A spectacular goal from Brian Mullan – his first-ever goal for the Colorado Rapids – and another Omar Cummings and Sanna Nyassi combination proved enough for the home team to record a 2-0 victory over the visiting Columbus Crew Friday night at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
Man of the Match Mullan picked up the ball from a Wells Thompson pass outside the penalty area in the 54th minute and crushed it with his right foot high into the upper-90 of William Hesmer’s net. Just after the hour, he tried to do it again from a similar position but the ball sailed over the bar.
Meanwhile, Nyassi and Cummings had been combining well all night long, the Jamaican trying time and time again to put Nyassi in behind the defense as he had done in last week’s game against Philadelphia. The Rapids had to wait until the 79th minute for the duo’s efforts to finally pay off, as it was Nyassi this time who played in Cummings. The Jamaican coolly finished from inside the penalty area for his first goal in four months.
The Rapids did enjoy the bulk of the possession during the game but the Crew also found themselves with some of the best chances of the match. Andres Mendoza twice found himself in a great position to score, once in the second half when Matt Pickens pulled off an excellent save in the 74th minute.
The best early chance of the game came in the 18th minute when the Peruvian striker failed to turn in a close range flick from a Robbie Rogers cross after a sweet build-up from the Crew.
Apart from that, though, the Crew failed to produce much danger, especially in the second half where they looked to be running out of gas as the Rapids killed the game off.
Both team suffered unfortunate injuries during the game. The Crew lost pivotal midfielder Eddie Gaven very early in the game as he went off in the 7th minute following a challenge on Jeff Larentowicz. Anthony Wallace, making a first Rapids appearance in several games as a late substitute, survived only about a minute before he had to go off with an injury in a season plagued by knocks.
The Rapids (9-6-10, 37 points), who now have won four of their last six games, will next play the San Jose Earthquakes on the road August 13. Columbus (9-7-7, 34 points) will host the New England Revolution the same day.
COL - Brian Mullan (Wells Thompson) 54
COL - Omar Cummings (Sanna Nyassi) 79
COLORADO RAPIDS -- Matt Pickens; Drew Moor, Tyrone Marshall, Marvell Wynne, Kosuke Kimura (Anthony Wallace 87, Scott Palguta 89); Jeff Larentowicz, Pablo Mastroeni (Joseph Nane, 83), Brian Mullan, Wells Thompson; Sanna Nyassi, Omar Cummings
COLUMBUS CREW -- Will Hesmer; Sebastian Miranda, Chad Marshall, Julius James, Josh Gardner; Eddie Gaven (Bernardo Anor 7, Justin Meram 72), Emmanuel Ekpo, Dejan Rusmir (Eric Gehrig 55), Robbie Rogers; Andres Mendoza, Tommy Heinemann
CLB -- Dejan Rusmir (Caution; Persistent infringement) 52
Refereee: Alex Prus
Referee's assistants: Greg Barkey, Jeff Hosking
4th Official: Jose Carlos Rivero