Rapids salvage 2-2 tie with Sporting KC

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COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (AP)—For one half, the Colorado Rapids appeared listless. The Rapids were behind 2-0 and seemed headed for their third loss in four games.

“We weren’t able to start the way we wanted,” defender Tyrone Marshall said. “We were coming off a game last Wednesday really fatigued, but figured if we kept plugging away, we would have a chance.”

Marshall did just that, scoring early in the second half, and Kosuke Kimura added a goal in the 60th minute to give the Rapids a 2-2 tie with Sporting Kansas City on Saturday night.

“This game was huge for us,” Colorado coach Oscar Pareja said. “It really showed the character of this team.”

Teal Bunbury scored twice for Kansas City (7-3-1) for his third career two-goal game.

Colorado is 5-6-1 overall and 1-2-1 in its last four games. The Rapids played without Omar Cummings, who missed his third game because if a sprained left ankle.

Sporting, winless in Colorado since 2004, is 0-3-1 in its last four games.

The teams played to 1-1 ties in their three previous regular-season meetings.

“I don’t know if I can be satisfied with a point,” Kansas City goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen said. “When you have a 2-0 lead at half, you better have a better result.”

Marshall cut Kansas City’s lead to 2-1 in the 52nd minute with his first goal of the season. Marshall pushed a header past Nielsen after receiving a deep pass from Martin Rivero.

“That was key for us,” said Marshall of his first goal of the season. “It gave us the spark we needed.”

Kimura tied it at 2 in the 60th minute, also with his first goal of the season. Nielsen blocked Jeff Larentowicz’s free kick, but Conor Casey outhustled the defense to set up Kimura’s shot from in front of the crease.

“Who knows what is going to happen when you keep pressing after the ball,” Kimura said. “I was standing there hoping the ball would come to me and it was freaky when it did.”

Fans were still entering the stadium when Seth Sinovic sent a pass to the front of the crease, and Bunbury knocked a header past goalkeeper Matt Pickens’ right shoulder 69 seconds into the game for his first goal of the season.

The Rapids missed a chance to tie it in the 13th minute when Casey broke in alone on Nielsen. Casey let go a shoulder high that Nielsen caught with both hands.

One minute later, Kansas City caught a break on Matt Besler’s two-handed throw in from the west sideline. The ball was batted away, but right to Bunbury, who put the ball into the untended part of the net to make it 2-0 in the 14th minute.

Casey produced a scoring chance in the 19th minute after running down a loose ball to the left of Nielsen. Casey got off a shot from a severe angle that Nielsen grabbed.

Neither team threatened the rest of the half. Kansas City seemed content to allow the Rapids to control the ball inside Sporting’s side of the field without giving up a shot.

“What we didn’t want to do is sit back (after the half),” Kansas City coach Peter Vermes said. “We knew they were going to come with everything they had.”

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