Maybe next time, goalkeeper Nick Rimando said, he will just try to punch the ball away.
Alas, he tried to catch it against Chivas USA tonight, and wound up losing the handle when he collided in mid-air with teammate Chris Schuler and the Goats' Casey Townsend, the rookie starting in place of injured forward Juan Pablo Angel. When Townsend came down, he "instinctively kind of swung my foot" at the ball on the ground in front of him, "and it went in."
And there you have it.
One play, one goal … one painful loss at home.
The Goats held on to win 1-0 and snap a five-game winless streak against RSL, and claim their first victory ever at Rio Tinto Stadium. They enjoyed their first goal and first points of the season, all at the expense of their former expansion rival.
"It's huge for us to come in and get a result like that," Townsend said. "They're a great team, and to get a win in their home stadium is huge for us. Hopefully this carries over and gives us some momentum going into the next couple of games."
Players and coaches for RSL said the Goats played the way they expected — mostly defensively, as evidenced by a 4-5-1 formation. But coach Jason Kreis acknowledged that they did try to play a fair bit, even if RSL controlled most of the possession and generated by far the most dangerous scoring chances.
So it all came down to one flukey play, when Rimando said he wasn't even sure which players he collided with. He said he did not know Schuler was coming from behind him, because "I'm looking at the ball. You go for a ball that crosses into your area. You go for it, and if there's contact, there's contact. That's the sport. There's no excuse of anything like that."
"Next time around, maybe I'll punch it," he said.
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