Colorado blanks Columbus in wild-card matchup

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — Omar Cummings scored in the 45th minute and the Colorado Rapids began defense of their MLS title with a 1-0 victory over the Columbus Crew in the wild card match on Thursday night.

Colorado will face Sporting Kansas City in the Eastern Conference semifinals starting on Sunday.

Goalkeeper Matt Pickens made three saves in posting his fifth career playoff shutout. Three of the shutouts have come for the Rapids.

The Rapids ousted Columbus a year ago in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Kosuke Kimura ran down the ball in the right corner and broke free along the end line. Kimura slid a pass to an unguarded Cummings just inside the scoring box.

Cummings didn't waste any time and kicked a waist-high shot past the diving goalkeeper William Hesmer.

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