Diego Rubio produced the game-tying goal in the third minute of second-half stoppage time to lift the visiting Colorado Rapids to a 1-1 draw with Austin FC on Sunday in the regular-season finale for both teams.
Sebastian Driussi scored on a penalty kick in the 81st minute that seemingly granted Austin a momentum-building victory, but Rubio's late-game heroics flipped the script.
The match was meaningless in the Western Conference standings as Austin already had clinched the No. 2 seed, and Colorado had been eliminated from postseason contention.
Rubio's header off a corner kick allowed him to match the Rapids' team mark for most goals in a season with 16. He had already established a club record for goal contributions in a single year.
Austin (16-10-8, 56 points) will host seventh-seeded Real Salt Lake (12-11-11, 47 points) in the first round of the MLS playoffs on either Oct. 15, 16 or 17. Austin heads to the postseason with just one win in its final seven matches.
Rubio's equalizer came after a tally by Austin's Diego Fagundez in the 82nd minute was waived off for offside.
Driussi's goal was his 22nd of the season. He finished tied for second with Philadelphia's Daniel Gazdag behind Nashville's Hany Mukhtar (23 goals) in the race for the Golden Boot, the award for the leading goal-scorer in MLS.
It appeared that Austin took the lead in the 25th minute when Driuissi found the net after a pass from Julio Cascante, but the goal was disallowed for offside by VAR decision.
Austin played without coach Josh Wolff on the sidelines after he was suspended by the league for the match due to technical staff yellow card accumulation.
Colorado (11-13-10, 43 points) will miss the postseason for the first time since 2019. The Rapids were 3-1-2 in their final six matches and ended up in 10th place in the 14-team conference.