Sunday, November 7, 2010
After the first game I openly wondered if Colorado Rapids could hold on to defeat Columbus Crew. Colorado left a lot of great chances on the table and squeaked out a 1-0 win at home. Well it was enough alright, although just barely.
Columbus came out with their hair on fire, playing with the kind of resolve that almost saw them tie up the first meeting in Colorado. Eddie Gaven rattled the post early, and Andres Mendoza skimmed one just past the post not too long after. Colorado was on their heels and finally gave up an opening goal to Eddie Gaven that came from a ball bouncing around in the box.
I don't know if Columbus purposely slowed up after that or if Colorado settled in and started to play better, but the Crew attack wasn't nearly as dangerous once they leveled the series. If it was Columbus pulling up, possibly fearing getting caught on the counter, it was a huge mistake. In the 35 minutes of the series up to that point where Columbus pushed the game, they absolutely dominated. When they sat back and tried to defend, it didn't go nearly as well.
However, Columbus looked poised to take the series anyway after Robbie Rogers survived a bump from Anthony Wallace and slid a goal past Matt Pickens in the 70th minute. Maybe sitting back and counter-attack can work, right Columbus?!
Colorado's attack is too good to give them repeated chances to attack. You have to make them defend if you want to slow them down. Conor Casey demonstrated why in the 84th minute when he slid on to a low cross from Omar Cummings (those two guys always seem to show up, huh?) and put an unstoppable ball by Andy Gruenebaum.
The game went to extra time and then to penalties, which I've embedded below in their entirety. You can watch them if you want, or read the commentary I wrote out as it was happening. BL = bottom left, TR = top right, etc.
COL: Conor Casey - BL, guess BL, goal
CLB: Guillermo Barros Schelotto - BL, guess BR, goal
COL: Mac Kandji - BR, guess BR, goal off a terrible save blunder
CLB: Jason Garey - TR, guess BL, goal
COL: Jeff Larentowicz - BL, guess BL, goal
CLB: Eddie Gaven - BR, gues BL, goal
COL: Claudio Lopez - TL, guess BR, goal Christ, unsavable
CLB: Eric Brunner - TR, guess BL, goal
COL: Julien Baudet - TL, guess BR, goal
CLB: Brian Carroll - BAGGIO'D!!!!!!!!
Colorado gets another home game now, hosting San Jose Earthquakes in the Eastern Conference finals (yeah, I know) next Saturday. Hopefully their fans do better than the pitiful 11,872 that showed up last time, because this team is good and they deserve better.