VANCOUVER, BC – Just when it looked like it was over, it wasn’t.
Axel Sjoberg’s stoppage-time equalizer cancelled out Cristian Techera’s 87th-minute penalty as Vancouver Whitecaps FC (7W-8L-4D) drew 2-2 with 10-men Colorado Rapids (9W-2L-7D) in front of a sold-out crowd of 22,120 on Saturday night at BC Place.
It was the second time Colorado came back to tie the game.
Budweiser Man of the Match Kendall Waston opened the scoring in the 10th minute, but Kevin Doyle responded just before the hour-mark, setting up an exciting final 30 minutes that saw Colorado reduced to 10-men courtesy of an Eric Miller red card.
Techera’s first goal of the season looked to be the winner.
As they’ve done all season, however, the Rapids found a way to scrape out a result, extending their unbeaten streak to 13 matches.
"I don't think we deserved to win the game if I'm being honest," Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson told reporters after the match. "The way it panned out in the last minute was disappointing but it was probably a fair result."
This is a funny game.
Colorado saw more of the ball in the first half – they had nearly 68 per cent of possession – and outshot Vancouver 10-4, but the ‘Caps entered the break ahead 1-0.
That was thanks in large part to goalkeeper David Ousted, who had six first-half saves, as well as an early goal from Waston. In the 10th minute, the Costa Rican defender headed in a left-footed Christian Bolaños cross to put Vancouver ahead. U.S. international goalkeeper Tim Howard, who was playing in his second game with Colorado, got a piece of it – but not quite enough.
Howard has made the headlines as of late – and rightfully so considering his resume – but his counterpart was the bigger story in the first half (Howard would have something to say a little later). In the 21st minute, Ousted dove to his left to stop a heavy strike from Shkelzen Gashi, who recently returned from Euro 2016.
The Dane also denied Doyle on a pair of occasions, including a sprawling save in the 30th minute on a dangerous Rapids counter.
Doyle would eventually find the back of the net in the 59th minute, coolly tucking in a throughball from Gashi. Doyle and Gashi were easily Colorado’s most dangerous players on the night – especially in the absence of Jermaine Jones, a late scratch.
They nearly combined again in the 63rd minute.
This time, Doyle tiptoed towards the endline before playing a little cutback to Gashi, who saw his first-time attempt alertly headed off the goalline by Waston.
From there, it was non-stop action until – quite literally – the final whistle.
Miller was sent off for a hard tackle on Morales, Howard came up with a massive goalline save on Bolaños at the back post, and the two teams traded late goals – a Techera PK that he drew himself and a Sjoberg header off a Doyle cross – to conclude the match.
Saturday’s match kicked off a four-match homestand for Vancouver, including the July 19 friendly vs. English Premier League club Crystal Palace FC. Next up for Whitecaps FC is a tilt with Real Salt Lake on Wednesday at BC Place (7:30 p.m. PT on TSN1 – tickets still available).
Kekuta Manneh left the match in the 43rd minute with a right foot injury, while Masato Kudo appeared in the 18-man gameday roster for the first time after suffering a fractured jaw on May 11.
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 $300 for a running total of $7,800.
Budweiser Man of the Match: Kendall Waston
Referee: Allen Chapman
10’ – VAN – Kendall Waston (Christian Bolaños, Pedro Morales)
59’ – COL – Kevin Doyle (Shkelzen Gashi, Marco Pappa)
87’ – VAN – Cristian Techera (Penalty Kick)
90’ + 4’ – COL – Axel Sjoberg (Kevin Doyle)
Possession: Vancouver 40.2 % – Colorado 59.8 %
Shots: Vancouver 13 – Colorado 17
Shots on Goal: Vancouver 6 – Colorado 9
Saves: Vancouver 7 – Colorado 4
Fouls: Vancouver 9 – Colorado 11
Offsides: Vancouver 0 – Colorado 1
Corners: Vancouver 3 – Colorado 4
37’ – COL – Jared Watts
56’ – COL – Shkelzen Gashi
74’ – COL – Marco Pappa
71’ – COL – Eric Miller
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
1.David Ousted; 6.Jordan Smith, 4.Kendall Waston, 26.Tim Parker, 2.Jordan Harvey; 7.Christian Bolaños, 17.Andrew Jacobson, 15.Matías Laba, 77.Pedro Morales © (13.Cristian Techera 80’); 23.Kekuta Manneh (19.Erik Hurtado 43’); 27.Blas Pérez (11.Nicolás Mezquida 65’)
Substitutes not used
70.Paolo Tornaghi, 9.Masato Kudo, 14.Cole Seiler, 30.Ben McKendry
1.Tim Howard; 3.Eric Miller, 33.Jared Watts, 44.Axel Sjoberg, 5.Mekeil Williams; 6.Sam Cronin ©, 22.Michael Azira; 10.Marco Pappa (4.Marc Burch 74’), 8.Dillon Powers (21.Luis Solignac 84’), 11.Shkelzen Gashi (94.Marlon Hairston 79’); 9.Kevin Doyle
Substitutes not used
18.Zac MacMath, 14.Dominique Badji, 19.Conor Doyle
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