The opening Cascadia Cup rivalry match proved a missed opportunity for Vancouver Whitecaps FC, because of, well, missed opportunities.
That was Vancouver's outlook after a disappointing 2-2 draw against Seattle Sounders FC at BC Place Saturday night, after Fredy Montero equalized in the final minute to cancel out a late, fortuitous Camilo Sanvezzo free kick.
“It’s disappointing not to come out with a win today,” Whitecaps FC head coach Martin Rennie told reporters following the match. “We had three one-on-one chances and didn’t hit the target, and that’s disappointing at this level.”
Perhaps the most wasteful of Vancouver’s attackers was rookie Darren Mattocks, making his first MLS start. The Jamaican made several strong runs in behind the Seattle backline, finding himself with a number of quality chances throughout the match, but none of his three shots forced Sounders FC goalkeeper Bryan Meredith into a save.
“He had some great, great movement,” Alain Rochat said. “The problem is, when you do a great movement, you have to score. Unlucky, he had a couple of chances. When you play – the rhythm of the game, the feelings, it’s by playing games.
“He’s young, but that’s good for him to create chances. At least he created chances and did some great moves.”
Highlights: VAN 2, SEA 2
Mattocks himself admitted he should have done better, but did acknowledge he felt a bit of rust after missing so much time with a burn injury suffered in a cooking accident in late March.
“I had four or five opportunities to put the ball in the back of the net,” Mattocks said. “That’s the life of a striker. I think I did really well, but unfortunately, I was unlucky on a couple of those opportunities I missed. But I just have to look forward and move on. The best strikers in the world miss chances and I just have to move forward from there.”
One man who did make the most of his chance was Rochat, who made a marauding run down the left side after Omar Salgado held off his marker to put him through down the wing.
“I was surprised myself to go through,” Rochat said. “I was looking for an option, but the way was open for me to go right to the goal, so I didn’t hesitate and had a good finish.
“I was looking for a partner free in the box, but when I saw I was free myself I thought, ‘let’s do it.’”
Oh, and Vancouver’s 82nd minute goal? Well, there seems to be some debate about that, as Gershon Koffie claims he made a “slight touch” with the ball, but officially it stands as Camilo's goal, for now.
“Camilo always has a good free kick,” Koffie said. “So whenever he kicks the ball on target, you have to be there, and you can touch it.”