In a matchup of teams that desperately needed a win to keep their playoff hopes alive, the Colorado Rapids took all three points from a 3-1 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps in Commerce City, Colo.
Gyasi Zardes, Diego Rubio and Jonathan Lewis scored for Colorado, which improved to 9-12-9 with 36 points in the Western Conference standings. The Rapids still have a mountain to climb, sitting three spots out of the top seven that make the playoffs and seven points out of seventh place.
After Jonathan Lewis drew a takedown foul at the edge of the 18-yard box, Rubio stepped up for the penalty kick and buried it for a 2-1 Rapids lead in the 33rd minute.
Lewis sealed Colorado's win with a goal from the right side of the net, elevating a shot into the target in the 75th minute for a two-goal Rapids lead.
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Brian White's fourth goal of the season came in the ninth minute as Vancouver (9-14-7, 34 points) took the early lead. On a failed attempted clearance from the Rapids' Lalas Abubakar, White took the ball away from Abubakar and another defender and scored easily for a 1-0 lead.
Vancouver was shorthanded without its top goal scorer this season, Lucas Cavallini, who was serving the second game of a four-match suspension for a red card and violent conduct from an Aug. 27 incident on the pitch.
Colorado drew even in the 21st minute. Zardes used his left foot to kick in his ninth goal of the season with Colorado and 10th overall after he was acquired from the Columbus Crew. The goal came off an assist from teammate Felipe Gutierrez, who decided to dump off the ball to Zardes rather than try an open shot himself.
Vancouver is in 11th place in the West.