for this game

Hat trick by Casey leads Rapids past Red Bulls

Sep 28, 2008 - 3:04 AM By Simon Lewis PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Ticker) -- Conor Casey's hat trick gave the Colorado Rapids a hard-earned road victory over the New York Red Bulls, 5-4, on Saturday at Giants Stadium.

Casey netted two goals, including a successful penalty conversion, during a seven-goal opening half marked by amateurish defending throughout as the Rapids took a 4-3 into the break.

New York leveled the match with 15 minutes to go when Matthew Mbuta scored in his MLS debut, but Casey finished the home side off in the 90th minute to send Colorado to 10-12-4 for the season, while the Red Bulls dropped to 9-9-8.

New York head coach Juan Carlos Osorio was clearly unhappy with the sloppy defending by his side.

"Never in my life have I coached a team that has allowed four goals in the first half," an incensed Osorio said. "Atrocious defending. It looks like a shootout game for both teams, probably good for the fans but chaos - really, really poor defending.

When asked what he would say to his players in the wake of the defeat, Osorio gave no details but left little to the imagination.

"I already told them and you don't want to know."

Colorado's interim head coach Gary Smith was understandably elated with his side's hard-fought victory, the Rapids having gone in front three times in the first half alone.

"What a rollercoaster of a game," Smith said. "There were some extremely good performances from a team who I think are making a statement with their football that they want to be in the playoffs."

The game came to life quickly when Colorado took the lead in the third minute after Red Bulls goalkeeper Jon Conway rushed off his line to block Casey.

The ball rebounded to Omar Cummings, who deposited the opening tally.

New York was soon in business, however, when Mike Magee leveled the scoring in the fifth minute, beating Colorado keeper Preston Burpo from 10 yards.

The scoring did not stop there as Colorado grabbed the lead once more in the 11th minute, as a long ball upfield from Burpo reached Cummings on the edge of the Red Bulls' penalty area. Cummings delivered the ball square for Casey, who shrugged off defender Gabriel Cichero to score from close range and gave the visitors a 2-1 lead.

The scoring resumed in the 33rd minute when Rapids captain Pablo Mastroeni blocked an attempted cross from the left by Magee. The ball appeared to strike his chest but his hands were also raised and referee Baldomero Toledo pointed to the penalty spot for a handball, from where Juan Pablo Angel tucked away his ninth goal in 11 games and 11th of the season.

New York then took the lead for the first time when Dane Richards finished off a nifty pass from Juan Pietravallo, who had advanced upfield from his defensive midfield position and spread the ball out wide to Jorge Rojas on the left wing. Rojas put the ball into the Rapids box and Richards was there to drive it home.

While the home side looked good in attacking third, there were still plenty of defensive problems at the other end as New York failed to clear a corner from the left by Mehdi Ballouchy. The ball found its way to the back post, where Mike Petke brought the ball inside and fired home an equalizer to make it 3-3 in the 43rd minute.

Colorado was not done, taking the lead into halftime thanks to a 45th minute penalty kick. Pietravallo brought down Nick LaBrocca and Casey converted for his second goal of the game and seventh of the season and the Rapids went in at the interval in front, 4-3.

Osorio was forced to replace Richards 10 minutes into the second half. The midfielder limped out of the action following an earlier collision with Burpo and was replaced by new signing Macoumba Kandji, who made his MLS debut. Richards was later diagnosed as having suffered a hyperextended right knee.

Osorio made his last throw of the dice with 20 minutes to go as he sent on another striker, Cameroon-born Mbuta for his MLS debut. Mbuta made an immediate impact when he took a Kandji cross from the right and shot the ball home from close range to tie the game, 4-4.

Casey was not finished, though, as he got on the end of a Ballouchy cross in the final minute of regulation time to give his team a huge boost heading into the last month of the regular season.

Andrew Boyens was booked for a mid-air challenge on Ballouchy in the 67th minute, meaning the New York defender will serve a one-match ban, having accumulated five cautions.








  • MLS
    COLORADO 5
    NY RED BULLS 4 FINAL

    Sep 27 9:33 PM


  • MLS UPDATE
    COLORADO 5
    NY RED BULLS 4
    COLORADO CAUTION: Medhi Ballouchy in the 89th minute

    Rapids 5, Red Bulls 4  2nd - 89'Sep 27 9:32 PM
  • 20
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 67 roots (Close Finish)

    Rapids 5, Red Bulls 4  2nd - 89'Sep 27 9:32 PM
  • 87
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 32 roots (Close Finish)

    Rapids 4, Red Bulls 4  2nd - 85'Sep 27 9:22 PM
  • 55
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 40 roots (Close Finish)

    Rapids 4, Red Bulls 4  2nd - 82'Sep 27 9:18 PM
  • 15
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 15 roots (Close Finish)

    Rapids 4, Red Bulls 4  2nd - 79'Sep 27 9:16 PM


  • MLS UPDATE
    COLORADO 4
    NY RED BULLS 4
    NY RED BULLS GOAL: Matthew Mbuta in the 74th minute

    Rapids 4, Red Bulls 4  2nd - 74'Sep 27 9:11 PM


  • MLS UPDATE
    COLORADO 4
    NY RED BULLS 3
    NY RED BULLS SUBSTITUTION: Andrew Boyens for Gabriel Cichero
    in the 46th minute

    Rapids 4, Red Bulls 3  2nd - 46'Sep 27 8:42 PM


  • MLS UPDATE
    COLORADO 2
    NY RED BULLS 2
    COLORADO CAUTION: Conor Casey in the 35th minute

    Rapids 2, Red Bulls 2  1st - 35'Sep 27 8:16 PM


  • MLS UPDATE
    COLORADO 2
    NY RED BULLS 1
    COLORADO GOAL: Conor Casey in the 11th minute

    Rapids 2, Red Bulls 1  1st - 11'Sep 27 7:50 PM


  • MLS UPDATE
    COLORADO 1
    NY RED BULLS 1
    NY RED BULLS GOAL: Mike Magee in the 5th minute

    Rapids 1, Red Bulls 1  1st - 5'Sep 27 7:45 PM