VANCOUVER, BC – For the first time in five years, Vancouver Whitecaps FC faced an English Premier League opponent on Tuesday night. And they did not look out of place, earning a 2-2 draw with FA Cup finalists Crystal Palace FC in front of a crowd of 14,788 at BC Place.
After a scoreless first half, the two sides put on a show after the break.
Former Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur striker Fraizer Campbell notched a second-half brace with a pair of tidy finishes for Crystal Palace, while Canadian international David Edgar scored on his Whitecaps FC debut and Kendall Waston got in on the fun with a tally of his own.
And that was just the goals.
Recently-signed Alphonso Davies also brought the crowd to its feet with a few moments of a magic. WFC2 call-up Brett Levis impressed in his half hour, picking up an assist on Waston’s 78th-minute equalizer. And Masato Kudo came close on a pair of opportunities, including a 90th minute strike that just missed the top corner.
All in all, it was a fun night of footy under the stars.
Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson fielded a starting lineup with a mix of youth and experience in this one. Backup Paolo Tornaghi got the nod in goal behind a back line that featured Canadians Edgar and Marcel de Jong, as well as Pa-Modou Kah and rookie Cole Seiler, who played at right back.
In central midfield, Andrew Jacobson partnered with Vancouverite Ben McKendry, while Nicolas Mezquida and wingers Fraser Aird and Cristian Techera formed the attacking three behind lone striker Erik Hurtado. The 'Caps, however, would make several changes over the course of the 90 minutes, including an eight-man swap at the hour mark.
Crystal Palace, meanwhile, fielded a strong a lineup that featured newcomer Andros Townsend, FA Cup final goalscorer Jason Puncheon, Australian national team captain Mile Jedinak, and last year’s top goalscoring defender in the EPL Scott Dann.
Both sides had some chances in the opening frame, but the fun really got started after the break.
In the 50th minute, Edgar did well to get on the end of a Techera cross off a short corner, heading in the game’s opening goal – and first of four goals in the next 30 minutes.
Campbell put Crystal Palace ahead with a pair of goals in the 62nd and 66th minutes, calmly finishing crosses from Townsend and Connor Wickham.
But the ‘Caps would not go away.
After a few great chances for the home side, Waston brought the game level once more in the 78th minute. The Costa Rican centre back nodded in an inviting cross from Levis, who put at least three of them on a platter after getting subbed on in the 61st minute.
It was a thrilling finish, thanks in part to the lively Davies, but it ended in a deadlock.
Crystal Palace conclude their North American tour with a 1W-0L-2D record after a 2-0 win over USL side FC Cincinnati and scoreless draw with Philadelphia Union.
Whitecaps FC, meanwhile, return to MLS action on Saturday against Houston Dynamo (6:30 p.m. PT at BBVA Compass Stadium – TSN2 and TSN 1040 radio), before visiting FC Dallas the following weekend. The ‘Caps are searching for their first-ever point in the state of Texas.
Referee: Drew Fischer
50’ – VAN – David Edgar (Cristian Techera, Marco Bustos)
62’ – CPFC – Fraizer Campbell (Andros Townsend)
66’ – CPFC – Fraizer Campbell (Connor Wickham)
78’ – VAN – Kendall Waston (Brett Levis, Christian Bolaños)
Shots: Vancouver 17 – Crystal Palace 17
Shots on Goal: Vancouver 8 – Crystal Palace 7
Saves: Vancouver 6 – Crystal Palace 5
Fouls: Vancouver 17 – Crystal Palace 9
Offsides: Vancouver 2 – Crystal Palace 0
Corners: Vancouver 11 – Crystal Palace 5
53’ – CPFC – Scott Dann
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
70.Paolo Tornaghi (24.Marco Carducci HT); 14.Cole Seiler (26.Tim Parker 61’), 18.David Edgar (4.Kendall Waston 61’), 44.Pa-Modou Kah (51.Sem de Wit* 61’), 33.Marcel de Jong (46.Brett Levis* 61’); 17.Andrew Jacobson (38.Kianz Froese 32’, 56. Daniel Haber* 79’), 30.Ben McKendry (15.Matías Laba 61’); 8.Fraser Aird (7.Christian Bolaños 61’), 11.Nicolás Mezquida (32.Marco Bustos 32’, 47.Kyle Greig* 79’), 13.Cristian Techera (67.Alphonso Davies 61’); 19.Erik Hurtado (9.Masato Kudo 61’)
*Short-term call-up from WFC2
Crystal Palace FC
1.Julian Speroni; 34.Martin Kelly, 27.Damien Delaney (16.Luke Croll 75’), 6.Scott Dann; 22.Jordon Mutch, 15.Mile Jedinak (4.Hiram Boateng HT), 42.Jason Puncheon (23.Jacob Berkeley 83’), 14.Chung-yong Lee (10.Yannick Bolasie 59’), 19.Zeki Fryers (21.Connor Wickham 60’); 17.Andros Townsend (20.Sullay Kaikai 83’), 8.Freddie Ladapo (9.Fraizer Campbell HT)
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