for this game

Late penalty kick by Casey propels Rapids over Chivas

Oct 19, 2008 - 10:23 PM CARSON, California (Ticker) -- Conor Casey's penalty kick in the 85th minute snapped a tie and gave the Colorado Rapids a 2-1 victory over Chivas USA on Sunday to keep the team's playoff hopes alive.

Moments earlier, Chivas defender Shavar Thomas was whistled after knocking down Colorado forward Omar Cummings with an elbow into his side inside the box.

Casey converted the attempt, drilling his 10th goal of the season past goalkeeper Dan Kennedy and just inside the right goalpost.

"It's an overwhelming result for us," Colorado coach Gary Smith said. "It was a pressurized day the way our form has gone all season. We need results and today was one of them."

The clubs played to a halftime stalemate before finally putting points on the board in the second half. Colin Clark opened the scoring for the Rapids in the 67th minute with his fifth goal off assists from Cummings and Terry Cooke, but Chivas answered five minutes later on Jonathan Bornstein's tally.

The Rapids had two penalty kicks on Sunday, but Tom McManus misfired on his attempt in the 57th minute before Casey capitalized later on.

"I think that both of the penalty kicks were a little funny," Chivas coach Preki said. "I don't believe either one was a PK. In the course of the year, we had one PK and in this game, two. It's disappointing to lose like that, but give them credit. They needed to win and they did."

It was a crucial victory for the Rapids (11-14-4), who needed the three points to give themselves a real shot at the postseason. Now with 37 points, they are two points behind Real Salt Lake (10-10-9) and two points ahead of FC Dallas (8-10-11) in the Western Conference.

The Rapids will close out the regular season next week when they host Salt Lake with major playoff implications on the line.

"We've got one game left against a very tough opponent," Smith said. "I feel we have the edge playing at home. They completely turned us over in Salt Lake It's going to be a big night, winner takes all."

Chivas (12-10-6), on the other hand, has already clinched a playoff spot for the third consecutive season.