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Rapids fail to finish Goats

August 20, 2011 | 9:55 pm No comments
By Shaun Schafer

Teammates swarm Jeff Larentowicz after his 69th minute header put the Rapids up 2-1 on Chivas USA. The Goats rallied to tie 2-2 on Saturday night. (Photograph by Jonathan Ingraham/ColoradoSoccerNow.com)

Twice Colorado led on Saturday night, and twice Chivas USA came back, eventually claiming a share of the points at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

Goals from Caleb Folan and Jeff Larentowicz, both clinical strikes, were countered by the visiting Goats, who exploited the few openings they found on the night.

Ultimately, the 2-2 draw proved that remaining undefeated over the past six games (4-0-2) is not the same as winning for the Rapids, and earning another draw on the road (the second straight) was a solid result for Chivas USA.

It could have been much better for the Rapids (10-6-11, 41 points). Colorado started in a 4-5-1 formation with Folan as the lone striker, and the early results were encouraging. The Rapids controlled play for the first 25 minutes, and Folan snapped a precise goal off a Pablo Mastroeni cross in the 13th minute. The Ireland striker has now quietly tied Conor Casey for the team scoring lead in 2011 with six goals.

With Chivas doing an effective job disrupting the midfield, the Goats latest acquisition paid an immediate dividend in the 36th minute. Former Rapids Nick LaBrocca sent a pass to a rushing Juan Pablo Angel, who beat the offsides trap and tapped the ball past ‘keeper Matt Pickens.

In the second half, the Rapids came out the most dangerous side, but struggled to finish. Finally, Sanna Nyassi delivered a corner in the 69th minute that Larentowicz headed home. The two had nearly connected earlier, and Larentowicz made no mistake as he put the ball in the side netting.

The second goal wasn’t enough, however, as Chivas took advantage of a squad that lost its tactical shape. Laurent Courtois was the beneficiary as he ran on to a Michael Lahoud pass and put it between Pickens’ legs in the 86th minute.

Colorado got two chances in second half injury time to grab three points. ‘Keeper Dan Kennedy misplayed a Nyassi free kick in the 93rd minute that no one could latch on to. Then, on the resulting corner kick, Macoumba Kandji fired a rebound into the box. Defenders knocked it out as time was called on the tie.

Iron Man: Drew Moor is now the MLS iron man. The defender, playing at left back, played the full 90 minutes for the 68th consecutive game, setting a record for field players.

Next Up: The Rapids travel to Honduras for a Tuesday match against Real Espana in the team’s second CONCACAF Champions League group stage match. Colorado will remain on the road, facing the Chicago Fire in Bridgeview, Ill., on Aug. 27.

The next home match comes Sept. 13 against Santos Laguna in CCL play. The next MLS home game is more than a month away when the San Jose Earthquakes visit DSG Park on Sept. 24.

Caleb Folan delivers the header that gave Colorado an early lead in a 2-2 tie with Chivas USA. (Photograph by Jonathan Ingraham/ColoradoSoccerNow.com)

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