Kellyn Acosta and Diego Rubio scored a goal apiece to offset a second-half tally from Vako, giving the Colorado Rapids a 2-1 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on Saturday.
The Quakes had the better of the chances for much of the first half, the first coming in just the fourth minute off a shot from Chris Wondolowski from just inside the penalty area that saw the veteran striker denied by the post. The visitors very nearly struck again in the 21st minute after Judson unleashed a rocket shot from well outside the area that also bounced off the post before Florian Jungwirth put the rebound on frame, only to have his shot saved by Clint Irwin.
Wondolowski had another golden look just five minutes later after Shea Salinas found him with a cross right in front of goal, but Wondolowski couldn't quite control the feed and the shot wound up sailing over the crossbar.
Despite the flurry of chances, it was the Rapids who would find the first-half breakthrough against the run of play, with Acosta teeing up a distance shot that he managed to sneak by San Jose goalkeeper Daniel Vega just prior to the halftime whistle to give the Rapids a 1-0 lead they would take into the break. San Jose would strike back, though, after Vako collected a botched clearance at the top of the area and lashed his shot past Irwin and into the net, drawing the Quakes level just past the hour mark.
Rubio found the winner, however, with a nifty finish past a diving Vega from the top of the area in the 74th minute, sending the home side to the 2-1 victory.
- THE BIG PICTURE: It's a frustrating result for the Quakes, who will feel like they could have taken at least a point from the contest with more clinical finishing in the first half. The Rapids, meanwhile, continue to showcase some much-improved form under new coach Conor Casey, although their rough start to the season still leaves them well below the playoff line in the Western Conference.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: A big road victory was very much there for the taking for the visitors until Rubio's game-winner, making it an easy call for the honors in this contest.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Why change it up? We'll give the nod to Rubio for his second-half heroics.