COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – Joseph Nane’s first career goal was the difference as the Colorado Rapids snapped a franchise-tying six-game losing streak with a 1-0 win over Real Salt Lake at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Saturday night.
The win wasn’t enough for the Rapids to claim the Subaru Rocky Mountain Cup after RSL won the two sides’ first two meetings earlier this season, but Colorado collected their first points since a 3-0 win over Portland on June 30.
Salt Lake failed to generate much offense as the visitors managed only one shot on goal all night, and RSL suffered their first defeat to the Rapids in nine matches, dating back to May of 2009.
After a dry opening 10 minutes, Rapids striker Omar Cummings set up the match’s first significant opportunity in the 12th minute. The Jamaican international made a nifty run down the left side and centered the ball for Nane, whose 18-yard blast went off the top off the crossbar.
Three minutes later, RSL had their best chance of the evening to get on the scoreboard. Justin Braun’s header appeared headed for the bottom corner, but Rapids ‘keeper Matt Pickens was up to the task and parried the ball away with a highlight-reel diving save.
But the Rapids got the game’s lone goal just before the end of the first half. Drew Moor’s cross from the right wing met the head of Jaime Castrillón and, after a deflection to the top of the box, Nane pounced on the rebound and received a friendly bounce off the bottom of the crossbar for his first career goal.
Despite the one-goal lead, the Rapids controlled the second half and earned far more of the opportunities. Castrillón’s open 52nd-minute shot went narrowly wide of Nick Rimando’s net, and the Colombian should have put the game away in the 68th minute, but his open look inside the penalty box went off the post.
Castrillón had another good chance in the 74th, but his header was stopped by a diving Rimando. But in the end, the second goal wasn’t needed as 8-14-1 Colorado collected the victory in comfortable fashion.
With the loss, RSL missed a chance to claim the top spot in the Supporters’ Shield race, as a win would have leapfrogged them over idle San Jose. Salt Lake drop to 13-8-3 and next head to Vancouver on Aug. 11.
The Rapids, meanwhile, improve to 8-14-1. They next head to FC Dallas, also on Aug. 11.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Joseph Nane||First MLS goal for career reservist, whose strike was well-deserved before leaving in second half with injury.|
|2||Omar Cummings||Rarely does a lone striker have a better game without scoring. Allowed Rapids offense to push forward.|
|3||Jaime Castrillón||Colombian was an absolute gnat on RSL defense; could have had three goals with effort he put in.|