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Zakuani's 2 goals lift Sounders past Rapids, 2-1

Jul 26, 2010 - 5:44 AM SEATTLE(AP) -- Steve Zakuani scored twice in the first half and the Seattle Sounders FC won for the first time at home since June 5, 2-1 over the Colorado Rapids on Sunday night.

"Right now we need to get points. Sometimes that means rolling up your sleeves. We certainly did that," Seattle Head Coach Sigi Schmid said. "We had to dig in a little bit."

The Sounders, still under .500 at 6-8-4, have had trouble holding onto leads this year, giving away points late in games. But after Colorado's goal by Omar Cummings in the ninth minute, the defense held strong.

"We've been in every game we played this year and we've been losing them," Zakuani said. "Now we're turning those into wins. You can see the momentum in the team. People are confident now."

In the eighth minute, Zakuani gathered a deflected ball inside the penalty area and shot it between two defenders. The ball hit the near post then caromed off the body of keeper Matt Pickens then into the goal.

Colorado equalized less than a minute later when Cummings scored on a left-footed blast high over goalkeeper Kasey Keller.

Zakuani put Seattle back up in the 17th minute. Fredy Montero found Sanna Nyassi streaking down the right side and led him with a pass. Nyassi closed in and found Zakuani with a hard pass in the middle of the goal mouth.

"The ball fell to me (first goal) and it was just about getting a quick release and I did," Zakuani said. "It was a bit lucky. It came off his back but I'll take it as it comes.

"The second one was a great combination. Fredy and Sanna took it out wide and Senna picked me out. It was an easy tap-in."

Montero has contributed a goal or an assist in seven straight games. The Sounders are a point behind Colorado, which is tied for fifth in the Western Conference with 23 points.

"We need to score goals that are a nice piece of work and we need to score where we just scrap for them," Schmid said. "That's something we haven't always been getting. I think we fought well as a team."

It was the MLS debut for Sounders forward Blaise Nkufo, who joined the team July 15. He started and played 70 minutes.

Colorado's best chance second-half chance came in the 62nd minute when Jamie Smith side-footed a shot toward the net, but Keller got a hand on it with a dive to his left for the save.

"That was just a great save," Schmid added. "You don't want to become used to it but sometimes Kasey is such a fundamentally sound goalkeeper that you're almost surprised when he doesn't make those saves."