COMMERCE CITY, COLO. - Conor Casey converted twice from the penalty kick spot as the Colorado Rapids registered a comfortable 3-1 victory over visiting Toronto FC at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on Sunday.
TFC, which was playing their second match in three days, also scored on a PK as Dwayne De Rosario momentarily equalized the score in the second half.
Referee Ricardo Salazar sanctioned a total of three penalty kicks on the afternoon. The PK fest began in the 23rd minute after Casey converted a controversial penalty awarded for a hand ball in the box by Toronto defender Adrian Cann. Casey stepped up to give the Rapids a 1-0 lead in an otherwise uneventful first half. (Click here to see Casey's first penalty kick).
Just 12 minutes after the break, TFC left midfielder Sam Cronin found himself open on the left side of the box and was brought down in a reckless challenge by Rapids goalkeeper Matt Pickens. De Rosario drew the visitors level from the spot with his fourth goal of the campaign.
The Toronto equalizer rattled the Rapids, who had largely controlled the game up to that point. It wasn’t until Jeff Larentowicz scored from a free kick in the 70th minute that calm was restored for the home side. (Click here to see Larentowicz free kick).
Second half substitute Wells Thompson, who notched both goals in the midweek U.S. Open Cup win over Kansas City, made a nice run to win the set piece near the left corner of the penalty area. Toronto FC Designated Player Julian de Guzman inexplicably jumped out of the TFC defensive wall, allowing Larentowicz with an easy opening to beat TFC goalkeeper Stefan Frei, who remained rooted to the spot.
The game closed with a handful of scoring opportunities, but the Rapids controlled the remainder of the proceedings with Toronto barely able to get the ball into the Colorado half.
Casey’s second penalty kick in the 85th minute, awarded after he was hauled down by TFC defender Maksim Usanov, proved icing on the cake for the home side. (Click here to see Casey's second penalty kick).
The two PK conversions lifted Casey to third place on the all-time Rapids scoring list and gave him three goals on the season, all coming from the spot.
COLORADO RAPIDS: Matt Pickens, Kosuke Kimura, Marvell Wynne, Drew Moor, Danny Earls (Scott Palguta 81), Jeff Larentowicz, Pablo Mastroeni, Jamie Smith (Wells Thompson 57), Colin Clark (Quincy Amarikawa 67), Omar Cummings, Conor Casey.
Subs not used: Andre Akpan, Ian Joyce (GK), Mehdi Ballouchy, Ross LaBaeux
TORONTO FC: Stefan Frei, Maksim Usanov, Nana Attakora, Adrian Cann, Ty Harden, Sam Cronin, Julian de Guzman, Martin Saric (Dan Gargan 79), Nick LaBrocca (Jacob Peterson 60), Chad Barrett (O’Brian White 65), Dwayne De Rosario.
Subs not used: Jon Conway (GK), Nick Garcia, Nane Joseph, Raivis Hscanovics