CARSON, Calif. – Martín Rivero and Kamani Hill scored first-half goals as Colorado beat Chivas USA 2-0 at Home Depot Center on Saturday.
The result means that Colorado cannot finish in last place, perhaps a fitting end to a match between two teams long gone from the postseason race.
Each goalkeeper had a milestone of their own to make this match memorable. Colorado’s Steward Ceus earned his first-ever MLS start while Chivas’ Tim Melia made his MLS debut. Matt Pickens (adductor) and Dan Kennedy (knee) were sidelined with injuries, for the away and home sides, respectively.
Playing in their final home match of the 2012 season, Chivas came out without much urgency and were unable to put much pressure on Ceus. Conversely, the Rapids were more confident going forward and put Melia under some duress.
In the 16th minute, that pressure paid off. Melia was unable to gain control of a loose ball inside the penalty area and the ball eventually wound up on Tyson Wahl’s feet. The defender whipped a cross into the middle of the box and Jaime Castrillón flicked a header onto Rivero, who was completely unmarked on the right side of the goal. The Argentine settled the ball and ripped a shot past a helpless Melia for his second tally of the esason.
Colorado went up by two in the 40th minute when Omar Cummings found Kamani Hill unmarked on the left side of the area. Hill snapped a header that got past Melia and into the back of the net.
Chivas tried to change things up in the second half by bringing in Ryan Smith and Laurent Courtois off the bench but aside from a few runs and dangerous moments, Colorado were no worse for the wear and looked much more likely to score then their hosts.
Both teams will close out their seasons next week, with Colorado hosting the playoff-bound Houston Dynamo on Saturday and Chivas traveling to FC Dallas on Sunday.
COL - Martin Rivero 2 (Tyson Wahl 1, Jaime Castrillon 3) 16'
COL - Kamani Hill 4 (Omar Cummings 2) 43'
COL - Tyson Wahl (caution) 11'
CHV - Ben Zemanski (caution) 78'
CHV - John Valencia (caution) 88'
Colorado Rapids lineup: Stew Ceus, Hunter Freeman, Marvell Wynne, Drew Moor, Tyson Wahl, Hendry Thomas, Jeff Larentowicz, Martin Rivero, Jaime Castrillon (Jamie Smith 72'), Kamani Hill (Tony Cascio 66'), Omar Cummings (Joseph Nane 86')
Subs not used: Ian Joyce, Chris Klute, Davy Armstrong, Andre Akpan
Referee: Yader Reyes