(To view video highlights from this match CLICK HERE).
Nicolas Hernandez put the Rapids on the board in the 13th minute when Terry Cooke whipped in a corner kick that a wide open Hernandez headed home for his third goal of the season. The play was started when Jovan Kirovski played a long ball across the field for Cooke who won the corner kick.
The assist was Cooke’s league-leading seventh of the season.
Just a minute after the goal the game was delayed 50 minutes because of lightning strikes close to the stadium. Fans took shelter on the concourses and under the awnings as a powerful thunderstorm rocked the Denver metro area. However the storm passed and the game was resumed much to the enthusiasm of the thousands of fans who braved the elements.
New England equalized in the 26th minute when Andy Dorman played a ball to Clint Dempsey. Dempsey slid to just get a touch over Joe Cannon.
Cooke was looking for his first goal of the year in the 32nd minute. Kirovski back-heeled a ball to the Englishman but Cooke’s shot was blocked by a defender before it could get on goal.
In the 40th minute Kyle Beckerman’s attempt to score his third goal of the year was stopped by New England goalie Matt Reis.
Just over a minute into first half stoppage time Cooke and Hernandez played a give-and-go while Beckerman ran toward goal. Beckerman gladly took a great servies and avoided an outstretched Jay Heaps to take control of the ball into the box. He then held the ball an extra second while Reis committed before expertly slotting the ball into the net to send the crowd into hysterics going into halftime.
Hernandez put his second ball into the back of the net in the 69th minute. The Rapids fought hard to control the ball near the left side of the Revolution’s penalty area. Kirovski played a ball to substitute Jacob Peterson who turned and found Hernandez at the top of the box. The Argentine took a strong shot that hit off the underside of the crossbar and into the goal for his second goal on the night.
The Rapids gave up a goal in second half stoppage time as Heaps played a ball across the field to Dorman who played it back to Taylor Twellman. Twellman headed the ball into Joe Cannon’s net just as Cannon was diving out and the resulting collision incapacitated Twellman who had to be stretchered off the field and was unable to finish out the match.
However it was too little too late for New England and the Rapids' Independence Day magic was too much for them to overcome as the home side kept the pressure up through stoppage time and emerged victorious for the 10th time in 11 all-time games played on July 4.
Colorado will be back on the INVESCO Field pitch this Saturday July 8 when they take on the Kansas City Wizards.
Colorado Rapids Man of the Match: Nicolas Hernandez
COL – Hernandez (Cooke) 13
NE – Dempsey (Dorman) 26
COL – Beckerman (Hernandez Cooke) 45+
COL – Hernandez (Peterson Kirovski) 69
NE – Twellman (Dorman) 90+
Colorado Rapids – Joe Cannon Hunter Freeman Mike Petke Terry Cooke (Dan Gargan 89) Kyle Beckerman Dedi Ben-Dayan (Jacob Peterson 65) Pablo Mastroeni Eric Denton Nicolas Hernandez (Clint Mathis 78) Jovan Kirovski
Substitutes Not Used: Bouna Coundoul Fabrice Noel Thiago Martins Chris Wingert
New England: Matt Reis Jay Heaps Michael Parkhurst James Riley Andy Dorman Steve Ralston Shalrie Joseph Jeff Larentowicz Tony Lochhead (Jose Cancela 67) Clint Dempsey Taylor Twellman (Willie Sims 90)
Substitutes Not Used: T.J. Tomasso Kyle Brown Ryan Latham Jani Galik Danny Wynn
NE – Heaps (Caution) 20
Referee: Ramon Hernandez
Referee's Assts: Craig Lowery Joe Ellis
4th Official: Ben Chouaf
Weather: Heavy thunderstorms windy & lightning