for this game

Controversial goal sends Rapids to tie with Earthquakes

Jul 13, 2008 - 4:05 AM By Randy Leighton PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

SANTA CLARA, California (Ticker) -- Unfortunately for the San Jose Earthquakes, one of the few times this season they were able to manufacture a goal came in the same game where they were on the wrong end of a missed call.

Conor Casey scored the game-tying goal in the 69th minute Saturday, allowing the Colorado Rapids to salvage a 1-1 draw against the Earthquakes.

San Jose (3-9-4) was able to score in a match for just the seventh time this season, halting a stretch in which the team had scored just one goal combined over its previous five games.

"Sometimes we're bleeding more goals than we're scoring," Earthquakes captain Nick Garcia said. "And for us, hopefully with the new signings (including striker Darren Huckerby on Friday), we'll turn a corner and get better results."

Ryan Johnson's diving header in the 62nd minute gave the Earthquakes a rare glimmer of hope and a 1-0 advantage..

"They have good players and a quality team," Rapids coach Fernando Clavijo said. "Their two strikers are very hard to mark. We knew that they were dangerous on set pieces and they punished us on a good set piece."

But after the tally, controversy quickly upended San Jose's charge.

Casey posted the equalizer just seven minutes later when his leaping header - off a set piece from Terry Cooke - completely froze San Jose keeper Joe Cannon in the middle of the net, knotting the game at 1-1.

"Terry (Cooke) got the ball deep in our half and played an early ball in," Casey said. "I managed to stand my ground and get up and get a deflection on it and put it back the other way."

However, the goal caused an eruption from Earthquakes coach Frank Yallop, who was ejected from the game for abusive language after arguing that Casey committed a foul to create an opening.

Replays of the goal clearly showed that Casey pushed off a defender to give him the room necessary to jump unimpeded and score the goal.

"I think they thought it was a foul," Casey said. "I have no idea. It happened pretty quickly. We were there battling and I got there first."

Despite the draw, Colorado (6-8-2) was unable to collect its first win in two meetings against the lowest-scoring team in MLS or build upon its four-goal outburst in an Independence Day win over New York.

"I thought we played better in the second half than in the first half," Yallop said. "It's frustrating because I thought our guys worked hard enough. I'm not sure if we should have won or not, but we were certainly in a position to win."

The Rapids also remained winless this season in games in which they do not score first.

Cannon turned away three shots for San Jose while Bouna Coundoul recorded four saves for Colorado.