Nov. 13, 2010EARTHQUAKESPAGEMLS PAGE
COMMERCECITY, Colo. (AP) Kosuke Kimura wasn't looking to score. Just to set upOmar Cummings with a chance to get a go-ahead goal for the ColoradoRapids."I took the shot with the idea thatgood things happen when you put the ball to the net," Kimura said. "Itwas a simple cross to Omar and it went in."Kimura scored in the 43rd minute andthe Rapids beat the San Jose Earthquakes 1-0 in chilly conditionsSaturday night to advance to the MLS Cup."We've gotten scoring from a lot ofdifferent areas in the playoffs," Colorado coach Gary Smith. "Tonightit was Kosuke's night and he made the most of it."Kimura scored on a shot from along the sideline that eluded goalkeeper Jon Busch. The goal was Kimura's first of the season."They scored on a lucky shot," Busch said. "It was a cross that everybody missed and it went in."The seventh-seeded Rapids reached theMLS final for the first time since losing to D.C United in 1997. Theywill face the FC Dallas-Los Angeles winner Sunday in the title gameNov. 21 in Toronto."This was unbelievable effort by our team and our conference," Smith said. "It shows the kind of parody there is in the league."Temperatures dropped into the high30s in the matchup of the two lowest-seeded teams in the WesternConference. The Earthquakes were seeded eighth."Weather wasn't a factor," San Josecoach Frank Yallop said. "I thought it was a very even game and thedifference was the one ball that got in."San Jose had five corner kicks and more scoring chances, but trailed 1-0 after 45 minutes."We had our chances in the first 40 minutes," Yallop said. "Finishing passes was lacking. The final pass was lacking."The aggressive Earthquakes put threeshots at Colorado goalkeeper Matt Pickens in the first 8 minutes. TimWard send a low drive from 15 yards from the left post in the thirdminute, Geovanni had a shot from the slot and Chris Wondolowski kickedone through traffic, but Pickens smothered them all.The biggest save wasn't made byPickens at all, but by Kimura in the 26th minute. Ryan Johnson brokefree in front of Pickens, but Kimura came in at the last instance tostrip Johnson of the ball and swat it out of harms way."I knew his style of touching theball one time before taking his shot," Kimura said. "It gave me time toget back on the play and get back before he took the shot."Meanwhile, Colorado's offense waslimited to a couple of harmless shots by Cummings and Anthony Wallace.That was until Kumara gained control of the ball along the sideline.Kimura appeared to send a cross toCummings in front of the net, but the ball never connected withCummings, who fanned on the ball. Instead, it bounced past Busch andinto goal.Colorado kept up the pressure at thestart of the second half. Conor Casey and Drew Moor barely missedcatching the right post in the 50th minute.The Earthquakes regained momentum.Wondolowski had a step on his defender in the 53rd minute, but lostcontrol of the ball and Geovanni never got through the three-man wallon a free kick in the 56th minute.Busch kept it a one-goal game with adiving save on a shot by Pablo Mastroeni in the 63rd minute. Busch cameout to force a missed shot by Cummings on a breakaway in the 65thminute.Geovanni kicked the ball off thegoal line on a shot by Moor in the 71st minute. Arturo Alvarez shotover the crossbar in the 84th minute.Six minutes of regulation and 4minutes of added time later, the Rapids were showering each other withbeer and were drinking champagne from the Eastern Conference Cup.