COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (AP) – Mac Kandji scored twice and Andre Akpan put Colorado in front for good in the Rapids' 3-2 win over 10-man Isidro Metapan of El Salvador on Wednesday night in the CONCACAF Champions League.
''It was very good to come back like that and for my confidence as well,'' said Kandji, who played his first game this year.
He scored the game winner that clinched the MLS Cup, but suffered an ACL injury on the play.
''It was great to get two goals after being out eight months,'' Kandji said. ''It was very good.''
Kandji scored on a header in the 16th and again in the 45th for Colorado, which made the tournament for clubs from North America, Central American and the Caribbean by winning the MLS Cup in November.
''It was a great homecoming for him (Kandji) and what an influence he was on the game,'' Colorado coach Gary Smith said. ''It was a game that at one point looked like it was getting away from us until he provided some timely goals.''
Allen Dos Santos scored on a penalty kick before he was red-carded in the 41st minute. Paolo Suarez also scored for Metapan.
The game was tied at 2 at the break.
Cristhian Bautista got the ball deep inside the zone in the opening minute and was hauled down by Colorado defender Drew Moor. Dos Santos took the penalty kick and scored on a shot past the right hand of goalkeeper Matt Pickens.
The Rapids got the equalizer in the 16th minute on Kandji's header. Scott Palguta provided the delivery from the left wing.
Metapan regained the lead, 2-1, cashing in on a turnover by Pickens after the goalkeeper caught a cross. Pickens' two-handed clearing toss was picked off by Suarez, who took several strides before sending an uncontested shot past Pickens in the 25th minute.
Dos Santos received a red card ejection in the 41st minute for elbowing Jeff Larentowicz.
''I thought the call was harsh,'' Metapan coach Edwin Portillo said. ''During the game I thought it was a good call, but after seeing it on replay, it was a harsh call.''
Kandji scored again to make it 2-2 in the 45th minute. Joseph Nane's pass down low was headed over by Akpan to Kandji, who put the ball behind Miguel Montes.
Akpan picked up a loose ball deep inside the zone, whirled and put a shot into the right corner of the net in the 50th minute.
''That was a quality club,'' Smith said of Metapan. ''The fact that they took the lead twice is testimony of their positive attitude to come here and to get something out of the game.''
Metapan is 2-9-2 in the CONCACAF.
The two teams will play again on Sept. 28 in El Salvador.