COMMERCE CITY | Joshua Gatt scored three minutes into the game, Tim Howard made seven saves and the Colorado Rapids kept Real Salt Lake on the outside of a tight playoff race with a 1-0 win on Sunday.
The Rapids (9-18-6), long eliminated from the playoffs, are just 2-3-2 in their last seven home games.
Salt Lake (12-15-6) came in hot, going 4-1-1 in its previous six matches, and could have been in control of its playoff hopes going into next Sunday’s regular-season finale at home against Sporting Kansas City. RSL is one point below the line and behind both San Jose and Dallas for the final spot in the Western Conference.
A season-long issue struck again for Salt Lake with Gatt’s early goal. RSL has conceded 13 goals in the opening 15 minute of matches, worst in the league.
Alex Gordon heel-tapped the ball forward as Gatt split two defenders at the top of the box to left-foot a shot just inside the right post for his first goal of the season. It was Gatt’s second career goal, both coming against Salt Lake.
Salt Lake dominated with a 30-2 shot advantage and 72 percent possession but couldn’t solve Howard, who got his fifth shutout.