Real Salt Lake 0-0 Colorado Rapids: Dramatic Stalemate In The Rocky Mountain Cup.
Photo credit: Major League Soccer

Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids could not be separated in the first Rocky Mountain Cup match of the season. Dillon Powers could have given the Rapids all three points in the dying moments of the game when the visitors were awarded a late penalty, but Power’s attempt flew wide of the post.

Things started bad for the hosts as Jamison Olave went down within the first two minutes of the game, and the Colombian stayed down with what looked to be a leg injury. Olave returned to the pitch three minutes later, however he was eventually subbed off for Aaron Maund in the sixth minute.

The first real chance of the game, and the only chance of the opening half, came in the 13th minute when Javier Morales played in a good corner towards the head of Alvaro Saborio at the far post, but the striker’s header flew high over the bar and out for a goal kick.

The second half started a lot brighter for both sides, as the visitors had the first shot on target five minutes into the half when Marcelo Sarvas played the ball into Dillon Powers, who flicked the ball on to set up Sam Cronin on the edge of the penalty box, but his shot flew straight into the hands of Nick Rimando.

Salt Lake were next to attack nine minutes later as Saborio headed from close range, but Clint Irwin made an easy save to deny the hosts the lead. Nick LaBrocca almost scored one of the goals of the season when the midfielder spotted Rimando off his line, and his effort from miles out landed onto the roof of the net to keep the game goalless.

The game started to calm down a bit as the half progressed, the main battle took place in the midfield were both teams tried to win possession on the ball and attack the opposing defence with a swift counter attack, Joao Plata almost benefited off this tactic when the striker was thread through on goal, but with two defenders blocked his path, the 22-year-old tried a curling effort from distance that skimmed the post in the 85th minute.

Luke Mulholland should have made it 1-0 to the hosts with four minutes to go when the midfielder found himself open inside the box, but his header missed the target.

Both misses proved to be pivotal as Colorado were awarded a penalty in the 88th minute when Luis Solignac was fouled inside the box by Aaron Maund, and the referee pointed the spot. Powers stepped up to the spot for the Rapids, and his penalty kick flew wide of the right post as Rimando dived to his left, to somehow keep the game at 0-0 until the final whistle.