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Colorado can’t hold lead at home; Portland earns the draw

Colorado Rapids v New York Red Bulls

HARRISON, NJ - MARCH 25: Head coach Oscar Pareja of the Colorado Rapids watches from the sidelines during a game against the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena on March 25, 2012 in Harrison, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

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For Colorado, March and April are all about holding serve.

It’s about gathering a few points here and there while waiting for their team to return. Five starters remain unavailable, mostly due to injuries – some of which are long-term.

So it’s really about getting points at home when opportunities call, and a Portland side that’s yet to fully gain its feet under new manager Caleb Porter definitely qualifies as a place where points at home can be had.

Throw in a two-goal lead, and manager Oscar Pareja will be the first to say that such a thing cannot happen. Not a Dicks Sporting Goods Park.

“Such a thing” is a 2-2 draw. Credit Portland for rallying on the road to split the points through a pair of second-half goals. But one was on a silly penalty kick conceded by Colorado’s Atiba Harris and another was on an uncontested header.

Then, for the last 15 minutes, when the home team should have pressing into the opposition end for a goal-ahead goal, the Rapids’ midfield possession was an absolute disaster, wrought with one turnover in the central third after another.

So the Rapids wasted a wonder strike from rookie Dillon Powers, the team’s first-round draft choice out of Notre Dame.

(MORE: Watch a great goal from a promising rookie)

The result: Pareja’s team is winless in its first five this year, including its first two contests at home. Even with a depleted roster, they absolutely must grab a win here and there. Otherwise, they’ll be too far behind when Pablo Mastroeni, Martin Rivero, Jaime Castrillon, Drew Moor and Matt Pickens are back in service.

Here are Saturday’s highlights from DSG Park (forever to be known as the venue for last week’s SnowClasico.).