COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – Gabriel Torres scored his second goal of the match in the 77th minute, lifting Colorado to a 3-2 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday that moved the Rapids into a tie for third place in Major League Soccer’s Western Conference.
Colorado (14-10-9) has a franchise-best 51 points and is even with Sounders FC (15-12-6) and the Los Angeles Galaxy (15-11-6). The top five teams in each conference advance to the playoffs.
Torres’ left-footed shot circled into the left corner of the net two minutes after Camilo Sanvezzo had tied the match with a penalty kick that was awarded when Jordan Harvey was hauled down in the scoring area.
Kekuta Manneh also scored for Vancouver (12-12-9), which was eliminated from playoff contention.
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“We got the equalizer on a penalty kick and we were in a good position,” Whitecaps coach Martin Rennie said. “That was an unbelievable strike by Torres. Undefendable.
“We could have defended better. The bottom line for us, we haven’t defended well enough. We’ve been scoring goals and losing 3-2.”
Manneh found the top right corner after a spin move and shot from just outside the area in the 32nd minute.
Portland, RSL play to scoreless draw
PORTLAND – The Portland Timbers and Real Salt Lake played to a scoreless draw, keeping the Timbers in first place in the West.
Portland is guaranteed of its first playoff berth as an MLS squad.
Portland (13-5-15) has 54 points and more ties than any team in the league. Real Salt Lake (15-10-8) is second in the West with 53 points.
Other MLS matches
At Impact 2, Union 1
Marco Di Vaio scored his 20th goal of the season, defender Karl Ouimette headed in his first career goal and Montreal took a step toward making the playoffs by beating Philadelphia.
At Revolution 3, Crew 2
Diego Fagundez scored his team-leading 13th goal of the season in the 76th minute to lift New England over Columbus.
At Fire 1, Toronto FC 0
Mike Magee scored on a penalty kick — his 20th goal this year — in the 64th minute and Chicago held on for its third straight victory.