Highlights: Whitecaps FC 2 - 2 FC Dallas
VANCOUVER, BC – In front of a lively crowd of 19,967 at BC Place, Vancouver Whitecaps FC (2W-3L-3D) earned a hard-fought 2-2 draw against Western Conference leaders FC Dallas (6W-1L-2D).
Head coach Martin Rennie made five changes to Wednesday's lineup against FC Edmonton in the Amway Canadian Championship. Joe Cannon, Young-Pyo Lee, Alain Rochat, Brad Rusin and Jun Marques Davidson came in, while Brad Knighton, Greg Klazura, Jordan Harvey and Russell Teibert came out.
It took just ten minutes for the action to begin, as a corner kick by Michel on 10 minutes was swung into the 18-yard box, with the ball bouncing off ‘Caps defender Andy O’Brien and past Cannon.
In the 17th minute, Darren Mattocks found a beautiful through ball from Daigo Kobayashi, but his attempt to go around FC Dallas defender Jair Benitez was not successful and his weak shot was scooped up by Dallas 'keeper Raúl Fernandez.
Following a lull in the action in the middle of the first half, a flurry of action in the final 10 minutes of the half nearly saw the ‘Caps equalize.
On 38 minutes, Kobayashi took his chances from 30 yards out, but his shot was stopped by Fernandez. Just one minute later, Budweiser Man of the Match Nigel Reo-Coker made a short pass to the centre of the 18-yard box, but Mattocks was unable to finish the opportunity. Within a minute, the pair connected again, with Reo-Coker providing a short leading pass to Mattocks, who was unable to reach the ball for the finish.
After a tough first half for the home side, the ‘Caps looked to turn the match around in the second half.
However, just two minutes into the first half, on 47 minutes, a free kick by FC Dallas midfielder Michel found its way into the 18-yard box, where defender Matt Hedges deflected the ball past Cannon. The Hoops took a 2-0 lead on the play, and continued to carry momentum into the late stages of the match.
In the 65th minute, Lee had a chance to equalize for the ‘Caps, but after some fancy footwork, the World Cup veteran’s shot was stopped by Fernandez. Two minutes later, in the 68th minute, second half sub Manneh made a nice leading pass to Mattocks, who slid forward attempting to reach the ball, but was unable to capitalize.
In the 72nd minute, the ‘Caps finally got on the scoreboard when Manneh struck from within the box and netted his first professional goal. Just three minutes later, Camilo equalized for the home side, as Brazilian striker slid the ball into the back of the net after a nice pass from Manneh.
On 78 minutes, Hoops’ midfielder Jackson was sent out of the match with a straight red for an elbow on Rochat, leaving FC Dallas down a man for the remainder of the match.
The away side nearly had a chance to take the lead in stoppage time, when striker Blas Perez took a hard shot from just inside the front of the 18-yard box, but Cannon was there to make a sensational diving save that had the fans in BC Place on their feet.
In the end, the late-match heroics were just enough, as the ‘Caps earned a 2-2 draw against the current MLS frontrunners.
After the match, Rennie was pleased to see his team fight back and earn a point.
“In the end, I can’t believe we didn’t win that game. We had some fantastic chances. I know we’ve got a good team. I know we’ve got good players. I know that the quality will come. We’ve got young players and sometimes they will miss chances here and there. Sometimes I ask how much heart and how much character does the team have and today no doubt, I got answered that question. We’ve got a lot of heart and got a lot of character."
Whitecaps FC now turn their attention to the second leg of their Amway Canadian Championship semifinal, as they take a 3-2 leg to BC Place into Wednesday's clash with FC Edmonton. Kickoff will be at 7 p.m. PT.
Budweiser Man of the Match: Nigel Reo-Coker
Referee: Ricardo Salazar
9' - VAN - Andy O'Brien (own goal)
47' - DAL - Matt Hedges
72' - VAN - Kekuta Manneh (Tommy Heinemann)
75' - VAN - Camilo Sanvezzo (Kekuta Manneh)
Shots: Vancouver 27 - Dallas 13
Shots on Goal: Vancouver 9 - Dallas 4
Saves: Vancouver 3 - Dallas 7
Fouls: Vancouver 13 - Dallas 11
Offsides: Vancouver 1 - Dallas 2
Corners: Vancouver 6 - Dallas 4
2' - VAN - Gershon Koffie
81’ - DAL - Raul Fernandez
78' - DAL - Jackson
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
1.Joe Cannon; 12.Young-Pyo Lee, 40.Andy O'Brien, 3.Brad Rusin, 4.Alain Rochat; 13.Nigel Reo-Coker ©, 27.Jun Marques Davidson (23.Kekuta Manneh 54'), 28.Gershon Koffie; 14.Daigo Kobayashi (29.Tom Heinemann 70'), 11.Darren Mattocks, 7.Camilo Sanvezzo
Substitutes not used:
18.Brad Knighton, 2.Jordan Harvey, 16.Johnny Leveron, 19.Erik Hurtado, 31.Russell Teibert
1.Raul Fernandez; 17.Zach Loyd, 14.George John (21.London Woodberry 45'), 24.Matt Hedges, 5.Jair Benitez; 31.Michel, 4.Andrew Jacobson (27.Je-Vaughn Watson 41') ; 33.Kenny Cooper (11.Fabian Castillo 76'), 10.David Ferreira, 6.Jackson; 7.Blas Perez
Substitutes not used: 18.Chris Seitz, 13. Bradlee Baladez, 16.Bobby Warshaw, 29.Eric Hassli