COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – Juan Pablo Ángel’s 83rd-minute equalizer gave visiting Chivas USA a last-gasp draw and perhaps a lifeline in the Western Conference table in a 1-1 tie with the Colorado Rapids on Saturday night at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
Rapids goalkeeper Matt Pickens failed to collect Tristan Bowen’s cross in the late going, and the veteran Ángel – a second-half substitute – pounced on the open rebound for his team-high fourth goal of the season in a game dominated by the home side.
Despite controlling the proceedings, Colorado’s lone goal came off a mistake by the visitors. In the 19th minute, Brian Mullan picked Shalrie Joseph’s pocket inside the area and unleashed a rocket past Dan Kennedy for an early Rapids lead.
Colorado dominated the scoring chances, outshooting Chivas 19-5, but missed several golden opportunities to add on to the lead they held for the majority of the contest.
Omar Cummings in particular missed a handful of chances to put his name on the scoresheet, including failing to get a shot off in a one-v-one situation with Kennedy a minute after Mullan’s goal.
The Rapids continued to pour the pressure on in the second half, but Kennedy was up to the challenge. The All-Star netminder made a terrific diving save on Cummings in the 60th minute.
Minutes later, substitute Conor Casey’s chip just went over the crossbar, and Rapids midfielder Martín Rivero’s 77th-minute header floated just over the top corner of Kennedy’s goal.
Seven minutes from time, Chivas USA made the hosts pay. Second-half substitute Bowen crossed into the path of Pickens, but the veteran ‘keeper could only get an outstretched hand on the ball, and it deflected directly into the path of Ángel for perhaps the easiest goal of the Colombian’s illustrious career.
With the draw, Chivas USA improve to 7-9-6 and remain in seventh place in the West Conference, but with four games in hand on Vancouver, who occupy the fifth and final playoff spot in the conference. The Goats next host Seattle on Aug. 25.
Colorado, meanwhile, move to 8-15-2 but fail to pick up ground in the Western race and remain in eighth place. They next travel to San Jose, also on Aug. 25.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Dan Kennedy||Another match, another standout performance by easily the best thing going during the Goats' season.|
|2||Brian Mullan||Smart, heady play by veteran to dispossess Joseph deep in his own territory, and then an expert finish.|
|3||Juan Pablo Ángel||JPA isn't scoring like he used to, but his poacher's special in this one couldn't have come at a better time.|