It took a deflected goal in overtime, but the Colorado Rapids finally beat FC Dallas 2-1 to secure their first MLS Cup.
In the second half of overtime, Rapids substitute Macoumba Kandji took a long pass from Conor Casey, drove inside the box, beat a defender and stabbed the ball across the face of the Dallas goal. His shot spun off George John’s left thigh and over goalkeeper Kevin Hartman’s head. John was charged with an own goal.
“I don’t mind how they come,” Rapids coach Gary Smith said. “If they’re winners, it doesn’t matter. For somebody to score an own goal there must be some pressure, they must be under some pressure, to make that mistake.”
Dallas opened the scoring in the 35th minute when winger Marvin Chavez fired a great cross into the path of a streaking Ferreira, who used his right foot to hammer the ball past Pickens. It was the second goal of the playoffs for Ferreira, who scored eight times during the regular season and also scored the opening goal last weekend in a 3-0 semifinal victory against Los Angeles.
Colorado tied it in the 57th minute. Jamie Smith cut into the penalty area and fired a low ball at the net, with Casey arriving at the same time as Hartman and defender Jair Benitez. Casey reacted fastest when the ball squirted loose, kicking it into the goal while still lying on the grass.
In the last five minutes FC Dallas threw everything at the Rapids goal but could find a way past Rapids goalkeeper Matt Pickens. Pickens made a terrific save in the final minute, pushing John’s shot wide. Moments later, defender Drew Moor cleared a shot off the goal line after Dallas striker Jeff Cunningham had rounded the goalie.
The MLS Cup is the showcase event for Major League Soccer, but it did not always highlight the best in MLS. Referee Baldomero Toledo was simply atrocious. He turned down a stone cold penalty trip on Casey in the box in the first half and failed to control a game that threatened to bubble over at times.
Toronto FC is one of the best supported teams in MLS, but Toronto is not the place to hold the MLS Cup. The Attendance was announced at 21,700, a sellout, but there were hundreds of empty seats scattered around the stadium. The temperature at kickoff was 45 degrees.