COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — It was a reversal of trends Saturday night at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park as the Colorado Rapids used four second-half goals to grab a 4-0 win over Chivas USA and snap a three-game losing streak while halting the Goats' own three-game road-win streak.
Rookie Tony Cascio opened the scoring, second-half sub Kamani Hill added two goals in the final 10 minutes, Jeff Larentowicz drew and buried a penalty kick, and goalkeeper Matt Pickens made a number of key interventions to give the Rapids the important victory.
Chivas, on the other hand, will surely rue a series of missed opportunities after being shut out for the fifth time in eight games thus far this season.
The Rapids controlled the early proceedings, generating the majority of the serious chances in the match’s opening minutes by dictating possession — a vital staple of head coach Oscar Pareja’s 4-3-3 attack. Midfielder Martin Rivero, who missed last week’s loss to the Galaxy with a quad injury, created the first significant opportunity of the match in the sixth minute with a booming shot that narrowly whizzed by Chivas 'keeper Dan Kennedy’s far post.
In the 18th minute, Omar Cummings’ centering feed found Cascio just three yards from goal, but Kennedy was perfectly stationed to calmly collect the rookie’s effort.
After the slow start, Chivas began to get a foot in the match, resulting in the visiting squad earning the best opportunity of the first half for either side in the 30th minute, when deflected shot resulted in Chivas’ Laurent Courtois’ well-timed side-footed volley from just inside the penalty box that required Colorado 'keeper Matt Pickens to leap full-stretch to deny the Frenchman the opening goal.
Chivas continued to pressure and look the better side as the halftime whistle approached. In the 38th, Chivas’ Miller Bolaños fought off Kosuke Kimura for a sharp-angled one-on-one with Pickens, only for the Ecuadorian to disappointingly fire wide of Pickens’ goal.
The teams headed to the lockers tied scoreless at halftime, but in the 50th minute, on the Rapids’ first corner of the match, Cascio made sure to break the stalemate. The 22-year-old calmly chested the ball away from his defender and fired an unstoppable shot far corner, leaving Kennedy helpless and giving Cascio his second goal of the season — both of them game-winners.
Following Cascio’s opening goal, Chivas nearly scored off a corner themselves, as Courtois’ header hit the underside of the crossbar. Then, in the 58th minute, ex-Rapid Nick LaBrocca’s effort missed by perhaps a foot, barely clearing Pickens’ far post.
Cascio nearly doubled his count a few minutes later, but Kennedy answered the call to action and stopped Cascio’s long-range effort at the hour mark.
Then the Rapids' onslaught of goals began.
Cummings found himself with space and calmly delivered a ball to Hill in the 82nd minute that resulted in the all-important insurance goal. It was Hill's second goal of the season.
Soon after, in the 84th minute, Larentowicz broke through on the right side of Chivas' 18-yard-box, only to be brought down by Ante Jazic for a penalty kick. The midfielder stepped up to the spot and found nothing but net to ice the match for good and allow Rapids skipper Oscar Pareja to breathe easy.
Hill added his second goal of the match in the 92nd following a late onslaught of shots on the Chivas goal.
Conor Casey’s 92nd minute cameo appearance — his first since rupturing his Achilles last July — capped a night of second-half cheers from the home fans.
The 4-4-0 Rapids face a short week, as they’ll head to New England for a Wednesday clash against the Revolution (8 pm ET, MLS Live). The 3-5-0 Rojiblancos return home to face the Chicago Fire on Friday night at the Home Depot Center (8 pm ET, ESPN Deportes).
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Matt Pickens||The Rapids 'keeper came up big a number of times to help his team walk away with the W.|
|2||Tony Cascio||The rookie stepped up and delivered the winner that effectively put an end to Colorado's three-game losing streak.|
|3||Kamani Hill||Rapids' second-half sub scored two goals — the first an all-important insurance goal, and the second to completely close out the match.|
WATCH: Full match highlights