The Colorado Rapids withstood a fierce second-half attack by Sporting Kansas City to hold on for a 1-1 draw in a key Western Conference battle in Kansas City.
Sporting KC (11-4-7, 40 points) maintained their slim lead in second place ahead of Colorado (11-4-5, 38 points). Colorado is unbeaten (4-0-2) in its last six matches.
Colorado's Cole Bassett hit the crossbar in the fourth and final minute of stoppage time with a chance to steal a win.
Kansas City had far more chances to break the deadlock, especially in the second half. SKC outshot Colorado 20-8, including 9-1 of those on net. Colorado's strategy seemed to be to take Sporting out of rhythm with stalling tactics and physical play. The Rapids had more fouls (14-4) and drew four yellow cards, compared to none for SKC.
Mark-Anthony Kaye had a chance to put Colorado in front in the 61st minute, but he missed from close range. Sporting then had a chance to retaliate but couldn't get off a clean shot inside the box just three minutes later.
Colorado scored first in the 17th minute. Jonathan Lewis collected a rebound of his own shot and fired it past Sporting keeper Tim Melia (no saves). Andre Shinyashiki fed Lewis in the center of the box, but Lewis' first attempt was blocked by Melia before Lewis converted his second chance.
That was the best chance by either team in the first 30 minutes. Sporting picked up the pressure in the late stages of the first half but couldn't figure out how to get a shot past William Yarbrough (seven saves).
But after a foul on Danny Wilson just outside the box set up Sporting KC with a free kick from about 25 feet, Johnny Russell curled it around the wall and past a stiff Yarbrough in the 41st minute. Alan Pulido appeared to be setting up for the free kick before Russell came in for the game-tying shot.
Daniel Salloi had a chance to give SKC the lead but Yarbrough deflected it over the bar. Sporting ended the half with an 8-3 edge in shots and a 54-46 advantage in possession.