Rapids Handed 2-1 Loss by Columbus

COLUMBUS OH (Saturday June 28 2008) – The Colorado Rapids fell for the fifth straight time on the road this season following a 2-1 loss to the Columbus Crew at Crew Stadium Saturday night.
(To watch video highlights from this match click here).
Two second half goals by the Crew including a 70th minute game winning strike from Emmanuel Ekpo gave Columbus their fourth straight home contest in which they have earned points against the Rapids.
Colorado had the chances early with shots from Conor Casey and Nick LaBrocca having to be saved by a diving William Hesmer in the 9th and 10th minutes.
The Crew increased their offensive intensity over the match’s next 15 minutes with near misses from Alejandro Moreno and a shot from Robbie Rogers that ‘keeper Bouna Coundoul came up with one his best saves of the season to push it over the crossbar in the 25th minute.
The first half would come to a close deadlocked at 0-0 with both teams still looking to seize control.
In the 53rd minute Pablo Mastroeni was whistled for a hard tackle in the box setting up a penalty kick situation for Columbus. Guillermo Barros Schelotto put the home team up 1-0 finishing the opportunity in the left side of the net.
The Rapids needed only minutes to respond as Casey found Nick LaBrocca at the top of the box where LaBrocca buried his shot in the back of the goal to even the match at 1-1 in the 60th minute.
The Crew would eventually find their gamewinner as Ekpo carried the ball nearly 30 yards and sent a right footed shot pass Coundoul for his first career MLS goal in the 70th minute.
Colorado could not come up with their equalizer over the next 23 minutes with their best chance coming in added time on a Colin Clark near miss to the left post.
The Rapids return home to host the New York Red Bulls at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park this coming Friday July 4 at 7:30pm MT. The match will be highlighted by the club’s 13th annual post game fireworks celebration the largest display in Colorado.
Scoring Summary:
CLB- Schelotto (penalty kick) 53
COL- LaBrocca (Casey) 60
CLB- Ekpo (unassisted) 70
Colorado Rapids – Bouna Coundoul Ugo Ihemelu (Herculez Gomez 87) Jordan Harvey Facundo Erpen Nick LaBrocca John DiRaimondo (Mehdi Balouchy 75) Pablo Mastroeni Colin Clark Terry Cooke Tom McManus (Omar Cummings 77) Conor Casey
Substitutes not used: Preston Burpo Jose Luis Burciaga Jr. Nico Colaluca Kosuke Kimura
Columbus Crew – William Hesmer Frankie Hejduk Andy Iro Chad Marshall Danny O’Rourke Emmanuel Ekpo (Steven Lenhart 77) Brian Carroll Brad Evans Robbie Rogers Guillermo Barros Schelotto (Ryan Junge 90) Alejandro Moreno
Substitutes Not Used: Andy Gruenebaum Jed Zayer Cory Elenio Duncan Oughton Jason Gray
Misconduct Summary:
CLB- Ekpo (professional foul) 19
CLB- Andy Iro (pushing holding) 87
Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Referees Assts.: Anthony Vasoli Sean Hurd
Fourth Official: Mikael Lundqvist
Attendance: 12254