Two defensive errors in the space of ten minutes late in the second half and this game was over. The Colorado Rapids lost 3-2 to the Galaxy in LA for the second time this season and now the playoff hopes are dimming. The Rapids simply have to go to Chivas next weekend back in LA and win so that there is not too much pressure in that last home game against Salt Lake.
The Rapids started very well and dominated the first 15 minutes. LA were barely in the Rapids' half. Tom McManus, who hustled well all night, had the first of many chances in the opening 30 seconds but could not convert, the ball eventually finding its way to Kosuke Kimura who shot wide. LA then began to control the game more and took the lead in the 35th minute, a lovely pass from Franklin finding its way to the prolific Edson Buddle who shot wide of Preston Burpo. We went into half time with a lot more hope after Cory Gibbs buried one with a header into the corner from, you guessed it, a Terry Cooke corner.
The second half started brightly with McManus hitting the post from a Colin Clark cross but the crucial ten minutes saw Burpo missing a free-kick cross which curled into a desperate Ugo Ihemelu just yards from the goal and he could do nothing about it. Then, Jose Burciaga, who had just come on as a substitute, lost the ball carelessly in midfield which led to a fantastic strike from the LA player from well out. We did get one back from a McManus penalty but it was all too late.
We just seem to make too many mistakes at the wrong time. Last week, we did it at the front end of the game, this week at the back end when we were looking good for a possible road win. Burpo rescues us often when he is coming off his line to meet through balls on the ground and he also made one fine save early in the second half but he does seem to hesitate often when coming out to meet crosses. Burciaga's mistake was somewhat lazy. I'm sure Gary Smith will be reminding him that an experienced professional should not be losing the ball so easily just in front of the defensive line. That's not to pick on those players. It's just that we seem to make too many errors at such crucial times when we can't afford to be making them. We're still in it but our chances are somewhat dented and it will be an uphill struggle from now.