The first opportunity of the night came in the 15th minute when a cross from Terry Cooke was met by Jeff Cunningham inside of FC Dallas’ penalty area. Cunningham the Rapids' leading goalscorer outjumped his marker but saw his header fly over the crossbar.
FC Dallas responded in the 19th minute when a cross by Bobby Rhine found defender Clarence Goodson diving head-first inside the Rapids penalty area. Goodson’s header sailed to the right of goalkeeper Byron Foss’ goal.
The Black and Blue threatened again in the 39th minute when another cross from Cooke found Cunningham inside of Dallas’ penalty area. Cunningham again found himself alone but his header was denied by Argentine goalkeeper Dario Sala who came up with a spectacular save.
Colorado Rapids forward Jean Philippe Peguero had a golden opportunity in the 61st minute when he cleared enough space to get a shot that went wide of Dallas’ goal. The Haitian striker danced his way around two defenders before unleashing a left-footed shot that missed Sala’s goal by just inches.
Rapids midfielder Dedi Ben-Dayan came close to scoring his fifth goal in five consecutive games in the 82nd minute. Ben-Dayan controlled a long cross from Cooke on the left side of the home team’s penalty area. With his first touch he juked his defender completely out of the play but his powerful right-footed shot was deflected by Sala’s fingertips to maintain the 0-0 tie.
The Rapids all but ensured they will finish fourth in the Western Conference and take on the San Jose Earthquakes in the opening round of the MLS Cup Playoffs. Colorado still has a chance of finishing third - which would mean a return engagement with FC Dallas. A victory at midweek against Real Salt Lake and a loss by the Galaxy to San Jose in next Saturday's season finale mean the teams will finish tied. The season series was tied between the teams meaning it will come down to season goal difference and the Rapids currently hold a one-goal margin.
The Rapids also confirmed their home playoff game of the first round of the 2005 MLS Cup Playoffs with the result. The Black & Blue will host their first home playoff game on Saturday October 22nd at Invesco Field at Mile High at 7:00pm. Playoff tickets are on sale now; the Rapids are also offering the "Rapids Youth Night Special" presented by Fat City where kids 16 & under get a free playoff ticket with the purchase of an adult playoff ticket as well as 2 free coupons to Fat City. Fans can reserve their Playoff Tickets or the Rapids Youth Night Special by calling the Rapids Ticket Hotline at (303) 825-GOAL.
The Rapids will next visit Real Salt Lake this Wednesday October 12 at 7:00 p.m. (MT) in the Black and Blue’s regular season finale.
Colorado Rapids (12-13-6) vs. FC Dallas (13-10-8)
October 08 2005 -- Pizza Hut Park
Colorado Rapids Man of the Match: Byron Foss
COL - none
FCD - none
Colorado Rapids -- Byron Foss Hunter Freeman Nat Borchers Ritchie Kotschau Ricky Lewis (Dedi Ben-Dayan 58) Kyle Beckerman Terry Cooke Alain Nkong (Jean Philippe Peguero 46) Eric Denton Jeff Cunningham Jovan Kirovski.
Substitutes Not Used: Bouna Coundoul Leo Cullen Fabrice Noel
FC Dallas -- Dario Sala Clarence Goodson (Drew Moor 53) Steve Jolley Greg Vanney Chris Gbandi Aaron Pitchkolan (Carey Talley 89) Simo Valakari Mark Wilson (Oscar Pareja 66) Ramon Nunez Bobby Rhine Abe Thompson.
Substitutes Not Used: Arturo Alvarez Chris Gomez John Pulido Mario Torres David Wagenfuhr Alex Yi
COL -- Ritchie Kotschau (caution; Tackle from Behind) 65
Referee: Ricardo Valenzuela
Referee's Assistants: Greg Barkey; Bill Dittmar
4th official: Adam Garner
Time of game: 1:50
weather: Clear -and- 69 degrees