RICHMOND, VA - Vancouver Whitecaps FC Reserves (MLS Reserve League: 2W-0L-3D) remained unbeaten on Saturday as they held the undefeated Richmond Kickers (USL PRO: 7W-0L-5D) to a a 1-1 draw in their first ever MLS Reserve League-USL PRO interleague match.
A first-half goal from Kekuta Manneh
was cancelled out by a second-half tap-in from Kickers leading scorer Joseph Ngwenya to give each team a share of the spoils.
Kekuta Manneh gives the 'Caps a 1-0 lead
It was a stormy evening at City Stadium in Richmond, Virginia, with heavy winds to start the match and rain coming down in the second half. Whitecaps FC assistant coach Carl Robinson
led the 'Caps Reserves, naming a backline with Whitecaps FC U-23 defender Ethen Sampson
in the starting lineup at right back and regular striker Tommy Heinemann
in at centre back.
The Kickers, meanwhile, featured three MLS loaned players in their starting lineup, with D.C. United goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra in net and fellow D.C. United player Michael Seaton up top with Houston Dynamo striker Brian Ownby beside him.
The match started with the 'Caps on the front foot. Manneh tried the first shot barely two minutes in when he had a hit from outside the box, but his strike rolled well wide of goal.
The next 20 minutes were played largely in the middle of the park as both teams eased into the match.
The breakthrough for the 'Caps finally came on 22 minutes when Manneh stole the ball on the left, cut in and fired a low shot from the top of the box that beat Dykstra for a 1-0 lead.
The home side responded from going down a goal with more attacking intent. On 32 minutes midfielder Nate Robinson fired a hard shot from the right that barely flew past the near post. Then on 38 minutes Seaton got his head on the end of a cross and placed the ball down to Ownby, but the striker's shot sailed well over the net.
Despite continued pressure from the Kickers, the match went into halftime with the 'Caps holding on to their 1-0 lead.
The Kickers came out motivated after the break and found their equalizer nine minutes into the second half. Ownby broke down the left and centred a pass for Ngwenya, who finished with a quick tap-in to make it 1-1.
Richmond Kickers 1-1 Vancouver Whitecaps FC Reserves
- a halftime sub in net for Brad Knighton
- came up big on 59 minutes, first swatting out an Ownby cross, then tipping over a high shot from Henry Kalungi.
Richmond continued to mount the pressure throughout the half, but the 'Caps had a chance on 72 minutes when Adam Clement
laid off for Aminu Abdallah
at the top of the box, but the Ghanaian's shot went just wide of the far post.
The final minutes of the match were frantic with chances for each side in added time. First, Ownby collected the ball in the box and hit a wicked strike off the crossbar. Then, with only seconds remaining, Erik Hurtado
whipped in a dangerous cross that was batted clear by Dykstra.
In the end, the match finished on level terms as the 'Caps left their first interleague match with a 1-1 draw.
23' - VAN - Kekuta Manneh
54' - RIC - Joseph Ngwenya (Brian Ownby)
Shots: Richmond 10 – Vancouver 3
Shots on Goal: Richmond 2 - Vancouver 1
Saves: Richmond 0 – Vancouver 1
Fouls: Richmond 10 – Vancouver 1
Offsides: Richmond 7 – Vancouver 3
Corners: Richmond 8 – Vancouver 7
17' - VAN - Adam Clement
50' - VAN - Kekuta Manneh
87' - VAN - Erik Hurtado
50.Andrew Dykstra; 25.Henry Kalungi, 18.Alex Lee, 2.Shane Johnson, 2.William Yomby; 4.Luke Vercollone, 5.Michael Callahan (20.Philippe Davies 83'), 27.Joseph Ngwenya, 14.Nate Robinson; 29.Michael Seaton (7.Matthew Delicate 88'), 12.Brian Ownby
Subs not used
0.Ryan Taylor; 10.David Bulow, 99.Stanley Nyazamba, 8.Joe Haboush, 9.Juan Arbelaez
Vancouver Whitecaps FC Reserves
18.Brad Knighton (39.Simon Thomas 45'); 43.Ethen Sampson, 29.Tom Heinemann, 33.Adam Clement, 32.Greg Klazura; 8.Matt Watson (C), 20.Aminu Abdallah, 26.Corey Hertzog (41.Derrick Bassi 66'); 23.Kekuta Manneh (35.Marlon Ramirez 84') 11.Darren Mattocks (34.Caleb Clarke 79'), 19.Erik Hurtado
Subs not used