Rapids Take Care of Real Salt Lake 2-0

COMMERCE CITY CO. (Thursday May 15 2008) – The Colorado Rapids solidified their place atop the Western Conference standings with a 2-0 victory over Real Salt Lake Thursday night in an ESPN Primetime match-up.
(To watch video highlights from this match click here).
With the win the Rapids took the first of this year's three contests for the Rocky Mountain Cup and posted their third home shutout in four contests.
For the third time during the 2008 season the Rapids came out of the gates in a new formation. Having already tried the 4-5-1 and 4-4-2 tonight Colorado began the game in a 3-5-2.
A Rapids free kick in the 12th minute presented the best early scoring chance for the home side. Christian Gomez found Nick LaBrocca 25 yards from goal; the New Jersey native unleashed a trademark screamer but it traveled straight into the waiting gloves of Nick Rimando.
Rimando was forced into action again in the 24th minute. A Christian Gomez corner found Omar Cummings unmarked in the six-yard box. The Rapids' leading scorer tried to fool Rimando by heading the ball to ground but on the bounce Rimando used every inch of his 5’ 9" frame to tip the ball over the crossbar.
Bouna Coundoul made his first save of the match in the 29th minute. Former Colorado Rapids player Kyle Beckerman let loose a shot from the top of the 18-yard box that ended up safely in Coundoul’s chest.
In the 43rd minute Kosuke Kimura made the play of the first half when he made a goal-saving clear off the goal line. He put so much into his diving header that he ended up stuck in the back of the net for several tense moments after the play.
The first half ended scoreless and without any added time. Colorado dominated possession but was unable to finish while Real Salt Lake looked dangerous on dead ball situations.
In the 54th minute Jacob Peterson played a one-time cross into the box but Clark’s flying volley sailed harmlessly over the net.
Herculez Gomez crossed a ball into Cummings just past the hour mark that the Jamaican headed just wide of the Salt Lake net.
Cummings scored his second goal in as many games and his third of the season in the 66th minute. Herculez found Clark on the left wing and the Fort Collins native crossed a ball into Cummings who had raced past his defender to tap it into the far side of the net.
In the 76th minute Peterson ran by former Rapids player Chris Wingert on the right wing and the Michigan native uncorked a shot that was off target but to the surprise of everyone the shot was nearly redirected into the net by Herculez.
Christian Gomez put the Rapids up 2-0 and tallied his second penalty kick goal of the season in the 83rd minute. Matais Mantilla was called for a hand ball in the box as he knocked down a Herculez pass headed for Cummings.
In second half stoppage time Coundoul came up with his best save of the evening when he stretched out to knock a low Fabian Espindola free kick out for a corner.
Man of the Match: Omar Cummings
Scoring Summary:
COL – Cummings (Clark H. Gomez) 65
COL – C. Gomez (penalty kick) 83
Colorado Rapids – Bouna Condoul Kosuke Kimura Ugo Ihemelu Facundo Erpen Nick LaBrocca Colin Clark Pablo Mastroeni Christian Gomez (Mehdi Ballouchy 88) Omar Cummings Jacob Peterson Herculez Gomez (Jordan Harvey 84)
Substitutes not used: Mike Graczyk Kelly Gray Rafael Gomez Terry Cooke Jose Burciaga Jr.
Real Salt Lake – Nick Rimando Tony Beltran Matais Mantilla Chris Wingert (Dustin Kirby 87) Nat Borchers Andy Williams (Matias Cordoba 84) Kenny Cutler (Robbie Findley 69) Dema Kovalenko Kyle Beckerman Kenny Deuchar Fabian Espindola
Substitutes Not Used: Chris Seitz David Horst Tino Nunez Jamison Olave
Misconduct Summary:
RSL – Wingert (Caution) 26
Referee: Jozef Batko
Referees Assts.: Peter Manikowski; Greg Barkey
Fourth Official: Abiodun Okulaja
Attendance: 11414