COMMERCE CITY, CO – An early goal from Tony Tchani and late one from Fredy Montero earned Vancouver Whitecaps FC (9W-8L-4D) a 2-2 draw with Colorado Rapids (6W-12L-3D) on a rainy Saturday night at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
It was another strong road outing for Vancouver, especially going forward.
The ‘Caps, who have now claimed at least a point in three straight matches away from home, outshot Colorado 14-12 and had a pair of disallowed goals – one due to offside and one due to a foul. Neither needed video review, which was making its debut in MLS, though the Video Assistant Referee did check a potential red card and penalty on the night.
There was certainly no shortage of action in this one – and it started early.
Tchani opened the scoring for Whitecaps FC in the fifth minute. After a Jordan Harvey cross was cleared, the ball fell to Tchani a few yards outside the box and the Cameroonian fired home a low, first-time strike off the post and in to give Vancouver an early lead with his third goal of the season.
Colorado responded in the 15th minute through Axel Sjoberg, who volleyed in the equalizer at the back post on the second phase of a Rapids free kick.
Those were the only goals scored in the opening frame, but it wasn’t for a lack of chances at either end. Bernie Ibini and Yordy Reyna, who were both making their second straight starts, looked particularly dangerous for the ‘Caps going forward, while Kevin Doyle forced David Ousted into a diving save on a 40th-minute strike from the top of the box.
Ousted stymied Doyle a second time just after the break, this time standing tall on a point-blank header from the Irishman. But Doyle would not be denied.
In the 54th minute, the longtime Wolverhampton Wanderers striker capped off a Rapids counter with a sliding finish inside the box after a clever back heel from Marlon Hairston, giving Colorado their first lead of the evening.
Shortly later, Carl Robinson made a double-sub, bringing on Brek Shea and Cristian Techera in place of Ibini and Christian Bolaños.
And it had the desired effect.
After hitting the post on a Techera cross moments prior, Montero headed in a pinpoint free kick from the diminutive Uruguayan in the 76th minute to draw the game level at 2-2. It was Montero's team-leading ninth goal of the season and fourth in his last five matches.
And it helped Vancouver earn another valuable point away from home.
Whitecaps FC conclude their three-match road swing next Saturday vs. New England Revolution (5 p.m. PT at Gillette Stadium – TSN2 and TSN 1410), before returning home to face Houston Dynamo on Saturday, August 19 at BC Place (7 p.m. PT – tickets still available).
NEWS AND NOTES
Robinson made three changes to his lineup on Saturday, inserting Andrew Jacobson, Jordan Harvey, and Christian Bolaños in place of Kendall Waston, Marcel de Jong, and Brek Shea … Waston was away in Costa Rica this week with immigration appointments and did not travel to Colorado … Neither did de Jong, who was being rested after a busy schedule with Canada at the Gold Cup in addition to last week’s match against Dallas … Alphonso Davies missed a second straight match with a right adductor sprain but is expected to return to full training this week.
Budweiser Man of the Match: Tony Tchani
Referee: Nima Saghafi
5’ – VAN – Tony Tchani
15’ – COL – Axel Sjoberg
54’ – COL – Kevin Doyle (Marlon Hairston, Mohammed Saeid)
76’ – VAN – Fredy Montero (Cristian Techera)
Possession: Colorado 54.9% – Vancouver 45.1%
Shots: Colorado 12 – Vancouver 14
Shots on Goal: Colorado 4 – Vancouver 2
Saves: Colorado 0 – Vancouver 2
Fouls: Colorado 25 – Vancouver 8
Offsides: Colorado 0 – Vancouver 2
Corners: Colorado 6 – Vancouver 6
45’ + 1’ – COL – Micheal Azira
68’ – COL – Eric Miller
75’ – COL – Marlon Hairston
1.Tim Howard; 3.Eric Miller (16.Alan Gordon 78’), 33.Jared Watts, 44.Axel Sjoberg, 2.Mike Da Fonte; 94.Marlon Hairston, 22.Micheal Azira (21.Bismark Boateng 86’), 90.Mohammed Saeid, 11.Shkelzen Gashi (45.Joshua Gatt 71’); 14.Dominique Badji, 9.Kevin Doyle
Substitutes not used
12.John Berner, 17.Dillon Serna, 24.Kortne Ford, 29.Caleb Calvert
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
1.David Ousted; 25.Sheanon Williams, 8.Andrew Jacobson, 26.Tim Parker, 2.Jordan Harvey; 23.Bernie Ibini (13.Cristian Techera 63’), 15.Matías Laba, 16.Tony Tchani, 7.Christian Bolaños (20.Brek Shea 63’); 29.Yordy Reyna; 12.Fredy Montero (19.Erik Hurtado 84’)
Substitutes not used
24.Stefan Marinović, 11.Nicolás Mezquida, 28.Jake Nerwinski, 31.Russell Teibert