At the end of the evening, the Geiger Counter read Five. That was the total number of cards given out by referee Mark Geiger but it felt like far more when it was all said and done, since two of them were red. With FC Dallas going down to nine men on those two reds, it was no trouble at all for the Colorado Rapids to carve the Dallas defenses apart and earn a 2-0 win on the road.
The first half was fairly even between the teams with Colorado perhaps coming out swinging more until the two red cards. Daniel Hernandez was the first to be sent off after getting a yellow card for jawing at the referee one too many times and then immediately following it with a reckless push to earn his second yellow. Blas Perez was straight red carded only two minutes later after launching himself, studs up, at Drew Moor.
Just like that, the Rapids were up 11 men to nine with almost 60 minutes left to play, though they were forced to use an early sub as Omar Cummings hurt his ankle in a challenge with George John.
The rest of the first half set the stage for what was to come. Almost complete Rapids domination of possession and passing with few paltry attempts at counter attacks but nothing solid for Dallas as they just tried to hold the Rapids off. There were no goals in the first half but you got the feeling that a Rapids loss was almost an impossibility with the way they were playing.
Of course, there was always the fear of being held off by Dallas ala New England on Wednesday to force a 0-0 draw. For that reason, Oscar Pareja stuck Conor Casey into the game at halftime. He might not have scored but his presence was certainly felt out there as it always seems to be.
Jaime Castrillon scored the first goal of the game and his third of the season with a solid header inside the six yard box in the 61st minute. It was the first of two assists by Brian Mullan, who with all the space on the field was free to roam as much as he wanted around and took advantage of it. At that point, the game was pretty much over but the Rapids decided to keep on pushing the offensive envelope and eventually Martin Rivero added his first ever MLS goal in the 74th minute on a class settle and finish inside the 18 yard box.
Honestly, if Kevin Hartman hadn't done so well in the net it could have been 4-0 with the way the Rapids were attacking. The game ended with the Rapids outshooting Dallas by 22 shots, and the Hoops never had a chance on goal. Not the most conventional win to win a game, but hey... three points on the road is three points on the road.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Brian Mullan. Two assists today from number 11, who is looking much better since the switch to the 4-4-2 where he can once again play his natural winger position. That Mark Geiger guy helped out a bit as well.
GOAT OF THE MATCH: Nobody I can think of.