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Movsisyan magic ends Rapids season

Posted on 25 October 2008 by pshea

It took until the 90th minute, but Movsisyan got RSL even

With a 1-1 tie in front of 16,047 fans at Dicks Sporting Goods Park on Saturday night, Real Salt Lake earned its first trip to the MLS playoffs, retained ownership of the Rocky Mountain Cup, and ended the season for the Colorado Rapids. Colorado’s Conor Casey lofted a shot over goalkeeper Nick Rimando for the opening goal in the 19th minute, but Rimando made five spectacular saves during the remainder of the game, and Yura Movsisyan put away a Bouna Coundoul deflection in the 90th minute to conclude the night and season for the Rapids.

Four Rapids alumni started for Real Salt Lake (Nat Borchers, Clint Mathis, Chris Wingert, and Kyle Beckerman), and Colorado started with a steady flow of shots from the opening whistle. Nick LaBrocca missed one of the easiest opportunities for Colorado, a ball from Omar Cummings on the ground in the box that hit the near-post side netting in the second minute. LaBrocca worked hard to atone for the easy miss, registering five shots for the night, tackling tough in all thirds of the field, and retaining possession for the home side.

Casey also registered five shots for Colorado, and he was on the receiving end of the long balls served up front all night long. Tom McManus replaced Casey in the final minute with five minutes of extra time added to account for a double-casualty play when Will Johnson booted a fellow Salt Lake player in the head by accident and Javier Morales committed a yellow-card worthy foul on Colorado’s Kosuke Kimura. Although there were no ejections and only five cautions, it was a night of crunching tackles, tight marking, and crippling collisions.

Ugo Ihemelu miscleared a ball in the sixth minute, and Movsisyan hit the ball wide left, the first of four shots for the eventual goal-scorer. Although Ihemelu had a few unfortunate miscues, he also had the tackle of the night when he crunched substitute Andy Williams in the penalty box in the closing minutes of the game. Real Salt Lake head coach Jason Kreis had special praise for Williams, who came on for Dema Kovalenko in the 54th minute. Williams has had a rough season, but he contributed to the momentum shift for Real in the second half, and his blistering shot in the 89th minute forced Coundoul to make an acrobatic deflection that Movsisyn tucked away.

Coundoul finished the night with three saves, beginning with a well-placed header from Mathis in the 42nd minute. Wingert found space on the right wing and placed a cross in front of Mathis, who fired a header low. Coundoul deflected the ball off the post, and Ihemelu cleared it to safety. Three minutes later, Wingert set himself up with a step-over and fired a left-footed blast on-goal that Coundoul controlled to safeguard the 1-0 lead going into halftime.

Neither team made changes at the break, but Kreis inserted three attacking players before Colorado’s Gary Smith made any substitutions. After Williams, Robbie Russell replaced Ian Joy in the 56th minute, and Robbie Findley came on for Wingert in the 72nd minute. For Colorado, Terry Cooke came on first, a swap for Cummings in the 75th minute, followed by Jacob Peterson for a limping Mehdi Ballouchy in the 80th minute, and McManus for Casey in the closing moments.

As the fouling increased in the second half, the tempo slowed to spastic fits and the visitors from Utah began to take control. But Colorado had plenty of chances to finish the game and give the Colorado faithful a chance to return to Commerce City to watch their team face Chivas USA next Saturday. Poor shooting and spectacular goalkeeping dashed those chances.

In the 87th minute, Cooke missed the final opportunity for Colorado. Peterson flicked a header in the midfield that fell to Casey’s feet. Casey raced up the left wing with the ball while Colin Clark darted up the middle. Casey pushed the ball square in the box behind Clark to Cooke’s feet. But the Englishman hit the ball high wide left, the final shot of the season for Colorado.

Match Facts

Real Salt Lake (10-10-10) vs. Colorado Rapids (11-14-5)
October 25, 2008 — Dick’s Sporting Goods Park

Scoring Summary:

COL — Conor Casey 11 (Jordan Harvey 1) 19
RSL — Yura Movsisyan 7 (unassisted) 90


Real Salt Lake — Nick Rimando, Chris Wingert (Robbie Findley 72), Nat Borchers, Jamison Olave, Ian Joy (Robbie Russell 56), Dema Kovalenko (Andy Williams 54), Kyle Beckerman, Javier Morales, Will Johnson, Clint Mathis, Yura Movsisyan,

Substitutes Not Used: Tony Beltran, Kenny Deuchar, Chris Seitz, Nathan Sturgis

Colorado Rapids — Bouna Coundoul, Kosuke Kimura, Ugo Ihemelu, Mike Petke, Jordan Harvey, Nick LaBrocca, Mehdi Ballouchy (Jacob Peterson 80), Pablo Mastroeni, Colin Clark, Conor Casey (Tom McManus 89), Omar Cummings (Terry Cooke 75),

Substitutes Not Used: Jose Burciaga Jr., Preston Burpo, Christian Gomez, Facundo Erpen

Statistical Summary:
Colorado Rapids / Real Salt Lake
total shots: 20 (Conor Casey 5, Nick LaBrocca 5) / 12 (Yura Movsisyan 4)
shots on goal: 6 (Conor Casey 2) / 4 (4 tied with 1)
fouls: 10 (Conor Casey 3, Pablo Mastroeni 3) / 10 (Jamison Olave 3)
offsides: 2 (Conor Casey 2) / 1 (Yura Movsisyan 1)
corner kicks: 4 (Mehdi Ballouchy 3) / 4 (Javier Morales 4)
saves: 3 (Bouna Coundoul 3) / 5 (Nick Rimando 5)

Misconduct Summary:
RSL — Clint Mathis (caution; Dissent) 67
RSL — Javier Morales (caution; Reckless Foul) 69
RSL — Nat Borchers (caution; Reckless Tackle) 82
COL — Ugo Ihemelu (caution; Unsporting Behavior) 90
COL — Kosuke Kimura (caution; Reckless Tackle) 94+

referee: Alex Prus
Referee’s Assistants: Chris Strickland; Jose Corro
4th official: Ben Chouaf
time of game: 1:53
attendance: 16,047
weather: Clear -and- 65 degrees

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  1. 2009 Rocky Mountain Cup, Round I | American Soccer News Says:

    […] Mountain Cup twice and knocking Colorado out of the 2008 MLS Cup Playoffs in the 90th minute of last season’s regular season finale. So despite the pleasantries given to RSL by Rapids skipper Gary Smith in last week’s press […]

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