Colorado Rapids Clinch Playoffs in 2-0 win over Portland Timbers

colorado rapids clinch playoffs

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – Colorado Rapids hosted Portland Timbers FC on Saturday night. It was a battle of the third and fourth placed teams in the MLS Western Conference. A win would clinch a spot in the 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs for the home side. Meanwhile, the Timbers were looking for a result to stay within reach of the third seed.

Colorado Rapids Clinch Playoffs in 2-0 win over Portland Timbers

The Burgundy Boys came out in a 3-4-3 setup with Kellyn Acosta and Braian Galván as the wide midfielders. Diego Valeri started for Portland, who set up in a counter attacking 4-2-3-1.

Mark-Anthony Kaye appeared to put the home side ahead seven minutes in. After Auston Trusty missed a header on a corner, Jack Price recycled the ball into the six yard box. Goalkeeper Steve Clark made the initial save but Kaye put away the rebound. The flag was up as Kaye was offside on the pass by Price.

Portland didn’t have much going in transition until the final minutes of the first half. Felipe Mora got space to shoot from just outside the box. Shooting across goal, William Yarbrough made the diving save, collecting the ball in the air.

Moments later, Colorado took the lead. Galván got the ball at the corner and crossed it to Dominique Badji in the box. The striker rose up and headed it down and into the back of the net. The half ended 1-0.

Portland responded to start the second half, forcing Yarbrough to make several saves. Playing a short corner. Valeri shot from the edge of the box. The keeper made a reaction save. Before that, Mora had a half volley at the top of the box but shot it to the middle of the goal.

Colorado made it 2-0 in the 63rd minute. Off a drop ball, Danny Wilson pinged a longball to Galván in the corner. He crossed it out of the air to Diego Rubio. Larrys Mabiala got a touch to it, putting it in the path of Rubio who headed it without jumping past Clark at the near post.

The match ended 2-0.

Three Key Takeaways:

Vindication for Rubio: Rubio got his first goal since the home Rocky Mountain Cup game on August 21. It was also his first goal since coming back from injury. His reaction showed how much it meant to him and his teammates to seal the victory.

Back in the mixer: Portland had two six pointers this week and came away with just one point. They’re just four points above the red line. They still control their fate with three games to go.

Colorado Rapids clinch playoffs: With the results elsewhere, Colorado needed just a draw to lock up a playoff spot. Instead they got a much needed win. They’re now eight points clear of Portland and all but assured the third seed in the West.

Photo Credit: Mark Shaiken, Last Word on Soccer.


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