VANCOUVER, B.C. - It wasn't pretty at times but it's the result that matters at the end of the day, not how you got there.
That was Vancouver Whitecaps' coach Carl Robinson's philosophical take after watching his side make hard work of a 2-0 win over the Colorado Rapids at BC Place on Wednesday evening.
"You can play all the pretty football you want," Robinson told reporters after the match. "All the exciting stuff, the quick transitions, get bums off seats and you get three points. You can play with not much quality and have a moment of magic and get three points. So we'll take the three points."
It took until the 73rd minute for that moment to finally come for Vancouver, with Octavio Rivero beating the offside trap to head home Cristian Techera's beautifully lobbed ball for his tenth MLS goal of the season.
Techera added some magic of his own four minutes later, to fire home the crucial second and secure the Whitecaps the three points they needed to move back to the top of the Supporters' Shield standings.
"When you've quality in your team, like we have, you can change a game in a moment," Robinson added. "That's certainly what happened. There were two bits of quality. Two goals."
Neither goal was threatened in a poor first half, but with Vancouver pushing hard for the breakthrough in the second, it always felt that if the Whitecaps could grab that necessary first goal, at least one more would follow.
That was how proceedings eventually played out, but did Robinson worry that the opening goal wasn't going to come?
"No, I never felt that way," Robinson said. "I knew it was going to be difficult the way they set up, with the personnel they had in the team. They've beaten us twice this year, so it was always going to be a banana skin. But the guys showed great character. Great character to keep going, not take their focus away, [not take] their confidence away."
Colorado were happy to sit back, slow the game down and try and hit on the counter. It was exactly how Robinson expected the Rapids to play, and he admitted that it mirrors how he tells his team to play in tough places on the road.
Knowing how the opponents will play is one thing. Breaking through that can be a far more difficult proposition. Robinson was confident that his side would eventually get on the scoresheet and felt it's a mark of how far the 'Caps have come with his defense rarely under threat on their way to an eleventh clean sheet of the season.
"I never thought we were in danger in the back end and that's the pleasing thing about today's performance," Robinson said. "We didn't click attacking-wise but we certainly defended very well. Maybe a year or two ago, we would have lost that game one-nil. When you don't play well and you can win, it's always a good sign and that's what we're trying to get in to this club here."