Smith's late goal gives Rapids tie with Whitecaps
Jamie Smith, a second-half substitute, scored in the 86th minute to lift the Colorado Rapids into a 2-2 tie with the Vancouver Whitecaps on Sunday.
Smith put in a shot from just inside the 18-yard box after the ball bounced a couple of times off the feet of Vancouver's Alain Rochat and Young-Pyo Lee.
Colorado (9-18-3) avoided a 10th straight road loss that would have extended a club record.
The Whitecaps (10-12-8) are winless in six games but they moved two points ahead of idle Dallas in the race for the fifth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
The Rapids improved their playoff hopes slightly, moving within six points of Dallas and staying eight back of Vancouver.
Omar Cummings also scored for the Rapids. Rochat and second-half substitute Kenny Miller had goals for the Whitecaps, who overcame a 1-0, first-half deficit.
The Whitecaps controlled much of the play but were robbed frequently by goalkeeper Matt Pickens.
In an attempt to generate more offense, Vancouver coach Martin Rennie put Alain Rochat, usually a defender, in midfield for the second straight game.
Vancouver goalkeeper Brad Knighton had little to do in the first 34 minutes as the Caps kept the ball in the Colorado end most of the time. But the Rapids capitalized on a quick counterattack in the 35th as Cummings put in a rebound after Martin Rivero's rolling shot hit the left post and the ball caromed to him on the right flank.
Rochat got Vancouver even in the 64th minute as he flicked in Gershon Koffie's shot off a long Camilo corner kick.
Miller gave Vancouver the lead about when he ran to a through ball from Robson and, from just inside the 18-yard box, put in a shot off Pickens' hand.
Colorado then tied it late. After Knighton caught a Conor Casey header, Smith got a couple of fortuitous bounces and scored.