Rookie striker Jacob Peterson scored the game's only goal in the 61st minute to land the Rapids a date with the Los Angeles Galaxy in the final eight with the game scheduled for The Home Depot Center on August 23rd.
Rapids goalkeeper Matt Jordan was given the start and was busy throughout the match getting started early. In the sixth minute Chris Klein belted a shot from 20 yards that Jordan bobbled before corralling into his arms.
Argentine striker Nicolas Hernandez got the first hard look on goal for Colorado in the 23rd minute. After receiving the ball just outside the corner of the box Hernandez sidestepped Kevin Novak to create space for a wicked shot that went over the far corner of the goal by only inches.
A few minutes later Jordan stonewalled RSL striker Jeff Cunningham from close range. Cunningham came crashing in on goal and fired a shot right into Jordan's chest.
Then just before the intermission Jordan repelled another Salt Lake shot from close range. This time it was Klein who fired from just outside the six. Jordan stepped in front of the near post to absorb the shot and bring it to safety.
Shortly after the restart Jovan Kirovski nearly put the Rapids ahead. Kirovski received the ball on his chest at the top of the box and then volleyed on frame. RSL goalkeeper Jay Nolly did well to make a one-handed diving save.
The Rapids finally broke the deadlock in the 61st minute on a strike from second half substitute Peterson. After saving an 18-yard shot from Klein Jordan distributed the ball quickly up field. On the run Clint Mathis took the ball all the way to the endline -- dragging two defenders with him.
Just before reaching the line Mathis backheeled the ball into the open space behind him. With the ball practically sitting on a platter Peterson rushed in and fired a missile over Nolly's hands.
Just three minutes later Peterson was on the break again. Set loose by a well-played ball from Mathis Peterson's strike from the top of the penalty area was stifled only with a quick save from Nolly. With just a minute left to play Jordan slapped away a hard blast from Jason Kreis. The RSL striker broke through the Colorado back line sending a blast at Jordan whose deflection sent the ball high over the sideline and into the stands.
Jordan again came up big in stoppage time as Joey Worthen redirected a shot from close range that the Colorado 'keeper dove through traffic to parry away from danger.
Real continued to press in stoppage time and Jordan continued to be sure for the Rapids in goal. Kreis unleashed a low drive from the sideline that Jordan took every inch of his frame to deflect around the post and with that last blast Real's Open Cup was over.
Colorado Rapids (1-0-0) vs. Real Salt Lake (0-1-0)
2006 US Open Cup
August 02 2006 -- Rice-Eccles Stadium
COL -- Jacob Peterson 1 (Clint Mathis ) 61
Colorado Rapids -- Matt Jordan Hunter Freeman Aitor Karanka Mike Petke Eric Denton Terry Cooke (Jacob Peterson 46) Kyle Beckerman Nicolas Hernandez Clint Mathis (Dan Gargan 84) Daniel Wasson Jovan Kirovski (Fabrice Noel 77)
Substitutes Not Used: Colin Clark Bouna Coundoul Luchi Gonzalez Stephen Keel
Real Salt Lake -- Jay Nolly Kevin Novak Nikolas Besagno (Jamie Watson 83) Jack Stewart Willis Forko Chris Klein (Chris Brown 84) Mehdi Ballouchy Andy Williams (Joey Worthen 75) Carey Talley Jeff Cunningham (Douglas Sequeira 75) Jason Kreis.
Substitutes Not Used: Kenny Cutler Chase Harrison Cameron Knowles
COL -- Nicolas Hernandez (caution; Tackle from Behind) 54
COL -- Daniel Wasson (caution; Professional Foul) 79
Referee: Ricardo Salazar
Referee's Assistants: Feliciano Palomino; Mark Oliver
4th official: Tyler Ploeger
Time of game: 1:50
Weather: Partly Cloudy -and- 92 degrees
Scott McAllister is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the Colorado Rapids Major League Soccer or its clubs.