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Colorado Rapids conceded deep into stoppage time at the end of their contest in Canada against 10-man Vancouver Whitecaps FC, returning home with a point when a maximum looked assured in a 3-3 tie.

It was a case of the boot being on the other foot. When the teams met at BC Place in July, it was the Rapids who were reduced by a man, and the Rapids who stole a share of the spoils with a stoppage-time equalizer.

The Rapids led three times, and yet allowed a desperate Whitecaps FC side back into the game three times. Two of Vancouver’s goals came after their numbers had been reduced by one, with no-nonsense central defender Kendall Waston sent off for a third time this season, dismissed on 56 minutes after taking down Dominique Badji in the penalty area.

Badji had earlier snatched his fourth goal of the season, stroking the ball into an empty net from the edge of the box, with goalkeeper David Ousted having raced from his area to close down Marlon Hairston. Hairston had wonderfully brought down a long pass from Sam Cronin, luring Ousted into making the error of judgement.

Moments before his dismissal, Costa Rica international Waston got the better of Axel Sjöberg at a third successive corner for the Whitecaps, and squeezed his header inside the far post.

Waston then walked for his foul on Badji, with man-of-the-match Shkëlzen Gashi sending Ousted the wrong way from the resultant spot-kick. The Rapids were back in front, with a man advantage, against a side frantically trying to keep their slender playoff hopes alive.

The Whitecaps FC had no alternative but to throw everything at the Rapids. They found joy when, despite being out-numbered, Giles Barnes and Erik Hurtado combined down the left to find an unmarked Pedro Morales. Morales angled his foot to guide past Tim Howard for his seventh goal of the season, but his first since May 22.

Vancouver were on level terms for just five minutes. Harvey fouled Hairston. Ousted appeared to position his wall badly, and Gashi bent a glorious free kick into the top left-hand corner.

With 15 minutes remaining, the Rapids knew they would have to weather a Whitecaps FC storm, and it appeared they had done so as the match entered three minutes of stoppage time. A failure to retain possession higher up the field would ultimately prove costly, as Harvey floated over a hopeful across in the 93rd minute. The ball glanced off the head of Sjöberg and onto the head of Hurtado who dragged the Whitecaps FC level for a third and final time with the last action of a draining game.