Sam Nicholson's late goal leads Colorado Rapids to win over LA Galaxy
Forward Sam Nicholson scored in the 90th minute to provide the host Colorado Rapids with a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday night at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo.
Defender Edgar Castillo set up the decisive goal as the Rapids (5-12-5, 20 points) halted a five-match winless stretch. Midfielder Kellyn Acosta also scored for Colorado, which emerged from an 0-3-2 funk.
Midfielder Romain Alessandrini scored the lone Galaxy goal as Los Angeles (10-8-5, 35 points) sputtered offensively without star forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic as its nine-match unbeaten stretch (5-0-4) concluded. The Galaxy took just seven shots.
Ibrahimovic was unavailable on Saturday due to withdrawing from Wednesday's MLS All-Star Game. League policy requires a player who skips the All-Star Game to miss his team's next match.
Ibrahimovic has 15 goals in 17 games for Los Angeles, which tallied 25 goals during the nine-match unbeaten streak.
Colorado survived six minutes of stoppage time after the decisive goal by Nicholson to win for the first time since beating the Vancouver Whitecaps on July 1.
Castillo dribbled to the left of the net and spotted Nicholson in the center of box. Nicholson's shot caromed off the hands of Galaxy goalkeeper David Bingham and into the right corner of the net.
Rapids goalkeeper Tim Howard had three saves, including a solid one in the 76th minute when he stopped Alessandrini's left-footed shot.
Colorado tied the score at one in the 50th minute when Acosta created some separation with his dribble and sent a low left-footed blast from just outside the box past Bingham.
The goal was Acosta's second in two games since the Rapids acquired him from FC Dallas.
LA took a 1-0 edge in the 33rd minute when the Rapids made a defensive gaffe in their own end.
Defender Tommy Smith failed to clear the ball and directed it toward Alessandrini, who easily sent a left-footed rocket past a stunned Howard for his seventh goal of the season.
Colorado missed a solid chance in the sixth minute when Nicholson's left-footer caromed off a defender and the crossbar.