Schelotto, Ekpo guide Crew past RapidsJun 29, 2008 - 2:55 AM By Dave Holstein PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
COLUMBUS, Ohio (Ticker) -- Guillermo Barros Schelotto scored on a penalty kick and Emmanuel Ekpo snapped a tie in the 70th minute with his first goal of the season to lead the Columbus Crew to a 2-1 win over the Colorado Rapids on Saturday.
William Hesmer stopped seven shots for the Crew (8-4-2), who improved to 6-0-1 when Schelotto has a goal or an assist.. With the game tied at 1-1, Ekpo made a nice run with the ball and his strike from 20 yards beat Colorado goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul just inside the far post.
"Obviously the goal was an outstanding goal," Columbus coach Sigi Schmid said. "The flick at midfield to himself and then the run and he made a nice strike at the end for the goal."
"I had a couple of chances in the first half," Ekpo said. "I just tried something new, I was looking for a pass but kept on running and no one came to me, so I just hit it hard and it was good goal and felt really good."
Ekpo's goal came just 10 minutes after Colorado netted the equalizer when Nick LaBrocca received a nice cross from Conor Casey and beat Hesmer just inside the left post with a right-footed strike from the top of the box.
"It was a great cross from Conor," LaBrocca said. "I knew the first touch I had, had to be a good one and I just put a foot on it and hit it hard and it went in."
Schelotto opened the scoring in the 53rd minute with a successful penalty kick. The Crew were awarded the penalty when Colorado's Pablo Mastroeni tripped Columbus forward Alejandro Moreno in the box just to the right of the goal. Schelotto stepped up and scored his third goal of the season and his first at home this year.
"I just wait for the goalie," Schelotto said. "He just stayed on his line, so I hit it hard to the side and it went in."
"Like every other call in the game, it was subjective," Mastroeni said. "The referee made a decision. I think Moreno sold it and the referee bought it. It was one of those things. It was definitely a game changer, and it threw us on our heels a little bit. I think we did well responding but just couldn't get that extra goal to tie the game."
Coundoul stopped four shots for the Rapids (5-8-1), who are winless in their last four games and played without leading scorer Christian Gomez. Gomez, who has three goals on the season, was injured in the second half of last week's game against Houston.
The Crew missed several good scoring chances in the first half. Moreno missed a header wide in the 14th minute and just three minutes later, Moreno missed a shot just to the left of the goal off a corner. .
Colorado's lone first-half scoring opportunity came in the ninth minute when Casey's shot from just inside the top of the box was deflected by Hesmer diving to his left.
"I think we are playing hard, but not playing smart," Colorado coach Fernando Clavijo said. "Tonight we had some chances, but we gave up a goal after tying the game 1-1. We cannot allow a player to run 30-40 yards with the ball unmarked. I think we are playing very hard, we just have to stay positive and keep playing hard and smarter."
COLUMBUS 2 FINAL
Jun 28 9:28 PM
- MLS UPDATE
COLUMBUS GOAL: Emmanuel Ekpo in the 70th minute
Rapids 1, Crew SC 2 2nd - 70'Jun 28 9:02 PM
- MLS UPDATE
COLORADO GOAL: Nicholas LaBrocca in the 59th minute
Rapids 1, Crew SC 1 2nd - 59'Jun 28 8:53 PM
- MLS UPDATE
COLUMBUS PENALTY GOAL: Guillermo Barros Schelotto in the 53rd minute
Rapids 0, Crew SC 1 2nd - 53'Jun 28 8:48 PM
COLUMBUS 0 HALFTIME
Jun 28 8:26 PM
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