In the thin air at Invesco Field at Mile High on a 79 degree night both squads kept the pressure on each other leaving the game scoreless in the first ten minutes.
Dallas midfielder Aaron Pitchkolan lobbed the ball past Mike Petke and over Rapids goalkeeper Joe Cannon’s head for the first goal of the game in the 13th minute. Pitchkolan followed a long pass from midfield racing against Petke to the ball. The Rapids defender tried to chip the ball over the Dallas midfielder but saw his attempt bounce off the opponent’s chest leaving him in a one-on-one with Cannon. Pitchkolan who played youth soccer in the Denver area one-timed the ball over Cannon for the first goal of the night.
Colorado retorted with two shots at the Dallas goal which both cleared the top of the goal by a couple of feet. The first shot was in the 14th minute by defender Eric Denton and then a header by midfielder Alain Nkong in the 15th minute.
The Rapids then had another great chance soon after as some fancy footwork from Jeff Cunningham caused the Dallas defense to converge on him at the top of the box and left Jean Philippe Peguero free to receive Cunningham's pinpoint pass but with only 'keeper Scott Garlick to beat however Peguero got his feet caught up and tripped over the ball.
Minutes later a yellow card was given to the Colorado Rapids team captain Pablo Mastroeni for a reckless foul.
To tie the game in the 30th minute Nkong played a great ball to Peguero who then sent a cross to forward Jeff Cunningham in the heart of the penalty area. Cunningham the MLS player of the week shot the ball strongly and it bounced off both of Dallas's goalposts and the rebound was expertly finished off by Luchi Gonzalez for his second goal of the year.
Rapids Defender Eric Denton who was recently fouled took a free kick at the Dallas goal in the 33rd minute and the shot just cleared the top post by inches leaving the score tied at one goal apiece as both teams entered the locker rooms for halftime.
Colorado midfielder Beckerman rocketed the ball towards the Dallas goal but was thwarted by Garlick in the 52nd minute.
In the 55th minute of the second half Denton saved a rolling shot off the line that Cannon was unable to stop.
Showing off the skills that earned him the 2004 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year award Cannon mde an awesome play diving to stop a shot sailing towards the bottom left-hand corner of the Colorado goal in the 58th minute.
Colorado started the strategy games a bit later and substituted Leo Cullen for Pablo Mastroeni in the 69th minute.
Dallas followed suit and substituted Oscar Pareja for Arturo Alvarez in the 76th minute of the game.
Colorado obtained a free kick in the 79th minute when Dallas midfielder Oscar Pareja fouled Alain Nkong but were unable to produce on the free opportunity.
In the 84th minute of the game Bobby Rhine finally broke the tie making the score 2 to 1 in the favor of FC Dallas.
Colorado substituted Wolde Harris for Eric Denton in the 86th minute the same minute that Dallas substituted David Wagenfuhr for Bobby Rhine who had just equalized for the Lone Star side.
Dallas forward Abe Thompson went one on one with Rapids keeper Joe Cannon managing to get a shot past him to score for Dallas in the 88th minute.
In a final attempt in the final seconds to salvage another goal Peguero headed the ball towards the Dallas goal but missed leaving the final score of the match 3-1 Dallas over Colorado.
The Rapids will next travel to San Jose California to face the Earthquakes for the second time this season. Watch the game this Wednesday June 29th at 8:30 p.m. (MT) live on Altitude Sports & Entertainment.
Colorado Rapids Man of the Match: Jeff Cunningham
FC Dallas (9-2-3) vs. Colorado Rapids (4-8-2)
June 25 2005 -- Invesco Field at Mile High
DAL -- Aaron Pitchkolan 2 (unassisted) 13
COL -- Luchi Gonzalez 2 (Jeff Cunningham 2) 30
DAL -- Bobby Rhine 1 (Ronnie O'Brien 6) 85
DAL -- Abe Thompson 3 (unassisted) 88
Colorado Rapids -- Joe Cannon Ricky Lewis Nat Borchers Mike Petke Eric Denton (Wolde Harris 86) Alain Nkong Kyle Beckerman Pablo Mastroeni (Leo Cullen 69) Luchi Gonzalez Jean Philippe Peguero Jeff Cunningham.
Substitutes Not Used: Byron Foss Hunter Freeman Dan Gargan Sasha Gotsmanov Ritchie Kotschau Amir Lowery Guy Melamed.
TOTAL SHOTS: 13 (Eric Denton 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (3 tied with 1); FOULS: 9 (Kyle Beckerman 4); OFFSIDES: 2 (Jeff Cunningham 1 Jean Philippe Peguero 1); CORNER KICKS: 4 (Eric Denton 3); SAVES: 2 (Joe Cannon 2)
FC Dallas -- Scott Garlick Drew Moor Clarence Goodson Greg Vanney Chris Gbandi Aaron Pitchkolan Ronnie O'Brien Simo Valakari Arturo Alvarez (Oscar Pareja 76) Bobby Rhine (David Wagenfuhr 85) Roberto Mina (Abe Thompson 80).
Substitutes Not Used: Jeff Cassar Carey Talley.
TOTAL SHOTS: 11 (Ronnie O'Brien 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Ronnie O'Brien 2); FOULS: 15 (Bobby Rhine 3); OFFSIDES: 1 (Abe Thompson 1); CORNER KICKS: 2 (Ronnie O'Brien 2); SAVES: 2 (Scott Garlick 2)
Col - Pablo Mastroeni (caution; Reckless Foul) 20
Referee: Kevin Stott
Referee's Assistants: Tom Supple Jose Corro
4th Official: Scott McCaslin
Time of Game: 1:53
Weather: Cloudy and 78 degrees Wind: From SSE 14 mph