- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 18, 2005

For more than an hour last night at RFK Stadium, it looked like the season-high 21,875 fans would see an ugly scoreless tie littered with brutal tackles, wasted time and blown chances. But United’s talented attacking duo of Christian Gomez and Jamie Moreno produced two brilliant goals to give United a 2-0 win over the Colorado Rapids.

The win solidified United’s second-place position (14-9-5, 47 points) in the Eastern Conference behind New England (51 points) and avenged a 1-0 loss at Colorado earlier this month.

With nine yellow cards already given out in the match — six for the Rapids and three for United — Colorado coach Fernando Clavijo and United coach Peter Nowak nearly came to blows in the final minutes and had to be separated.

“Colorado came today not to play soccer but just to disturb us,” said Nowak, who was angry at what he perceived as Colorado’s unsportsmanlike tactics. “If you lose, you have to lose with class.”

The game started at a fast tempo and United came close to taking the lead in the fifth minute when Jamil Walker’s powerful shot rebounded off the bar.

Seconds later, United goalie Nick Rimando pulled off a big save in a full stretch, stopping Jovan Kirovski’s header.

United searched for an early goal and appeared to be denied two penalties in the opening 10 minutes. Colorado players pulled Gomez off the ball and tackled Santino Quaranta but rookie referee Hilario Grajeda waved off both calls.

“This was a fun game to be part of — tough and scrappy,” Quaranta said.

In the second half, Moreno squandered a breakaway as Rapids goalie Joe Cannon stalled on every dead-ball situation to run the clock down. Cannon then suffered an injury and was replaced in the 59th minute by Byron Foss.

Foss probably wished he had remained on the bench because six minutes later, he gave up the game’s first goal on a blistering kick by Gomez.

United earned the kick when Kirovski downed Moreno just a yard outside the box. Gomez fired the 19-yard spot kick perfectly, curling it high into the inside corner of the Rapids goal. Foss did get his hands on Gomez’s 10th goal of the season but failed to save it.

With 10 minutes left, Moreno finished off the Rapids with his 13th on the season. After fine work from Quaranta, Kovalenko fed Moreno in the box. The Bolivian dribbled past defender Ritchie Kotschau and curled the ball from 7 yards out just inside the far post for the 2-0 final.

“It was an important goal in a game that seemed unfair because we created so many chances,” Moreno said.

Josh Gros, who has started 25 games, came off the bench for the first time this season, spelling Walker in the 70th minute. Freddy Adu played five minutes in place of Gomez.

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