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Game Recap: The Colorado Rapids are going to the playoffs for the second year in a row

The Burgundy Boys shut-out the Portland Timbers to clinch a playoff berth

MLS: Portland Timbers at Colorado Rapids Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Rapids have clinched a playoff berth for the second year in a row after beating the Portland Timbers 2-0 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Saturday night.

Head coach Robin Fraser made a few changes to the starting XI from their midweek match against the Seattle Sounders as they welcomed Portland to DSGP. In the latest attempt to clinch a playoff berth, the Rapids brought in Diego Rubio, Cole Bassett, and Braian Galvan to start after just a few days off, while Younes Namli remained out of the lineup due to injury. Those three were part of the five stacked in midfield, while going with three defenders in the back in an effort to press the Timbers back on the night.

An early free kick along the endline won by Dominique Badji provided a stir to start, but the ball by Jack Price didn’t find a target. As Portland looked to jump on the counter-attack train, Colorado did well defending back with numbers when needed early on. They also did a decent job of varying the attack from different channels too, but just couldn’t get much of a look other than a couple of set pieces.

Late in first-half stoppage time, Colorado’s Galvan was not content, and in true play-till-the-whistle style, raced down a ball deep in the left corner to rope a cross into the box. Badji got his head and shoulders above his marker to firmly direct the header past Steve Clark from point-blank range and the 1-0 lead at home. Now it was time to see if Colorado could hold the lead they have grabbed many times this season but all too often seen matches end in shared points.

The second half got off to a back-and-forth tussle early. Another Price corner in the 52nd minute was inches from being converted by Danny Wilson’s header just wide of the far post. That all-elusive insurance goal finally arrived for the Rapids in the 63rd minute though. Great control by Galvan to chest it down on the left, pop the ball to the PK spot, where Rubio calmly nodded it down near post and the two-goal lead.

To the delight of fans, Colorado didn’t settle for the bunkered-in, lockdown mode, but instead kept the pressure on Portland with substitute Michael Barrios and Jonathan Lewis running their flanks keeping Bassett involved as well.

Goalkeeper William Yarbrough didn’t have too many troubling shots his way, but he did well, along with those three centerbacks in Wilson, Lalas Abubukar, and Trusty to preserve a much-needed shutout on the night and CLINCH Colorado’s 2021 playoff spot and get a solid hold on 3rd place in the Western Conference.