COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – The Colorado Rapids got two monkeys off their backs with a 1-0 win over Real Salt Lake on Saturday night: their franchise-tying six-game losing streak and their eight-game winless streak against their archrivals.
With a goal from perhaps the unlikeliest of sources – a 38th-minute blast from Joseph Nane, marking his first career goal – Colorado collected their first points since a June 30 win over Portland, and their first win over their Rocky Mountain rivals Real Salt Lake since May 2, 2009.
“We spoke during the week to the boys,” Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja told reporters postgame. “We said we still have time and we’re going to keep fighting. They have been pushing, they have been trying, they have been fighting.
“Today, they got the result they deserved, and many of our games, they deserved it but they don’t get anything. Today I was truly proud of them.”
The win gave Colorado their eighth win of the season and bumped up their overall record to 8-14-1, still leaving them well out of the playoff picture for now, but they believe they can make a run in their final 11 games to get back into contention.
“We’ve got to start somewhere, whether it’s with me or somebody else,” Nane said postgame. “It’s a relief, you can actually see it in the locker room, everybody is happy. That’s what we wanted.”
The Rapids’ desperation wasn’t only evident from the players’ and coaches’ mouths after the win, but on the opposing touchline as well.
“I think they just wanted it so bad,” Real Salt Lake head coach Jason Kreis told reporters. “We’ve been in difficult patches where you just haven’t had the result that you’ve wanted for a long time and you’re just doing everything you can to get your body in front of things and make tackles and plays in the defensive end of the field.
“That’s what they did tonight. There’s no doubt about it.”
Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.
HIGHLIGHTS: Colorado 1, Real Salt Lake 0