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Colorado snares a tie on the road

June 9, 2010 | 8:20 pm No comments
By Shaun Schafer

Jamie Smith delivered a second dose of magic and Conor Casey latched on to a perfect header in second-half stoppage time as the Colorado Rapids salvaged a 2-2 tie with the Chicago Fire on Wednesday night in Bridgeview, Illinois.

Smith, whose perfect free kick set-up Drew Moor for the winner against Columbus on Saturday night, unleashed another long crisp pass. This time it was in the run of play, and Casey was roaming free near the far post. The forward knocked the header into the corner, leaving ‘keeper Andrew Dykstra a spectator.

The draw broke a streak of five 1-0 games for the Rapids. While a win would have been nice, the tie on the road moves Colorado to 6-3-2 (20 points) and a temporary tie for second in the Western Conference. Real Salt Lake was playing Los Angeles to a scoreless draw with about 25 minutes to play as the Rapids-Fire match concluded.

(Update: Javier Morales scored an 80th minute goal as Salt Lake handed the Galaxy its first loss of  the year. This leaves the Rapids in third in the conference, three points behind Real Salt Lake and 12 adrift of LA.)

Chicago, which held the lead for almost the entire half, slipped to 3-3-5 (14 points) and holds on to fourth in the Eastern Conference.

The Setup: Colorado scored first when Omar Cummings latched on and delivered a rocket after quick touches from Casey and Mehdi Ballouchy in the 21st minute. It was Cummings first goal since the season-opening win against Chivas USA.

The lead was short lived as Chicago earned a free kick three minutes later just outside the penalty area and Marco Pappa buried the kick going to Matt Pickens’ right.

Chicago came out firing in the second half. In the 46th minute, Pappa connected again, this time through a Baggio Husidic pass and a Brian McBride header.

The rest of the half was a freewheeling affair as each team attempted to find the next goal. The greatest danger came from the Rapids. Cummings nearly brought the teams level in the 71st minute when his shot to the far post beat Dykstra, hit the inside of the far post and ricocheted out.

Rapids 11: Pickens, Marvell Wynne, Julien Baudet (Scott Palguta, 5), Drew Moor, Danny Earls, Colin Clark (Jamie Smith, 80), Jeff Larentowicz, Ross LaBauex (Wells Thompson, 46), Ballouchy, Cummings and Casey.

Fire 11: Dykstra, Krzysztof Krol, Wilman Conde, CJ Brown, Dasan Robinson, Patrick Nyarko, Justin Mapp (Mike Banner, 73), Logan Pause, Husidic, Pappa, McBride (Collins John, 65).

Last time: The Rapids and Fire battled to a 2-2 tie at Dick’s Sporting Good Park on April 3. It was the most goals the Rapids had given up in a game this season. Oddly, it has now happened twice.

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