VANCOUVER, B.C. – A late equalizer from substitute Jamie Smith meant the Colorado Rapids played the Vancouver Whitecaps to a 2-2 draw in front of 18,992 at BC Place Sunday evening.
Second half goals from Alain Rochat and Kenny Miller looked as if they’d be enough to secure the ‘Caps a win until Smith’s 86th-minute effort, in which he latched onto a miscue from Rochat and Lee Young-Pyo before curling an effort past Brad Knighton.
It was a deflating moment for the home side, who’d taken a 2-1 lead earlier in the second half. Rochat got Vancouver on the board in the 64th minute, cleverly poking a Gershon Koffie cross past Matt Pickens from close range. Koffie made the play, juking past Omar Cummings in the right corner before setting the former Swiss international up for the equalizer.
Miller bagged his second goal as a Whitecap in the 68th minute, latching onto a ball from fellow Designated Player Barry Robson and taking a touch before curling the ball Pickens.
Those goals cancelled out Omar Cummings’ opener 34 minutes in, in which he latched onto a rebounded shot from Martin Rivero. Rivero had beaten Brad Knighton after an unhindered 30-yard run, but his smacked the left post before falling kindly to the Jamaican veteran.
At the break the Rapids looked in control, holding 57.8 percent of possession and creating the better of the first half opportunities, highlighted by headed effort from Jaime Castrillon, who forced Knighton into a fantastic first-half stoppage time reaction save.
The Whitecaps had chances to score in the first half as well, and looked dangerous early as Robson hit a swerving effort from outside the area which forced Pickens to parry away awkwardly.
Five minutes into the second half, the Rapids had a chance to double their lead, as Conor Casey held the ball up well and found Jeff Larentowicz running wide open into the area. The midfielder scuffed his chance though, firing well wide to the right from close range.
From there, though, it looked as if it would be the Whitecaps’ day. Even up 2-1, they kept throwing numbers forward and Miller nearly got a late second goal, hammering a shot at Pickens from close range from a tight angle in the 82nd minute which the ‘keeper did well to save.
The Whitecaps (10-12-8, 38 points) remain in fifth place in the Western Conference, now two points ahead of FC Dallas. They next play on Saturday against the Seattle Sounders at BC Place.
The Rapids (9-18-3, 30 points) saw their postseason hopes all but disappear, sitting eight points back with four games left. They also play at home, hosting the LA Galaxy at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park next Sunday.
COL - Omar Cummings 6' (unassisted) 34'
VAN - Alain Rochat (Gershon Koffie) 64'
VAN - Kenny Miller (Barry Robson) 68'
COL - Jamie Smith 2 (unassisted) 86'
VAN - Dane Richards (caution) 22'
VAN - Camilo Sanvezzo (caution) 29'
Colorado Rapids lineup: Matt Pickens, Drew Moor, Marvell Wynne, Tyrone Marshall, Luis Zapata, Hendry Thomas (Andre Akpan 82'), Jeff Larentowicz, Jaime Castrillon, Martin Rivero (Jaime Smith 73'), Omar Cummings, Conor Casey (Joseph Nane 89')
Subs not used: Stew Ceus, Tysone Wahl, Hunter Freeman, Kamani Hill.
Referee: Drew Fischer