COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (AP) — Sanna Nyassi scored two of his three goals in the first half to lead the Colorado Rapids to a 4-1 victory over the New York Red Bulls on Wednesday night.
It was Nyassi’s first three goals of the year and only the seventh time a Rapids player had scored three times in a game. Wells Thompson added a goal for Colorado (7-6-9).
The Rapids needed a scoring lift as leading scorer Conor Casey earlier in the day had surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon. Casey, the last Rapids to have a three-goal game, is expected to be sidelined for at least eight months.
Thierry Henry scored his 10th goal of the year for New York (6-5-11), who had been blanked in its previous two games.
The Red Bulls are winless, 0-2-7 in their last nine road games.
The teams played to a 2-2 tie on May 25.
Colorado wasted little time opening the scoring.
Nyassi stole the inbound pass deep inside the Red Bulls’ zone, took the ball right at the defense. He fired a shot past goalkeeper Frank Rost’s left arm in the second minute.
The Red Bulls had several quality chances to tie the game. Midfielder Dave Richards broke free, but had his shot sail well over the crossbar in the sixth minute.
A header by Juan Agudelo was wide of its mark in the 13th minute. Goalkeeper Matt Pickens made a sliding save to xdeny a shot by Mehdi Ballouchy in the 23rd minute.
Colorado blew the game open after these missed opportunities.
Nyassi hit the left post from 35 yards out, but Thompson ran down the loose ball and beat Rost from close range in the 26th minute.
Nyassi slid between two New York defenders and crossed the ball over to his left foot to set up his second score. Rost couldn’t stop Nyassi’s left-footed shot from inside the box in the 30th minute.
Pickens caught a free kick by midfielder Dax McCarty in the 60th minute. Less than a minute later, Nyassi beat Rost again to make it 4-0.
Henry ruined Pickens’ shutout bid in the 67th minute. Agudelo fed Henry slicing between defenders for the goal.
A win would have moved the Red Bulls ahead of idle Philadelphia for the lead in the Eastern Conference.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)