Rapids Shutout in 2-0 Loss To Columbus

COMMERCE CITY CO. (Sunday July 27 2008) – The Colorado Rapids were unable to benefit from the home field advantage of Dick’s Sporting Goods Park Sunday night as they lost 2-0 against the Columbus Crew. With the loss the Rapids’ snap a season-long three match streak in which they have come away with points.
(To watch video highlights from this match click here).
Colorado entered the game with an opportunity to gain a share the Western Conference lead with Real Salt Lake if they secured the three points in victory. Instead the Rapids find themselves sitting in sixth place in the West.
Columbus got a first half goal from Steven Lenhart and an insurance strike in the 75th minute from Jason Garey to come away with their fourth road win of the season.
The Rapids set a team record with 17 corner kicks in the match but were unable to convert any of them or a myriad of other chances despite playing with a man advantage for 48 minutes. Colorado would also outshoot the Crew 23 to 5 on the night.
Conor Casey had the most opportunities for Colorado as four of his seven shots were on goal. Columbus goalkeeper Will Hesmer denied the Denver local in the 12th and 33rd minutes but he made his best saves on Omar Cummings’ diving header in the 90th minute and Christian Gomez’s free kick from near the endline in second half stoppage time.
Columbus took the lead in the 21st minute when Steven Lenhart was put behind the Rapids’ defense by Stefani Miglioranzi and chipped the ball over an on-rushing Bouna Coundoul. Lenhart’s shot was the only one by the Crew in the first half.
Lenhart would have another impactful play minutes prior to the halftime break as the Crew forward would receive a red card ejection for an elbow foul to the face of Facundo Erpen.
Jason Garey put the game out of reach in the 75th minute when he latched onto a long ball and flicked it past Coundoul as the Senegalese ‘keeper charged out of the net.
Hesmer would finish his night with seven saves as the Rapids were held scoreless for just the third time this season.
Colorado will now prepare for the second of a four-game home stand as the Rapids host English Premier League side Everton FC on Sunday August 3 at 7:30pm MT at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
Scoring Summary:
CLB – Lenhart (Miglioranzi) 21
COL – Garey (Gaven) 75
Columbus Crew:
William Hesmer Frankie Hejduk Andy Iro Chad Marshall Danny O’Rourke Brian Carroll Stefani Miglioranzi (Brad Evans 45 Jed Zaylor 90+) Eddie Gaven Guillermo Schelotto (Jason Garey 63) Steven Lenhart Alejandro Moreno
Substitutes Not Used: Andy Gruenebaum Ezra Hendrickson Cory Elenio Duncan Oughton
Colorado Rapids: Bouna Coundoul Ugo Ihemelu Pablo Mastroeni Facundo Erpen Mehdi Ballouchy Nick LaBrocca (Jacob Peterson 61) Colin Clark Terry Cooke Christian Gomez Conor Casey Herculez Gomez (Omar Cummings 68)
Substitutes Not Used: Jose Luis Burciaga Jr. Preston Burpo Greg Dalby John DiRaimondo Mike Petke
Misconduct Summary:
CLB- O’Rourke (Caution) 13
CLB- Lenhart (Ejection) 43
COL- LaBrocca (Caution) 45+
CLB- Hejduk (Caution) 60
CLB- Iro (Caution) 81
Referee: Shane Moody
Referees Assts.: Bill Dittmar; Steven Taylor
Fourth Official: Alex Prus
Attendance: 10647