COMMERCE CITY, Colo. - The Vancouver Whitecaps hadnt experienced a loss in over two months before falling to the Colorado Rapids 2-0 on Saturday. Dillon Powers and Vicente Sanchez both scored in the first half as the Rapids snapped the Whitecaps (5-3-7) franchise-best unbeaten streak at eight matches. But as head coach Carl Robinson saw it, it wasnt that big of a deal. "Weve lost one in nine," Robinson said. "I wont get carried away." Despite the loss, Vancouver had reason to celebrate as Whitecaps Mehdi Ballouchy, Steven Beitashour and Nigel Reo-Coker all made their returns after various lengths of absences. Ballouchy played 20 minutes in his first game in nearly 11 months since tearing his right ACL last season. He tore his left ACL two years ago, and played only five games for the San Jose Earthquake before the most recent injury. "Its been a long time," Ballouchy said. "When you do an ACL, you come back, and you do it again, these are long-term injuries. A lot of players dont come back. Its been a steep, steep hill and Im happy to be playing again." Reo-Coker was back in action after missing Wednesdays scoreless draw against Montreal to be in New York for the birth of his first child, while Beitashour was back after a long trek back from Brazil, where he played for Irans national team in the World Cup pool play. Vancouver hadnt lost since falling to Los Angeles 1-0 on April 19. It was the second of a brief two-game losing streak that started with a home loss to Colorado a week earlier. "Weve lost three games out of 15. Its not bad," said Reo-Coker. "Every team has spells like this — even the top teams. Were going through it now. We have so much belief and confidence in this team that were going to bounce back. Its a sign and test of how good we are." Reo-Coker said the birth of his daughter Scarlet changed his life "completely." "Its fantastic," he said. "Its something you cant put into words until you go through." He had a less memorable moment late in the first half when he fouled Sanchez in the box, leading to a penalty kick. Sanchez easily beat goalie David Ousted in the 36th minute to give the Rapids their second goal. "It was just miscommunication between David and myself," Reo-Coker said. "I saw David coming out and we kind of hesitated amongst each other, no one really took command of the full situation." Robinson had no issue with the call. "Second goal, it was a blatant penalty," he said. Powers hit the bar in the 17th minute and put a shot through the legs of a Vancouver defender three minutes later to give Colorado a 1-0 lead. The Rapids had another chance in the 27th minute, but were turned away by Ousted. Vancouver had two solid chances in the second half but Pedro Morales put a shot wide in the 63rd minute and Johnny Leversons laser in the 77th minute was saved by Clint Irwin. Colorado had 19 shots overall to Vancouvers five. "Were going to win games where we dont deserve to and were going to lose games we deserve to win," Robinson said. "Tonight we got what we deserved." Robinson didnt play Beitashour, opting instead to give him a rest after a long period of travel. "Beitas had three flights and in total its probably 16 hours of flying," Robinson said. "What I didnt want to do is risk an injury to him. I made the decision before the game." Chad Moeller Jersey
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. Philippe Desrosiers stopped 42 shots through overtime and three more in the shootout to pick up his third shutout of the season for Rimouski (31-15-7). Zachary Fucale made 28 saves for Halifax (34-17-3) in the loss.MALABO, Equatorial Guinea - Both the Ivory Coast and Cameroon came into the day as big favourites at the African Cup of Nations, and both finished it happy just to avoid losing.The Ivorians got a late equalizer from Seydou Doumbia — shortly after Gervinho was sent off with a straight red card — to earn a 1-1 draw with Guinea on Tuesday at Malabo Stadium.A short time later at the same venue, it was Cameroon that needed a late goal from Ambroise Oyongo to hold on for a 1-1 draw against Mali.We bounced back. Its a good point for us, said Ivory Coast captain Yaya Toure, who recently won his fourth African player of the year award. We have a couple of games coming, and I hope we will do well in them.The draws leave all four teams in Group D with one point. On Saturday, Ivory Coast will take on Mali and Cameroon will face Guinea.Gervinho had been Ivory Coasts best player, or least the one with the best chances, until a scuffle with Baissama Sankoh during an off-the-ball incident earned him a straight red in the 57th minute.With 10 men it was very hard, said Ivory Coast coach Herve Renard, who led Zambia to the African Cup title in 2012. I think the players did very well in the different organization (after the sending off).Doumbia, who came on in the 66th as the tactics changed, scored from in front of goal in the 72nd after a pass from Wilfried Bony.dddddddddddd Toure was the one who started the play.Guinea had taken the lead in the 36th when Ibrahima Traore crossed to Mohamed Yattara.Traore then had a chance to double the lead in the 61st but his shot hit the crossbar.Were not happy, because we know we could win this game, Traore said. Were going to keep working hard. At the end we will win and we will qualify, because as I said we are not afraid of anyone.In the second match, Oyongo latched onto to a long pass from Raoul Loe in the 84th and beat Mali goalkeeper Soumaila Diakite in a fast-paced game that had several missed chances at both ends.Sambou Yatabare had given Mali a surprising lead in the 71st, controling the ball with his chest and scoring from a tight angle after a free kick on the other side of the field.The manner we played this match, especially the second half, it was the manner to win the game, Cameroon coach Volker Finke said. The goal of Mali was a matter of concentration. The players were not concentrated.Cameroon, which conceded only one goal in qualifying, had chances earlier in the game but lacked quality finishing.One of the more entertaining moments came in the 57th minute when Cameroon forward Edgar Salli bounced the ball several times on his head to evade defenders but was eventually brought down just outside the box. ' ' '