Commerce City, CO – The Colorado Rapids earned their first victory of the young 2013 season on Saturday after posting a 1-0 result over Rocky Mountain Cup rivals Real Salt Lake at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.
The Rapids had gotten off to a subpar 0-3-2 start in their first five matches, but Atiba Harris' tally just five minutes into the match ensured the home side claimed three crucial points.
Nick LaBrocca keyed the Rapids' attack early on when he whipped a ball into the Salt Lake penalty area from the left flank to the feet of Edson Buddle.
Buddle did well to hold the ball up before poking it to an unmarked Harris, who powered it home for his first goal in league play since April, 2011.
Salt Lake had their best chance of the match just four minutes later when Colorado midfielder Dillon Powers was whistled for a foul on RSL's Kyle Beckerman in the penalty area, resulting in a spot kick for the visitors.
Alvaro Saborio stepped up to take the penalty kick and ripped one that appeared earmarked for the lower right corner, but Rapids goalkeeper Clint Irwin got a hand on it before it smacked the post and stayed out.
After the break, Saborio had several opportunities to find an equalizer for his side, but missing the penalty kick earlier in the match seemed to throw him off his game and Colorado held on for the three points.
The Rapids improve to three points from their first six matches, while the setback leaves Salt Lake with seven points from six games, and they are 0-4-3 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park since 2007.