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November 6, 2010
• 4:00 PM
• MAPFRE Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
Referee: M. Kennedy
• Attendance: 10322
E. Gaven 22'
R. Rogers 70'
Aggregate 2 - 2, Colorado Rapids win 5 - 4 on penalties
C. Casey 84'
Carroll skies it! Colorado wins 5-4 on penalties and goes through to the conference final. Colorado are rejoicing, but you've got to feel bad for Carroll. That's it here, thanks for following along!
Baudet has it! Carroll needs to score to keep the crew in.
Brunner steps up and finishes! Pickens nowhere near it and it's 4-4.
Lopez, drills it in! Unstoppable, even if Gruenebaum had guessed right.
Gaven, cool as you like! 3-3 after three rounds after Gaven puts it up the middle with Pickens to his right.
Larentowicz...scores! Low and to Gruenebaum's right, well taken.
Garey...scores! Puts it to Pickens' left, the Rapids keeper to his right.
Here's Kandji...scores! Gruenebaum guess right to his left and the ball somehow squirms under Gruenebaum and in!
Here's Schelotto...scores! Puts it in the exact same place place as Casey did with Pickens diving the other way. 1-1 after one round.
Here's Casey...scores! Perfectly taken to Gruenebaum's right, no chance for the Crew keeper.
Penalties will be taken in front of the Nordecke. Surely will give confidence to the home side. Rapids to take first with Casey.
For the penalty round, I will list the first sets of kicks as 121st minute, 2nd as 122nd, and so forth, to keep them in correct order..
That's it! We're off to penalties! 2-2 is the final aggregate score. Colorado won 1-0 in the first leg thanks to Pablo Mastroeni, while Columbus won the second leg 2-1. Gaven and Rogers for the Crew, Casey for the Rapids.
Two minutes of time added to the end of extra time, mostly for Schelotto's injury.
Colorado shouts for a handball in the box as Francis blocks a Kandji shot, but there wasn't much in that one, correct no-call by the referee.
The players, clearly looking exhausted, catch a break as Barros Schelotto is treated for injury, appears to be a strain of some kind.
That would have been a winner! Barros Schelotto sends Lenhart through with a sublime backheel, but Lenhart fires over one-on-one!
Francis slips up and affords Colorado a great opportunity as Cummings feeds Kandji, but the substitute fails to make it count as his low shot is right into the arms of Gruenebaum.
Second half of extra time is underway. Still 2-2 on aggregate, so 15 minutes until penalties, barring a goal.
That's it for the first half of extra time as the teams grab some water before switching sides. The match is still very much in the balance, and both teams look like they could score.
Great chance for Burns! The Rapids defense clears to the late substitute and he fights his way inside the box, but fires about a foot wide of Pickens' goal.
Pickens with a BIG save! Schelotto feeds Hejduk across the goal after some great holdup work from Lenhart, and Pickens appears down for the count, but Hejduk mishits it and Pickens saves at the last minute! So close, Colubus!
Lenhart nearly forces his way through, but is stymied by a resolute Drew Moor.
Underway in the first half of extra time. Colorado looks lively out of the gate, but it will be a very long 30 minutes.
90' + 4'
That's it! It's 2-1 to the Crew after 90 minutes, but with the aggregate score at 2-2, we are headed for 30 minutes of overtime!
Robert Warzycha uses his final substitution as Lenhar enters for Rogers. With Ekpo and Rogers out, Garey and Lenhart in, expect more direct play from the Crew. Interesting to see how this will match up against an athletic Colorado defense (albeit, without Wallace, who was also substituted.
Bad communication between Pickens and his defense leaves the goalkeeper stranded, but Gaven fires over from outside the area.
Goal Conor Casey
GOAL RAPIDS! It's all square now and who else would you expect? Cummings bursts down the right flank and crosses for Casey who gets a foot on it to redirect it in. 2-1 on the day, but the aggregate is now tied at 2-2.
Claudio Javier López
A study in contrasts with these substitutions. Emmanuel Ekpo, who has had a fantastic match, replaced by defensive midfielder Kevin Burns, while the Rapids bring in their own Argentine veteran, Claudio Lopez, to replace Kosuke Kimura.
Smith takes a shot from distance that luckily for the Crew sails just wide of Gruenebaum's goal!
Oh dear, Schelotto could have killed the game with that. Great work from Garey to get forward and cut it back for the Argentine at the edge of the area, but he got it all wrong and sent the ball all the way to West Virginia.
Kandji for Mullan and Baudet for Wallace.
So close Cummings! Mullan blows by Francis and plays Cummings in over the top, and Casey was along side him, but Cummings took it on the bounce and missed the target.
Yellow Card Robbie Rogers
Goal Robbie Rogers
Rogers with a yellow card for his shirtless goal celebration.
GOAL COLUMBUS! Fantastic ball from Ekpo to release Rogers, who beats Wallace for pace and coolly finishes past Pickens! That goal came out of nowhere.
Substitution for Columbus, Jason Garey replaces the ineffective Andres Mendoza.
Yellow Card Shaun Francis
Yellow for Francis and no questions about that one. Larentowicz with a nice move to possibly free himself on goal, and Francis has no choice but to bring him down.
Cummings again threatening down the right, but once more he can't find another Rapids player with his service. As well as he has started the second half, the Rapids really need him to be putting the chances away, as Casey is not looking up to scratch today.
Colorado looking slightly better in the buildup, but can't break down the compact Crew defense. The series is very much in the balance right now.
Yellow Card Brian Carroll
Yellow card for Brian Carroll. Mullan blows right by him and the Crew midfielder has no choice but to haul him down.
Yellow Card Emmanuel Ekpo
Yellow for Ekpo after bringing down Jeff Larentowicz while missing the ball completely.
Yellow Card Conor Casey
Yellow for Casey as he goes up to challenges Pickens on an aerial ball. Seemed like an innocuous challenge, but referee Michael Kennedy felt otherwise.
The second half is underway. No changes for either side at halftime.
As it stands, the Crew lead 1-0 on the day, but the aggregate is tied at 1-1. If there are no second half goals, the game goes to extra time and if necessary, penalty kicks.
Halftime at Crew Stadium. The Crew deservedly lead the game 1-0 through an Eddie Gaven strike after dominating the first 30 minutes. Colorado mounted a fightback towards the end of the half and Jeff Larentowicz was unlucky to hit the underside of the crossbar, but poor finishing has really hampered the Rapids so far.
And Brian Mullan with a late challenge on Schelotto. Got the ball, but swept Schelotto off his feet. Some refs have shown a yellow for those types of challenges, but Mullan escapes without picking up a second booking.
The Rapids have picked up their play, but cannot seem to find a way through a solid Crew defense. Chad Marshall and Shaun Francis have been particularly good at the back.
Yellow Card Brian Mullan
Yellow for Brian Mullan as he hauls down Robbie Rogers as he tries to break from the Crew half. Somewhat surprisingly, the first booking of the game for the Rapids.
Cummings really needs to put that away, the flick on from the corner falls right to him, but he somehow contrives to lift it over the bar. Not a great game from Cummings so far, which is not good news for the Rapids.
On the other hand, mind-boggling how Mastroeni hasn't picked up a yellow yet. He's been fouling consitently and just picked up the ball to run and complain to the fourth official after a Rapids foul.
Yellow Card Guillermos Barros Schelotto
Schelotto extreemly lucky to escape with a yellow there. Came in very late from behind and left his feet on Moor as he was shepherding the ball out, the Colorado players are arguing it should be a red while Schelotto doesn't see why he should have even gotten booked.
The crossbar saves the Crew! Larentowicz rips a free kick from outside the area and Gruenebaum had no idea about it and it bounces off the underside of the crossbar and is cleared. Half and inch lower and that's in.
Goal Eddie Gaven
GOAL COLUMBUS! Colorado can't clear as the ball bounces around in the box, and Schelotto flicks on to Gaven, who puts away the easy chance. Total defensive breakdown from Colorado there, but you could see that coming a mile away. The Crew lead 1-0 on the day, but the series is still knotted up at 1-1 on aggregate.
Huge save Wallace! Kimura gets in front of Mendoza to prevent a sure goal, but the ball is still trickling towards goal before Wallace slides in at the last second to clear it off the line.
Huge save Pickens! Emmanuel Ekpo beats a man and unleashes from just outside the area and Pickens gets the smallest of touches on it to divert it over the bar.
The Rapids look to have settled down now and both teams are battling hard, but neither can impose its will on the game. Getting fairly physical, but the referee seems to letting things go at this point, much to the display of Guillermo Barros Schelotto.
The Crew have gone close two more times and Colorado is on the back foot early! Mendoza just missed one-on-one against Pickens and two minutes later Robbie Rogers fires wide right from just outside the box.
Gaven hits the post! Great ball from Schelotto to send him through on the right, but he hits the post with a low shot from a tight angle.
Larentowicz with a curling ball in that Casey nearly takes through, but Marhsall gets in the way and it falls harmlessly to Gruenebaum
Things are underway at Crew Stadium!
Gruenebaum comes up big again, with a little bit of luck. Larentowicz rips another one from well outside the area that Gruenebaum gets his hands on. It runs free to Jamie Smith, who somehow contrives to put it right into the hands of Gruenebaum with the whole net to fire in.
A great move between Mastroeni and Casey results in Cummings running through on goal, but his low shot is too close to Gruenebaum and comfortably saved.
That's it until kickoff, stay tuned!
Two changes to the Crew lineup from the first leg. The faster Eric Brunner replaces Andy Iro in the center of defense, presumably to better deal with Colorado's pace. Up top, Peruvian international Andres Mendoza has replaced Steven Lenhart after an ineffective showing from the latter in the first leg. The Crew will line up in their usual 4-4-1-1, with Schelotto sitting just behind Mendoza. In possession, the formation will look much more attacking, as Gaven, Ekpo and Rogers will all get forward when possible, with Brian Carroll handling defensive duties in midfield.
No surprises in the Rapids lineup this afternoon. Jamie Smith is the only new face from the first, as he returns from injury to replace Wells Thompson. Rapids coach Gary Smith has his team lined up in a traditional 4-4-2 with two defensive midfielders and the classic big and strong/small and quick striker pairing.
I'll quickly break down the possible scenarios here. Colorado brings with them a 1-0 advantage from the first leg, thanks to Pablo Mastroeni. This means a win or a draw will see them through to the Eastern Conference final versus San Jose (thanks to MLS' convoluted playoff system). For Columbus to be sure of facing San Jose, they will have to win by two goals. The MLS playoffs do not use away goals, so a one-goal Columbus victory would take the tie to extra time, and then penalty kicks if needed.
Welcome to Goal.com's continuing coverage of the 2010 MLS playoffs. I'm Nick Rosano and I'll be keeping you up-to-date on the latest goings on between the Colorado Rapids and Columbus Crew as they battle for a spot in the Eastern Conference final.
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