Dominique Badji and Diego Rubio scored during each half as the Colorado Rapids clinched a Western Conference berth in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs with a 2-0 win Saturday night over the Portland Timbers at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

Badji scored his second goal in as many games to send the hosts into the halftime break with a 1-0 lead. Badji latched onto a whipped-in service by Braian Galvan and nodded a downward header past Steve Clark from inside the six-yard box.

The goal came just one minute after Portland striker Felipe Mora flashed a shot on frame, but Colorado goalkeeper William Yarbrough dived to his right to make a tidy save.

Yarbrough made an even better denial five minutes into the second half, getting his hands up to parry the near-equalizer away after Diego Valeri snuck into space following his short corner kick and fired a blast on target from 15 yards out.

Rubio doubled the Rapids' lead in the 63rd minute, running into the path of a deflected attempted clearance by Larrys Mabiala following another quality service by Galvan.

Rubio nearly found his brace six minutes later, but he headed off the far post. Cole Bassett followed in quick succession with a dangerous chance, but Clark kept his side in the match with a quality save.

Goals

  • 45’+2’ – COL – Dominique Badji | WATCH
  • 63’ – COL – Diego Rubio | WATCH

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: The Rapids needed just a tie to clinch their postseason berth, but they booked their ticket in style with an impressive performance against a Timbers side that has suddenly gone cold. Three consecutive defeats after eight matches unbeaten have Portland closer to the playoff line than the third-place Rapids, who are in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs in consecutive years for the first time since 2010-11.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: If not for this quality save by Yarbrough five minutes into the second half – bailing his team out for someone losing Valeri on the corner kick – the match might have been different.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Galvan had a pair of assists, putting one on a platter for Badji before needing a bit of luck on his ball played into the mixer that quickly deflected off Mabiala to Rubio’s path.

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