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Folan, Larentowicz strike ‘Quakes

August 14, 2011 | 8:30 am No comments
By Shaun Schafer

At 10:35 p.m. on Saturday, Colorado Rapids fans got a funny feeling. It’s called satisfaction and it came in the form of a 2-1 win over the stumbling San Jose Earthquakes.

It was satisfying because it was the sort of game the Rapids should win, but the team has stumbled to get earlier this season and at many times in the past three or four years. San Jose is trapped in a team-record swoon, trailing Colorado in the standings and desperate for goals.

On Saturday night at Buck Shaw Stadium, the Rapids (10-6-10, 40 points) fell behind on a Joey Gjertsen header in the 22nd minute. But the Rapids kept coming with the sort of possession and attack that seemed to make a tying goal inevitable.

It came in the 39th minute when a sliding Sam Cronin knocked Pablo Mastroeni’s cross out of bounds with his left arm. Caleb Folan tallied on the subsequent penalty kick. Then the Rapids continued pressing for the lead.

The job got easier in the 50th minute when Cronin saw red for a studs up tackle on Mastroeni. Colorado finally capitalized in the 72nd minute on a free kick restart. Wells Thompson and Mastroeni tapped and then stopped the ball for Jeff Larentowicz, who put his shot through the legs in the wall and past ‘keeper Jon Busch.

From there, the Rapids held the beter of possession and used that control to ride out 90 minutes plus more than four minutes of stoppaged time to pick up the team’s fourth win in the past five games (4-0-1) and a sense of satisfaction. Meanwhile, San Jose stretched its winless streak to 11 matches and fell to 5-9-10, 25 points.

Absent Starters: Neither Sanna Nyassi nor Omar Cummings started for the Rapids. The two have been crucial in the recent run of wins, but both were on international duty during the week. Cummings, who played 90 minutes for Jamaica in China on Wednesday, came on in the 60th minute. Nyassi, who played 45 for Gambia against the Congo, did not make the trip to San Jose.

Card Crazy: Referee Paul Ward handed out seven cards during the match. Thompson, Larentowicz, Drew Moor and Folan all saw yellow for Colorado. Along with Cronin’s ejection, Khari Stephenson and Chris Wondolowski went into the book for San Jose.

Of all of them, Moor’s whistle for a reckless foul in the 79th minute was the only questionable call. Moor and a defender were fighting for a ball, each player had an arm out on the other. Moor, however, had leverage. When he used that leverage, he was booked. It seemed a bit harsh for what had transpired.

Next Up: The Rapids continue a run of matches against teams chasing them in the Western Conference with a match against Chivas USA at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Saturday. Before that game, Colorado begins CONCACAF Champions League play at home on Wednesday with a match against Matapan.

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