COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (AP) – Matt Pickens reached a personal milestone while shutting down Chivas USA. It was of secondary importance to the Colorado goalkeeper.
Pickens had his third shutout of the season to tie the Colorado record of 25, and the Rapids beat Chivas USA 4-0 on Saturday night to snap a three-game losing streak.
“It’s nice,” said Pickens, who also received a bottle of champagne for his efforts. “The most important part of tonight was we won the game.”
Pickens matched Joe Cannon’s franchise record for shutouts and pushed his overall MLS total to 36.
Kamani Hill had two goals, and Tony Cascio and Jeff Larentowicz also scored for Colorado (4-4-0). The Rapids had scored only once in their previous three games.
“I don’t understand what took us so long to get going.” Colorado coach Oscar Pareja said. “We were close in the first half, but did do better in the second half.”
Chivas dropped to 3-5-0. Colorado is 5-0-1 in their last six meetings with Chivas.
Chivas controlled play in the first half in losing for first time on the road this season. The California club was shut out for the fifth time this season and has scored only four goals.
“The score is maybe not indicative of the entire game,” Chivas coach Robin Fraser said. “But at the end of the day the score is what is going to be remembered.”
Cascio scored in the 50th minute. Cascio took a corner kick from Martin Rivera, spun around and beat goalkeeper Dan Kennedy with a left-footed kick from 25 yards.
Kennedy spent more time scooping up errant passes that turning aside scoring chances in a scoreless first half. He watched a shot by Martin Rivera sail wide of the left post in the seventh minute and easily caught Rivera’s free kick in the 13th minute.
Pickens had a busier half. He swatted away a free kick by Laurent Courtois in the 11th minute and a free kick by Miller Bolanos in the 33rd minute.
Chivas applied pressure and forced a turnover deep inside the Colorado zone. It set up a bicycle kick by Courtois that Pickens blocked right to Juan Pablo Angel, whose shot was deflected away by Pickens in the 30th minute.
“We had moments that were good in the first half,” Fraser said. “We have to execute and finish our opportunities when we get them.”
Colorado applied more offensive pressure from the outset of the second half. The Rapids earned the corner kick that set up Cascio’s goal.
“The ball came to me on the far post,” Cascio said. “I just took it off the chest and figured if I put it on goal and something could happen and I scored.”
Chivas nearly tied it in the 55th minute. Pickens stopped two shots, the second by Courtois from beside the right post.
Hill converted a cross from Omar Cummings in the 82nd minute. One minute later, Larentowicz buried a penalty kick.
“The goals at the end resulted from everything opening up,” Cascio said. “Chances happened, gaps opened up and we finally finished some opportunities.”
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)