The Rapids score twice on penalty kicks, the Mutiny only once.
By PAT ROONEY
© St. Petersburg Times, published May 13, 2001
DENVER -- The Mutiny should have left Denver with at least a point, if not three.
The Colorado Rapids didn't so much outplay the Mutiny as beat them in a penalty-kick contest.
The Rapids scored two second-half goals on penalty kicks against one for the Mutiny in a 2-1 Colorado win Saturday at Mile High Stadium, giving coach Tim Hankinson a win in his first game against his former team.
The loss ruined an opportunity for the Mutiny to move into a first-place tie with Chicago, which was upset at New England.
The game marked the first time an opponent converted two penalty kicks against the Mutiny (2-4-1) and the fourth time in MLS history three have been converted in a match. Three games involved the Mutiny.
"We don't mind if a penalty is a penalty," Mutiny coach Alfonso Mondelo said. "We have no place for an argument on the first one. I think on the second one we definitely have a place for an argument."
The second call -- a hand ball on defender Craig Demmin -- led to John Spencer's second penalty kick in 11 minutes and the decisive goal.
Demmin and Ritchie Kotschau were battling in front of the net with Rapids midfielder Marcelo Balboa when the call was made. Replays showed the ball glanced off Demmin's biceps.
"I went up for a header and it went over my head," Kotschau said. "Craig was off-balance and his hands kind of flailed and it kind of hit his arm behind his back."
Spencer's first penalty kick gave the Rapids (2-3-1) a 1-0 lead in the 69th minute after he was taken down by midfielder Joseph Addo. Mamadou Diallo evened the score five minutes later with a penalty kick after being taken down by Chris Martinez. Diallo beat keeper Adin Brown with a liner into the top left corner.
The Mutiny had a chance to take the lead a minute later when Steve Ralston placed a lead pass to Diallo. But the Mutiny forward's chance was stopped by Brown, setting up Spencer's winner five minutes later.
"(Demmin) was pushed from behind," Mondelo said. "(The official) looked like he was going to call a foul for us. I think he was indecisive. We wanted to make some points to keep ourselves near the top position."