CARSON, Calif. – Martín Rivero and Kamani Hill scored first-half goals as Colorado beat Chivas USA 2-0 at Home Depot Center on Saturday.
The result means that Colorado cannot finish in last place, perhaps a fitting end to a match between two teams long gone from the postseason race.
Each goalkeeper had a milestone of their own to make this match memorable. Colorado’s Steward Ceus earned his first-ever MLS start while Chivas’ Tim Melia made his MLS debut. Matt Pickens (adductor) and Dan Kennedy (knee) were sidelined with injuries, for the away and home sides, respectively.
FULL LINEUPS AND BOX SCORE
Playing in their final home match of the 2012 season, Chivas came out without much urgency and were unable to put much pressure on Ceus. Conversely, the Rapids were more confident going forward and put Melia under some duress.
In the 16th minute, that pressure paid off. Melia was unable to gain control of a loose ball inside the penalty area and the ball eventually wound up on Tyson Wahl’s feet. The defender whipped a cross into the middle of the box and Jaime Castrillón flicked a header onto Rivero, who was completely unmarked on the right side of the goal. The Argentine settled the ball and ripped a shot past a helpless Melia for his second tally of the esason.
Colorado went up by two in the 40th minute when Omar Cummings found Kamani Hill unmarked on the left side of the area. Hill snapped a header that got past Melia and into the back of the net.
OPTA Chalkboard: Rapids midfield in control
Chivas tried to change things up in the second half by bringing in Ryan Smith and Laurent Courtois off the bench but aside from a few runs and dangerous moments, Colorado were no worse for the wear and looked much more likely to score then their hosts.
Both teams will close out their seasons next week, with Colorado hosting the playoff-bound Houston Dynamo on Saturday and Chivas traveling to FC Dallas on Sunday.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Martín Rivero||Drove the Rapids midfield all game long and grabbed a deserved game-winner with his early near-post drive|
|2||Jeff Larentowicz||Had a few bright moments in a workmanlike performance and kept Chivas on their toes with his late runs into the box|
|3||Omar Cummings||Jamaican forward threatened Chivas with his pace for large parts of the match, delivered the assist on Colorado's second|