COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — An 86th-minute equalizer from second-half substitute Laurent Courtois gave visiting Chivas USA a hard-fought point against the Colorado Rapids in a 2-2 draw.
Courtois found himself behind the Rapids defense late on and slipped the ball through goalkeeper Matt Pickens. The attacker had previously proved a handful in the short time he was on the field, getting himself into some dangerous positions.
It seemed that the home team would stretch their unbeaten league run to six games — and four straight wins — until Courtois’ 86th-minute leveler. Rapids midfielder Jeff Larentowicz, who earlier in the second half had two good heading opportunities from corners, made no mistake in the 69th minute when he directed a corner kick from Sanna Nyassi to put Colorado up 2-1.
The Rapids and Chivas had traded goals in the opening 45 minutes, with Caleb Folan opening the scoring for the home team in the 13th minute before Juan Pablo Ángel marked his Chivas debut with a well-taken goal for the visitors in the 36th minute.
The Rapids started very brightly, putting a lot of pressure on the Chivas goal in the opening quarter of an hour, the period that coincided with Folan’s opening goal, his sixth of the season. Pablo Mastroeni found the big striker perfectly with a slightly deflected cross after a precise down-the-line pass from Kosuke Kimura, and the former Hull City man made the header look easy.
Ángel, who was traded from the LA Galaxy this week to make way for Ireland international Robbie Keane, then picked up a perfect ball behind the Rapids defense from former Colorado midfielder Nick LaBrocca to slot comfortably past Pickens to tie things up. It was the only time in the first half that Pickens’ goal was under any real pressure.
The Rapids continued to have the bulk of possession and pressure in the second half, the combination of Nyassi and second-half substitute Omar Cummings always looking a threat. At one point late on, Rapids head coach Gary Smith showed his commitment to winning the match, having four strikers — Folan, Nyassi, Cummings and Macoumba Kandji — on the pitch at the same time. But even with some late pressure, the Chivas defense held out for a creditable draw.
Colorado now have CONCACAF Champions League match in Honduras against Real España on the slate for Aug. 23 before returning to league play to face the Fire in Chicago four days later.
Chivas USA, meanwhile, end their five-game road swing at Portland against the Timbers on Aug. 24 before returning home to face Real Salt Lake.
COL -- Caleb Folan 6 (Pablo Mastroeni 4, Kosuke Kimura 1) 13
CHV -- Juan Pablo Angel 4 (Nick LaBrocca 5) 36
COL -- Jeff Larentowicz 6 (unassisted) 69
CHV -- Laurent Courtois 1 (Michael Lahoud 2) 86
CHV -- Michael Umana (caution; Tactical Foul) 19
Chivas USA -- Dan Kennedy, Zarek Valentin (Michael Lahoud 16), Michael Umana, Heath Pearce, Ante Jazic, Blair Gavin (Laurent Courtois 60), Simon Elliott, Nick LaBrocca, Jorge Flores (Marcos Mondaini 74), Juan Pablo Angel, Alejandro Moreno.
Substitutes Not Used: David Junior Lopes, Paulo Nagamura, Ben Zemanski, Zach Thornton.
Colorado Rapids -- Matt Pickens, Kosuke Kimura, Marvell Wynne, Tyrone Marshall, Drew Moor, Brian Mullan (Macoumba Kandji 89), Jeff Larentowicz, Pablo Mastroeni, Sanna Nyassi, Wells Thompson (Omar Cummings 58), Caleb Folan.
Substitutes Not Used: Mike Holody, Joseph Nane, Ross LaBauex, Scott Palguta, Steward Ceus.
Referee: Elias Bazakos
Referee's Assistants: Eric Boria; Corey Parker
4th Official: Terry Vaughn
Time of Game: 1:52
Weather: Sunny and 86 degrees