Recap: Mattocks, Whitecaps topple misfiring Rapids 1-0

Darren Mattocks in Colorado

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COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – Darren Mattocks took full advantage of Drew Moor’s blunder at the end of the first half and the Vancouver Whitecaps spoiled Colorado’s annual Fourth of July celebration with a 1-0 victory at a sold-out Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Wednesday night.

Despite the lion’s share of possession and chances for the home side, it was the Canadian visitors who scored the game’s only goal on a sweltering evening.

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Jordan Harvey’s 43rd-minute ball into the box appeared to be harmless, but Rapids center back Marvell Wynne whiffed on the cross, and Moor’s poorly hit clearance deflected straight to the feet of Mattocks, who fired home for his team-leading fourth goal of the season.

Vancouver rode the goal to victory despite continued pressure from the home side and improved to 8-4-5 with their first win in more than three weeks. Colorado fall to 7-9-1 and emerged pointless for the third match in their last four games even though they controlled possession by a 60 percent margin and recorded 17 shots overall.

The Rapids dictated the tempo and most of the match’s proceedings, but emerged on the short side of the scoreboard due to faulty finishing, particularly in the second half.

The first half began brightly for the ‘Caps, who got an early boost from Designated Player Barry Robson, making his MLS debut. The Scottish midfielder unleashed a 30-yard screamer that just whistled over Matt Pickens’ crossbar in the fourth minute.

The Rapids dominated the half, however, with a slew of opportunities. The best was perhaps Conor Casey’s blast in the 30th minute that required Joe Cannon to parry the strike out of play. The Vancouver goalkeeper also stopped Jeff Larentowicz’s floating header off the ensuing corner kick, among six fine saves he made on the evening.

OPTA Chalkboard: Rapids can't take advantage of possession edge

Colorado kept pushing in the second half after falling behind, with substitutes Jamie Smith and Edu both coming close. But in the end, the Rapids couldn’t find a final touch and fell to Vancouver by a 1-0 score line for their second straight meeting.

The Rapids next head to Seattle for another critical Western conference showdown on Saturday. Meanwhile, the Whitecaps’ five-game road trip continues at Chivas USA, also on Saturday.

MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match

Rank Player What We Saw
1 Joe Cannon Six fine saves for 83rd career clean sheet, kept his cool as Rapids kept pressing in second half.
2 Luis Zapata Excellent two-way work from Colombian to keep Robson and Y.P. Lee busy on the Rapids' left side.
3 Darren Mattocks Rookie made his one shot on goal count, but also did good work to confuse Colorado defense.