Shkëlzen Gashi got his fourth goal of the season tonight, in a game that the Colorado Rapids were lucky to get away with a point. It was a tense 90+ minutes, with LA Galaxy bringing the pressure early and keeping it on for most of the game. Tim Howard showed us why the Rapids are paying him so much money, making five amazing saves.
While the Rapids had some good looks, the Galaxy pretty much dominated the first half. LA had almost 60% possession, 10 shots (three on goal), and three corners. The Rapids, on the other hand, had 41% possession, five shots (one on goal), and no corners at all. Howard had some of his best saves in the first half, though the post helped us out on a scary free kick in the 26th minute.
At first, I was pretty excited that Pablo Mastroeni was starting the same squad as he did last weekend against Vancouver, but Dillon Powers wasn’t doing much of anything, and Dominique Badji was fairly ineffective. Kevin Doyle had a great cross that went through the defenders’ legs, but seemed to catch Marlon Hairston off guard and he wasn’t able to put it away.
Overall, the Rapids were lacking creativity and speed in the first half. LA came out hungry for the win, and it was very obvious in the first half.
Surprisingly, Pablo made a sub at the half (he obviously saw our tweets), and put in Sébastien Le Toux for Badji. About five minutes in the second half, Gashi sent in another one of his bombs (with an assist from Hairston) and it finally hit the back of the net. 1-0 Rapids.
A little over 10 minutes later, in the 62nd minute, LA Galaxy sent in a corner kick and Daniel Steres scored to tie it up.
Pablo subbed in Michael Azira for Gashi in the 73rd minute, which meant Powers moved up to the #10 spot. In the 84th minute, Nigel de Jong showed us yet again just how reckless of a player he is, coming in cleats high at Kevin Doyle but ended up taking out his own goalkeeper, Brian Rowe. Not even two minutes after Rowe barely walks off the field, de Jong comes in at Doyle AGAIN. Initially it was called a regular foul, but then he was apparently given a yellow card at some point. One minute later, Azira got a yellow card for nothing.
After announcing that there would be 8 minutes of stoppage, the Rapids more or less parked it to play for the tie. LA kept on bringing it, but at the final whistle, the score remained 1-1 (and LA remains unbeaten at home). The Rapids were lucky to get away with a point here. They’re also lucky de Jong didn’t break Doyle’s back or leg.