Thursday, November 18, 2010

Colorado - Dallas: 2005

By 2005 the playoffs had changed format. The first round was now just a 2 game series, with no away goals rule. the Rapids finished 3rd in the West, 3 points behind FC Dallas which set up another first round matchup between the teams.

The first game was at Invesco Field in Denver. Both teams came out looking for an advantage but all they found were yellow cards as the game ended scoreless, setting up a 1 game series at the brand-new Pizza Hut Park in Dallas.

The Rapids jumped out to an early lead off a Jeff Cunningham goal. Cunningham could be starting as the lone striker in Dallas' 4-5-1 formation on Sunday. That was the only event in a quiet first half, but the second half turned out to be very different. The first 20 minutes saw 3 yellow cards and a red card on Rapids midfielder Alain Nkong (now playing in the Mexican second division). In the 67th minute Dallas leveled the score on a goal from Carlos Ruiz (now playing in Greece). The teams would exchange 3 more yellow cards, but Dallas could not find a second goal despite being up a man and the game would go to 30 minutes of extra time.

Right at the end of the first 15 minutes of overtime Carlos Ruiz scored again and things looked bleak for the Rapids. Right after the teams switched sides Richie Kotschau popped up out of nowhere to level the game (He still lives in Denver and has been seed at Rapids games and events). Colorado was called for a PK and Ruiz stepped up to take the lead and complete his hat-trick, only for his shot to hit the post so the series went to PK's. Much like the recent series against Columbus the fist 4 kickers for each side made their kicks. Then Roberta Mina had his saved by Rapids keeper Joe Cannon (still playing for the San Jose side the Rapids defeated on Saturday). Jean-Philippe Peguero put his shot away to send Dallas out again and the Rapids to the conference final against LA. Much like this year Colorado hosted the Conference final since the Galaxy, as the 4 seed, knocked off the top seeded Earthquakes. LA would come into Invesco Field and control the game en route to a 2-0 victory and a trip to MLS Cup (which they won, 1-0).


Jester said...

I could be mistaken, but I beleive Ruiz is playing for Aris in Greece.

Jason Maxwell said...

You are correct, fixed