Real Espana Defeats Colorado Rapids 2-1
COMMERCE CITY, Colo. -- Carlos Pavon scored the second of his two goals in the 33rd minute and Real Espana topped the Colorado Rapids 2-1 in a Group B CONCACAF Champions League match Wednesday night.
Pavon broke free after gaining control of the ball at midfield for the deciding goal. He also scored in the 13th minute for Real Espana of Honduras (1-2-1).
"Carlos means so much to this team," Real Espana coach Mario Zanabria. "He brings a lot experience and a lot of presence in front of the goal."
Goalkeeper Marcelo Macias made several saves in added time to preserve the win.
"That is a very difficult Rapids team to play because they have such big, strong forwards," Zanabria said. "But in the end we performed very well in front of the goal."
Andre Akpan scored for Colorado. The Rapids have lost two consecutive home games in the tournament.
Goalkeeper Steward Ceus has started ahead of regular goalkeeper Matt Pickens in all four games.
"It was very disappointing," Colorado coach Gary Smith said. "I thought we had enough chances to be in this game."
The teams played to a 1-1 tie on Aug. 23 in Honduras.
Ceus set up Pavon's first goal when he inadvertently sent a clearing kick directly out of bounds. Real Espana took possession of the ball and it found its way to Allan Lalin along the sideline.
Lalin sent a cross to Pavon alone in the slot. The captain settled the ball down and sent a shoulder high drive past Ceus in the 13th minute.
"It was critical for us to get that goal," Zanabria said.
Colorado tied it at 1 in the 18th minute. A cross from Macoumba Kandji was deflected and uncovered by Macias.
Akpan got possession of the loose ball 10 yards out and Macias could only wave at the low ball.
Akpan hit the right post for the Rapids in the 29th minute.
Real Espana regained the lead at 2-1 in the 33rd minute on Pavon's second goal of the night. Pavon outmaneuvered Colorado defender Kosuke Kimura near midfield, moved just outside the scoring box and beat Ceus with a low drive.
"Those two plays were the difference in us trailing and us being either tied or ahead," Smith said. "Andre's shot off the post and the mistake we made on their second goal."
Neither team threatened in the second half until the 54th minute when Colorado was awarded a free kick. Macias caught the kick of Kandji with both hands.
The Rapids stepped up the pressure and Jamie Smith was able to get off a shot on goal after stealing the ball. But Macias made a diving save in the 67th minute.
Macias took control in the added time at the end. He caught a header by Omar Cummings and came well out of his crease to deny Jamie Smith's shot off a free kick.