Dallas 4; Colorado 2

Sept. 26, 2002 at 9:07 AM
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DALLAS, Sept. 26 (UPI) -- The Dallas Burn rode big games from Antonio Martinez and Oscar Pareja and scored three goals in the second half Wednesday night for a 4-2 win over the Colorado Rapids in the opener of their best-of-three Major League Soccer playoff series.

Dallas collected three points and can win the series simply by tying each of the next two games. The first team to five points wins the quarterfinal series.

Game Two is Saturday in Denver.

Before the playoffs started, Colorado defender Rick Titus said, "Dallas is done. They peaked too early in the season." But he was directly involved in three of the Burn's four goals.

Martinez had a goal and two assists and Pareja had two assists for the fourth-seeded Burn, who survived a quick goal by Carlos Valderrama.

With the score tied, 1-1, Dallas striker Jason Kreis scored just his fourth career playoff goal in the 49th minute. Midfielder Ronnie O'Brien beat defenders Robin Fraser and Titus with a cross from the right wing that found a wide-open Kreis.

Midfielder Chad Deering made it 3-1 in the 68th minute when his blast deflected off Titus and past David Kramer. Martinez scored two minutes later, playing give-and-go with Pareja.

Colorado forward John Spencer tallied on a penalty kick in the 75th minute to cap the scoring.

Valderrama scored before the full roster announcements were made, putting home a header in the second minute. Dallas defender Steve Morrow tied it in the 26th minute, finishing off a corner kick from Martinez.

Morrow has four goals this season, all against Colorado.

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