Tommy Smith headed in Jack Price's corner kick five minutes from full time to complete the Colorado Rapids' comeback from two goals down and keep them mathematically alive for the postseason in a 3-2 victory over 10-man Sporting Kansas City at Children's Mercy Park on Saturday night.
Smith's winner followed him conceding an earlier own goal to put the Rapids in a 2-0 hole, shortly before SKC's Matt Besler was sent off to offer the Rapids a road back into the match.
From there, two former Kansas City players wstarted the response for Colorado, which has won four of five games since the arrival of new full-time manager Robin Fraser.
Kei Kamara found the net with a sensational bicycle kick goal just before halftime for his 12th of the season, and then Diego Rubio leveled for his 10th — with an assist from Smith — with a quarter of an hour to play.
Kansas City's fortunes reversed drastically in the 20th minute when Besler comitted his second bookable offense, misfiring on a clearance and catching Sam Nicholson's face with his boot.
Now it's SKC who could be officially out of the push for the Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs depending on Sunday's results.
- 3' - SKC - Gerso | WATCH
- 14' - SKC - Tommy Smith (OG) | WATCH
- 42' - COL - Kei Kamara | WATCH
- 76' - COL - Diego Rubio | WATCH
- 85' - COL - Tommy Smith | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: Besler's ejection was the third of his career and by far his equickest. Previously, he was sent off after 70 minutes of a home draw against the New York Red Bulls to open the 2015 season, and 75 minutes into an away win at Toronto FC in July of the previous year.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Kamara seems a sure bet to be among the candidates for Week 29 Goal of the Week candidate after he posted up Botond Barath and unleashed this ferocious bicycle kick that left Tim Melia little chance. It was his fourth league goal in 13 matches against SKC. Between 2009 and 2013, he scored 38 goals for Kansas City in MLS play.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Tommy Smith. Much as the Rapids have appeared bent on redemption since Fraser's arrival, Smith also played like someone who wanted to personally make ammends after halftime. His hold-up play and layoff to set up Rubio's leveler was subtle but impressive, and the near-post header he won on his winner was emphatic.