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Cummings, Gomez lead Rapids past Real Salt Lake

May 16, 2008 - 6:15 AM COMMERCE CITY, Colorado (Ticker) -- Omar Cummings and Christian Gomez scored second-half goals Thursday, leading the Colorado Rapids to a 2-0 victory over Real Salt Lake.

Cummings broke open the scoreless tie in the 65th minute with his third goal of the season, when he took a centering pass from Colin Clark on the left side of the penalty box and feathered a quick right-footed shot by Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando for his team-leading third tally of the season.

"(My goal) was simple," Cummings said. "The ball went to Colin (Clark) and I went straight into the box. It was a classic goal - the ball goes wide, is crossed in and then finished."

The 25-year-old Jamaican forward scored for the second straight game, notching the Rapids' only tally in Saturday's 2-1 loss to Houston.

Following a penalty by Real Salt Lake's Matias Mantilla for deflecting a pass with an open hand, Gomez added an insurance goal for Colorado on a penalty kick in the 83rd minute when his right-footed blast found the left side of the net.

Bouna Coundoul recorded three saves in his 15th career shutout for the Rapids (4-4-0), who stand atop the Western Conference standings with 12 points after their "Rocky Mountain Cup" conquest - the first of three meetings between the teams this season.

"I think (Real Salt Lake) is a big game," Rapids midfielder Pablo Mastroeni said. "(RSL midfielder) Kyle Beckerman was here for five or so years, so that brings a lot of energy. There's a lot of motivation with this game, they knocked us out of the playoffs (and won the Rocky Mountain Cup last year)."

The win also halted a poor stretch by the Rapids, who had lost three of their last four games.

Rimando turned away six shots for Real Salt Lake (2-4-2), which failed in its attempt to take over first place in the West. RSL finished last in the conference in each of the last two years after a fifth-place finish in its inaugural 2005 season.

"We weren't on offensively tonight," RSL midfielder Andy Williams said. "We didn't take good care of the ball in the first 10-15 minutes of the second half and just wilted under their pressure."