Commerce City, CO, United States (4E Sports) – Gabriel Torres scored two goals, including the go-ahead score in the 77th minute, as the Colorado Rapids eliminated the Vancouver Whitecaps from playoff contention with a 3-2 triumph Saturday at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
After the Whitecaps tied the count at 2-2, Torres collected a pass from Deshorn Brown and smashed the ball past David Ousted to collect three points for the Rapids.
With the victory, the Rapids (14-10-9) solidified their grip on the fifth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference with a four-point edge over closest pursuer San Jose Earthquakes.
The loss dashed the Whitecaps’ playoff hopes after slipping to seventh place in the West with a 12-12-9 mark.
The Whitecaps broke the ice after half an hour when Matt Watson found Kekuta Manneh on the edge of the box, before the striker turned and curled the ball into the top corner for a 1-0 lead.
Nine minutes later, Colorado tied the game with a penalty kick from Torres after Drew Moor was pulled down in the box.
The Rapids took a 2-1 lead just after halftime when a long ball found its way to Brown, who lobbed it superbly over the goalkeeper from the edge of the box in the 51st minute.
Camilo Sanvezzo then scored his 19th goal of the season with a competent finish from the penalty spot after a poor tackle from Shane O’Neill to tie the game for the second time in the 75th minute.
However, Torres scored the go-ahead goal in the 77th minute that the Rapids protected until the final whistle.