COLUMBUS – The Colorado Rapids made judicious use of their forward forays, scoring on their first two shots even though they were 61 minutes apart, as the visiting Rapids downed the Columbus Crew 2-0 on Saturday.
Former Crew star Edson Buddle put the Rapids ahead in the 8th minute and rookie Dillon Powers netted the important insurance tally in the 69th minute with a strike from distance that deflected off Crew defender Josh Williams.
Colorado (4-4-3, 15 points) won its second straight and is 4-1-2 in the past seven matches. The Rapids also ended a 0-5-2 regular-season streak in Columbus dating back to 2005.
The Crew (3-4-3, 12 points) lost their second straight at home, are now 1-2-2 at Columbus Crew Stadium this season and have been blanked in three of the past four games.
Columbus had the better of the play, but found themselves behind early as Buddle was in the perfect spot in the middle of the penalty box to take a layoff by Atiba Harris, bring the ball down, then beat goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum from close range. Danny Mwanga got the second assist by feeding Harris from the left flank.
Buddle scored for the second straight game and for the 95th time in his career. He racked up 42 goals in 106 games for Columbus from 2001-05.
It was hardly the start the Crew expected, especially after they nearly got on the board in the first 25 seconds of the match. Jairo Arrieta outraced Clint Irwin for a 50-50 ball at the left edge of the penalty area and chipped the ball over the goalkeeper, only to see the attempt bounce left of the frame.
While the Crew often got into dangerous spots in the first half, they couldn't break down a tight Rapids defense that forced hurried passes and attempts. Arrieta had a good look off a spin move in the 26th minute but he sent a low strike skimming through the goal box and past the right post for the Crew's second-best chance before halftime.
Powers put the game out of reach off a free kick from the right corner after a hard foul by Matias Sanchez on Martin Rivero. The restart pinged to the top of the box, where Powers struck the ball low and hard but was helped by a dramatic ricochet off Williams that left Gruenebaum wrongfooted.
Irwin secured his fourth shutout with a save on a Glauber header in the 80th minute.
Colorado next plays at San Jose on May 18, while the Crew visit Toronto FC on the same day.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Edson Buddle||He's the opportunistic striker Colorado need. And what better time to ramp up his hot streak than against his former club?|
|2||Tony Tchani||Finally coming into his own at MLS level, the Crew midfielder covered acres of ground and helped his team win the possession battle.|
|3||Dillon Powers||The Rapids rookie continues to play like a veteran, and tonight he iced the result with a smart, if fortuitous, strike from distance.|