(To view video highlights from this match CLICK HERE).
The Rapids claimed the first scoring chance of the night in the 21st minute when Alain Nkong streaked down the right sideline turned the corner on his man and crossed the ball to Jovan Kirovski. Kirovski took a touch to his right and unleashed a shot that was stopped by a defender before it could get on goal.
FC Dallas ‘keeper Scott Garlick was forced to make his first save of the match in the 36th minute when he drove to his left to stop a 20-yard attempt from Nkong.
Less than a minute later Joe Cannon made his first save on the other end of the field when he easily corralled a Ramon Nunez shot from just inside the penalty area.
Despite holding the majority of the chances and possession in the first half the Rapids entered the locker room at halftime with the score knotted at 0-0.
As part of a special halftime presentation the Rapids unveiled the club's 2005 Individual Player Awards with the nine award winning players giving special thank you messages to the crowd. For the full details on this story as well as the names of the winning players CLICK HERE.
Colorado picked up the intensity in the start of second half as Terry Cooke’s shot in the 47th minute from the right flank went just outside of the right post.
Dedi Ben-Dayan had a good chance but saw his shot dribble just outside of the far post in the 55th minute.
A couple of headers in the 59th minute by Jean Philippe Peguero should have given the Rapids a penalty kick. The Haitian’s first header popped the ball into the air. When he went up for the second he hit the ball and then was completely leveled by Garlick. However the referee did not reach for his whistle despite the shower of boos raining down from the fans.
A short corner in the 73rd minute produced the most dangerous chance for the Rapids when Cooke sent a shot from just outside the 18 toward the upper 90 of Garlick’s goal. Only a sprawling tap over the crossbar by the ex-Rapids keeper kept the game level.
Garlick turned the Rapids away again in the 87th minute when Eric Denton’s cross found the head of a diving Ben-Dayan. The Israeli’s header was nearly in the net and the crowd on their feet in anticipation of the matchwinner when Garlick flew across the goal to somehow keep the game scoreless.
The Rapids and FC Dallas will next do battle again in the return leg of the Western Conference Semifinals this Saturday October 29 2005 at 6:30 MT at Pizza Hut Park to decide who moves on to the Conference Finals. This match will be broadcast live on CET Comcast Entertainment Television Channel 5 in Denver.
Colorado Rapids vs. FC Dallas
Invesco Field at Mile High
Western Conference Semifinal Game 1
Colorado Rapids Man of the Match: Pablo Mastroeni
Scoring Summary: None
FC Dallas – Scott Garlick Clarence Goodson Steve Jolley Greg Vanney Chris Gbandi Bobby Rhine (Drew Moor 81) Mark Wilson (Carey Talley 66) Simo Valakari Ronnie O’Brien Ramon Nunez Roberto Mina (Carlos Ruiz 65)
Substitutes Not Used: Dario Sala Oscar Pareja
Colorado Rapids – Joe Cannon Mike Petke Leo Cullen (Jeff Cunningham 70) Eric Denton Pablo Mastroeni Terry Cooke Kyle Beckerman Alain Nkong Dedi Ben-Dayan Jean Philippe Peguero Jovan Kirovski.
Substitutes Not Used: Byron Foss Fabrice Noel Sasha Gotmanov Luchi Gonzalez Diego Serna Hunter Freeman Ritchie Kotschau Dan Gargan.
COL -- Kyle Beckerman (caution; Tackle from Behind) 29
FCD -- Steve Jolley (caution; Reckless Foul) 65
FCD -- Ronnie O'Brien (caution; Reckless Foul) 74
Referee: Michael Kennedy
Referee's Assistants: Chris Strickland; Fabio Tovar
4th official: Alex Prus
Weather: Partly Cloudy 58 degrees
COLORADO RAPIDS POSTGAME QUOTES
Head Coach Fernando Clavij
"They play with only one forward; they played the same way back in Dallas with five midfielders and one forward. We couldn’t find the spaces to break through. In the second half it was much better. We served the ball better but it came down to getting a result in the playoffs and we could have done it. We changed to three in the back in the second half and we went wider than we were in the first half. We were a little too tight in the first half. We played everything through the middle. When we opened up we got the crosses and numbers in the box. We had a couple of great chances. In this game you have to score to win and we were not able to (score)."
(On Nat Borchers' absence):
"He got kicked in practice on Monday and he had been in-and-out form training. We didn’t know if he was going to be available to go or not until game time. So we had to make a decision according to what was going on. We waited until this morning (to see if he was alright). We decided not to utilize him and take advantage of the depth of our roster. We are counting on him for the return leg."
(On changes that need to be made for Game 2):
"I think we are going to see a win by Colorado. If we are not able to win on the road we shouldn’t even think about going to the final because we will be on the road in the final. We need to make sure we come out and work during the week. We will go in with the intention of coming out with the three points and going to the next round."
Forward Jovan Kirovski:
"They came to defend and played everybody behind the ball and they are tough to break down anyway. We made adjustments. We got people wide and they got crosses in and created some chances. It’s the playoffs it is going to be tight it will always be a tough game. Nobody is going to come in and win 3-0 especially the way they played they played everyone behind the ball. We still have a chance. I think there will one (chance for the Rapids) if that and we need to capitalize."
Midfielder Kyle Beckerman:
"Nothing new we need to continue doing the same stuff we did this week. If we finish a couple of our opportunities then we are in the drivers seat. There is nothing to panic about. We have 90 minutes down there and it is pretty simple: if we score we win if we don’t we might still be all right but we could also be in trouble. We need to focus and put the opportunities on the back of the net."