COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (AP) — Pablo Mastroeni had seen the Colorado Rapids win plenty of games as a player. The first-year coach saw little difference from his vantage point on the sidelines.
"I didn't see any difference in getting my first win," Mastroeni said. "It's still new. I still feel like I'm still with those guys."
Vicente Sanchez and Deshorn Brown scored on penalty kicks two minutes apart in the second half to lead the Colorado Rapids to a 2-0 win over the Portland Timbers on Saturday.
"It wasn't a pretty game, but it doesn't matter how you win," Sanchez said. "What matters is the outcome."
Sanchez scored his second penalty kick in as many games in the 73rd minute and Brown got his in the 75th for Colorado (1-0-1).
Portland (0-1-2) has never beaten the Rapids in Colorado, going 0-3-1 in their road games at Colorado.
Portland goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts earned a red card when he made contact with Brown while trying to contest him for the ball.
"I just saw a collision. I didn't have a good view of it," Mastroeni said of the play that drew the first penalty kick. "Any call a referee makes is the right call. There is no such thing as a bad call."
Portland coach Caleb Porter was waiting to see a replay before offering an opinion.
"I think at the end of the day, everybody can watch the tape and make their own judgments," Porter said. "I don't have all the information I need to make an opinion on some of the calls."
Ricketts left the game with a leg injury and was replaced by Andrew Weber. Sanchez faked Weber into the left post before punching the ball into the center of the net.
"Donovan got studded in the knee," Porter said.
Weber hauled down Sanchez moments later. Brown's penalty kick was stopped by Weber, but Brown converted on the rebound.
"It was a tough one," Porter said. "It was a tough game, we weren't giving up many chances and we looked like we're going to get a goal somewhere, at some points and the next thing you know it was a PK, down a goal and down a man."