COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (AP) ― Kosuke Kimura scored in the 43rd minute and the Colorado Rapids beat the San Jose Earthquakes 1-0 on Saturday night to advance to the MLS Cup.
Kimura scored on a shot from along the sideline that eluded San Jose goalkeeper Jon Busch.
The seventh-seeded Rapids reached the MLS final for the first time since losing to D.C United in 1997. They will face the FC Dallas-Los Angeles winner Sunday in the title game Nov. 21 in Toronto.
Temperatures dropped into the high 30s in the matchup of the two lowest-seeded teams in the Western Conference. The Earthquakes were seeded eighth.
San Jose had five corner kicks and more scoring chances, but trailed 1-0 after 45 minutes.
The aggressive Earthquakes put three shots at Colorado goalkeeper Matt Pickens in the first 8 minutes. Tim Ward send a low drive from 15 yards from the left post in the third minute, Geovanni had a shot from the slot and Chris Wondolowski kicked one through traffic, but Pickens smothered them all.
The biggest save wasn’t made by Pickens at all, but by Kimura in the 26th minute. Ryan Johnson broke free in front of Pickens, but Kimura came in at the last instance to strip Johnson of the ball and swat it out of harms way.
Meanwhile, Colorado’s offense was limited 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 to Cummings in front of the net, but the ball never connected with Cummings. Instead, it bounced past Busch and into goal.
Colorado kept up the pressure at the start of the second half. Conor Casey and Drew Moor barely missed catching the right post in the 50th minute.
The Earthquakes regained momentum. Wondolowski had a step on his defender in the 53rd minute, but lost control of the ball and Geovanni never got through the three-man wall on a free kick in the 56th minute.
Busch kept it a one-goal game with a diving save on a shot by Pablo Mastroeni in the 63rd minute. Busch came out to force a missed shot by Cummings on a breakaway in the 65th minute.
Geovanni kicked the ball off the goal line on a shot by Moor in the 71st minute. Arturo Alvarez shot over the crossbar in the 84th minute.
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