VANCOUVER, BC – A stunning volley, a red card, and some heated battles all over the pitch.
That was the story on Wednesday night at BC Place, as Vancouver Whitecaps FC (3W-4L-2D) earned a hard-fought 1-1 draw with Sporting Kansas City (4W-4L-1D) after going down to 10 men early in the second half.
In other words, it was just another day at the office for a pair of Western Conference rivals that always seem to produce a flair for the dramatic when they come together.
- Robinson: "I'm not sure whether to be happy, sad, or frustrated"
- Post-match press conference: Bolaños and Teibert
Speaking of flair, Whitecaps FC midfielder Christian Bolaños opened his MLS account with a well-taken left-footed volley in the 14th minute. Unfortunately for the home crowd of 18,836, it was cancelled out by Diego Rubio’s first MLS goal just before the half-hour mark.
Wednesday’s match was Vancouver’s second of three in an eight-day span.
With that in mind, Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson made four changes to his starting lineup after a weekend win over FC Dallas – SKC also shuffled their squad after playing on Sunday.
Of note, Pedro Morales made his return after missing three straight matches with a left hip flexor. Bolaños, striker Masato Kudo, and midfielder Russell Teibert also drew into the lineup, replacing Kekuta Manneh, Octavio Rivero, and Andrew Jacobson. The back line remain unchanged.
It was all Vancouver in the early going.
In the third minute, a lively Cristian Techera found Kudo in the box with a cross from the left but the Japanese striker couldn’t connect. Both players were very involved in the early going. Kudo had another opportunity in the 13th minute, this time seeing his strike blocked at the top of the box after some nice work by Teibert in midfield.
The ‘Caps kept coming though and opened the scoring a minute later.
Techera provided the service, an inviting outswinging corner, and Bolaños finished brilliantly with a left-footed volley into the top left corner.
As they say, goals change games.
Unfortunately for Whitecaps FC, this one appeared to get the visitors going.
And in the 27th minute, they brought the game level when Rubio got on the end of a Lawrence Olum strike, finishing from close range after some clever movement in the box. SKC nearly took the lead shortly later, but David Ousted came up with a key save off a first-time Jimmy Medrando strike from the top of the box before Tim Parker alertly cleared the rebound.
To their credit, Vancouver did manufacture a pushback late in the first half.
They had a glorious chance to regain the lead in the 34th minute, but SKC centre back Matt Besler came up with a sliding interception to prevent a Kudo tap-in after a cross from Techera.
It was an entertaining opening frame, but the dynamic of the game changed early in the second half. In the 51st minute, Kendall Waston was sent off for his second yellow card.
The Costa Rican centre back was called for a foul on Rubio at the edge of the box after an errant back pass, which reduced the ‘Caps to 10 men and forced them to lock things down defensively.
And that’s exactly what they did.
The back line came up big in the late stages – as did Teibert and his defensive midfield partner Matias Laba, who combined for seven tackles and covered a ton of ground.
The ‘Caps had a late chance in stoppage time, as Teibert whipped a free kick that led to a penalty appeal from Jordan Harvey, but this one ended in a deadlock.
Next up for Whitecaps FC is their first-ever visit to Yankee Stadium on Saturday, where they will meet New York City FC to cap off a busy three-match-in-eight-day span (1 p.m. PT on TSN1). Waston will be unavailable due to his red card in today's match.
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DID YOU KNOW?
The 'Caps have been reduced to 10 men three times this season (a total of 146 minutes). They've yet to concede a goal during that span.
MCMILLAN ‘CAPS CORNER KICK DONATIONS
For every ‘Caps corner kick at home, McMillan donates $100 to the United Way. An additional $500 is donated for every goal scored off a corner kick. This match McMillan Corners for Kids has donated $1000 for a running total of $3700.
Budweiser Man of the Match: Christian Bolaños
Referee: Armando Villarreal
14’ – VAN – Christian Bolaños (Cristian Techera)
27’ – SKC – Diego Rubio (Lawrence Olum, Saad Abdul-Salaam)
Shots: Vancouver 5 – Sporting KC 10
Shots on Goal: Vancouver 2 – Sporting KC 2
Saves: Vancouver 1 – Sporting KC 1
Fouls: Vancouver 11 – Sporting KC 11
Offsides: Vancouver 1 – Sporting KC 2
Corners: Vancouver 5 – Sporting KC 9
22’ – SKC – Matt Besler
40’ – VAN – Kendall Waston
41’ – SKC – Diego Rubio
51’ – VAN – Kendall Waston
60’ – SKC – Nuno Coelho
51’ – VAN – Kendall Waston
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
1.David Ousted; 8.Fraser Aird, 4.Kendall Waston, 26.Tim Parker, 2.Jordan Harvey; 15.Matías Laba, 31.Russell Teibert; 7.Christian Bolaños (23.Kekuta Manneh 78’), 77.Pedro Morales (44.Pa-Modou Kah 54’), 13.Cristian Techera; 9.Masato Kudo (29.Octavio Rivero 65’)
Substitutes not used
70.Paolo Tornaghi, 11.Nicolás Mezquida, 17.Andrew Jacobson, 27.Blas Pérez,
Sporting Kansas City
25.Alec Kann; 17.Saad Abdul Salaam, 12.Nuno Andre Coelho, 5.Matt Besler ©, 13.Amadou Dia; 10.Benny Feilhaber, 16.Lawrence Olum, 27.Roger Espinoza; 94.Jimmy Medranda (8.Graham Zusi 75’), 9.Diego Rubio (14.Dom Dwyer 57’), 22.Connor Hallisey (11.Brad Davis 64’)
Substitutes not used
29.Tim Melia, 3.Ike Opara, 15.Seth Sinovic, 37.Jacob Peterson