Gyasi Zardes and Diego Rubio scored first-half goals on penalty kicks and the Colorado Rapids extended their home unbeaten streak to 22 matches with a 2-0 victory over Western Conference-leading LAFC in MLS play on Saturday.
With the victory, the Rapids (5-4-3) have tied Columbus (2008-09) and Portland (2013-14) for the fifth longest streak in MLS history. Next up is the 23-match run of the LA Galaxy (2014-15). The Houston Dynamo set the bar with a 30-game stretch (2011-13).
Zardes picked up his first goal for the Rapids since being acquired from the Columbus Crew four matches ago. The U.S. men's national team forward beat LAFC goalkeeper John McCarthy for a 1-0 lead in the 17th minute. The penalty-kick opportunity came after LAFC's Sebastian Ibeagha was whistled for kicking Rubio in the head on a clearance attempt inside the box.
Rubio's penalty-kick score came in the 28th minute — on his second attempt. McCarthy guessed right and deflected Rubio's first try, but McCarthy was ruled off his line after a video review and Rubio drilled his second kick into the top left corner for a 2-0 lead.
McCarthy finished with four saves for LAFC (7-3-2), which had a six-match unbeaten streak end. William Yarbrough had one save for the Rapids.
Zardes had 54 goals and six assists in 110 regular-season games with Columbus. Zardes has 14 goals in 68 games with the U.S. men's national team.
The Associated Press created this story using technology provided by Data Skrive and data from Sportradar.
Commerce City,Colo., The Associated Press