(To view video highlights from this match CLICK HERE).
The Rapids' victory over the expansion Real Salt Lake was their 2nd of the season and puts the Black & Blue into prime position to take home the Rocky Mountain Cup trophy in its inaugural season.
Real Salt Lake scored the first goal of the game in the fourteenth minute when Robert Scarlett let loose a picture perfect cross and with a one-touch volley Clint Mathis finished the beauty for a Real goal and control of the scoreboard.
Salt Lake kept up the momentum and put the pressure on Foss with two breakaways only moments later but Foss kept his composure and stepped into place protecting his goa.
With a shift in placement and pace the Rapids responded and returned the pressure with four straight shots on goal.
The fifth shot was a fireball and the Rapids put their first goal on the board in the 38th minute. Jean Phillippe Peguero dribbled to the corner and connected on the near side with Israeli midfielder Dedi Ben-Dayan who with a first touch drilled the ball past Salt Lake ‘keeper Jay Nolly. This was Dedi’s third goal in three games.
The Rapids almost took the lead in the 52nd minute with a far corner punch off of the boot of the Jovan Kirovski but Real goalkeeper Jay Nolly beat him to the punch with a quick knock to the knuckling ball.
A quick retaliation from the Rapids kept the pressure on Real ‘keeper Nolly as Peguero put one just over the crossbar.
The Rapids forwards kept up the heat on their home turf when a one-on-one with Real keeper Jay Nolly turned into a near goal for Jovan Kirovski in the 82nd minute. Only moments later Peguero let another one rip but the Real defense deflected the ball back out to midfield. The third time was the charm though as Rapids forward Jeff Cunningham finally put in the sinker and nailed Salt Lake’s coffin shut with a one-touch shot on an assist from Jean Phillippe Peguero for the Rapids to take the lead in the 86th minute.
For Jeff Cunningham it was his 12th goal of the season keeping him in competition for the 2005 MLS Golden Boot award.
The Black and Blue will next be back in action this Wednesday October 5 at 7 p.m. at INVESCO field vs. Chivas USA; this game is also a doubleheader featuring Mexican league teams Cruz Azul and Chivas of Guadalajara.
Colorado Rapids Man of the Match: Dedi Ben-Dayan
RSL- Curtis Mathis 3 (Robert Scarlett 2) 14
COL – Dedi Ben-Dayan 3 (Jean Philippe Peguero 5) 38 COL - Jeff Cunningham 12 (Dedi Ben Dayan 2 Jean Philippe Pegureo 6)
Real Salt Lake – Jay Nolly Gustavo Cabrera Eddie Pope (Nelson Akwari 38) Brian Dunseth Chris Brown Brian Kamler (Leslie Fitzpatrick 74) Kenny Cutler Clint Mathis Robert Scarlett Jordan Cila Melvin Tarley (Jamie Watson 71).
Substitutes Not Used:
D.J. Countess Adolfo Gregrio
Colorado Rapids -- Byron Foss Eric Denton Nat Borchers Dan Gargan (Hunter Freeman 90+) Terry Cooke (Jeff Cunningham 64) Kyle Beckerman Pablo Mastroeni Alain Nkong Dedi Ben-Dayan Jovan Kirovski Jean Philippe Peguero.
Substitutes Not Used:
Bouna Coundoul Leo Cullen Ricky Lewis Fabrice Noel Mike Petke Diego Serna.
RSL – Jordan Cila (caution; Reckless Foul) 45
Referee: Mark Geiger
Referee's Assistants: Robert Fereday Corey Rockwell
4th official: Ben Chouaf
Weather: Cloudy -and- 83 degrees