That’s when things went from bad to worse for the visitors as defender Julien Baudet was given a straight red card for a reckless challenge on Kamara in the 72nd minute. Ultimately, the call made no difference either way, as Kansas City played out the rest of the match, content in a second straight home victory.
The teams will meet again on Tuesday, April 13 in a qualifying match for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
KC - Kei Kamara 2 (Ryan Smith 2) 48th
KC - Kei Kamara (Caution) 39
COL - Julien Baudet (Caution) 43
COL - Pablo Mastroeni (Caution) 44
KC - Ryan Smith (Caution) 45
COL - Julien Baudet (Ejection) 72
COLORADO RAPIDS: Matt Pickens, Kosuke Kimura (Quincy Amarikwa 82), Julien Baudet, Marvell Wynne, Drew Moor, Mehdi Ballouchy (Jamie Smith 62), Pablo Mastroeni, Jeff Larentowicz, Colin Clark (Wells Thompson 69), Omar Cummings, Conor Casey.
Unused Subs: Steward Ceus, Scott Palguta, Danny Earls, Ross LaBauex
KANSAS CITY WIZARDS: Jimmy Nielsen, Michael Harrington, Jimmy Conrad, Matt Besler, Roger Espinosa, Jack Jewsbury (Craig Rocastle 81), Stephane Auvray, Davy Arnaud, Kei Kamara, Josh Wolff (Chance Myers 70), Ryan Smith (Teal Bunbury 76)
Unused Subs: Kronberg, Jonathan Leathers, Escobar, Aiyegbusi