The Colorado Rapids had not beaten the San Jose Earthquakes since the beginning of time. Okay, maybe not that long but it has been a while. However, the Rapids were able to beat the Earthquakes on this rare Thursday night affair at Dick's Sporting Goods Park, 2-1.
The match started slowly. The Earthquakes had the best chance to score early in the 2', but the Rapids were able to put the ball our for a corner kick. The action did not get going until late in the half.
The Rapids got on the scoreboard in the 38'. A long ball by Axel Sjoberg to Marc Burch was headed to Dominique Badji in the middle. Badji was able to hold off Victor Bernardez and passed it back out to Burch. Burch then one-timed it into the box and a running Kevin Doyle who headed it past David Bingham for a great goal.
The Rapids almost scored a few minutes after that when Badji got past Bingham and got the shot off. But the Earthquakes were able to clear it off the line.
Things got interesting the second half. Referee Robert Sibiga made his presence known in the match for two questionable penalty kicks. The first one had Eric Miller and Chris Wondolowski come together, with Wondolowski collapsing on contact after sticking his foot right in front of Miller. Wondolowski converted the pk underneath Tim Howard. On the penalty kick against Fatai Alashe, he put his arms around Dillon Powers who then fell backwards. Doyle converted the penalty kick.
That is where the scoring finished.
My man of the match was Doyle. He was coming off a four week absence due to injury and scored two goals.
Here is how I saw the match.
Tim Howard - 6 (7.14): Howard did not have to make that many saves, but when he was called to under pressure by San Jose at the end of the match, he did. Howard was lucky Anibal Godoy put the ball over the net early in the second half after he bungled the save.
Marc Burch - 7 (7.64): Had a good match on defense and great match attacking. He was able to put in a great cross to get the assist on Doyle's goal.
Jared Watts - 6 (7): A good match for Watts but he made some mistakes. But those mistakes did not hurt the Rapids, thought it did make many nervous. He did recover well on a couple errors to make amends.
Axel Sjoberg - 7 (7.25): A great match for Sjoberg who was a clearing machine. He had some good battles with Wondolowski in this match and Sjoberg won most of those.
Eric Miller - 5 (6.57): Miller had an okay match though he did well at times. He was more active in the first half. His passing could have been better.
Dillon Powers - 6 (6.79): Had a decent match in what will become his natural position. He did well covering the defense and then getting up in attack.
Micheal Azira - 7 (7.25): A very good game for the defensive midfielder. There were a few times where he was able to steal the ball and send the Rapids on the attack.
Sebastien Le Toux - 5 (6.07): A rather lackluster match for Le Toux. He just was not that involved and lazy. His cross midway through the second half was way too easy for Bingham to control.
Kevin Doyle - 10 (8.57): A rare 10 and Doyle deserved it. In addition to the goal in the first half he converted the penalty kick in the second half. He also had some real good passes to Badji that opened up some chances.
Shkelzen Gashi - 6 (5.79): Some good defending in places for Gashi, but not much on the attack. He did have a good pass to Badji late in the first half that almost led to a Rapids goal.
Dominique Badji - 8 (7.46): Another good game for Badji, who was unlucky not to score. He made some good runs. Marvell Wynne is fast, but there were a few times where Badji outran Wynne. A good sign for the Rapids.
Caleb Calvert - 6 (6.04): Calvert did well and was unlucky not to score when Wynne got back and cleared his shot off the line. He was quite active down the right side. I am excited that he is with the Rapids.
Dennis Castillo. - N/A (5.46): A 90'+1' sub for Kevin Doyle.
That is how I saw the match, what do you think?