A late equalizer by second-half substitute Kekuta Manneh salvaged a point for Vancouver Whitecaps FC (1W-0L-1D) in a 1-1 draw with Chivas USA (1W-0L-1D) Sunday evening at the StubHub Center.
After Erick Torres gave the 10-men Goats a lead just before halftime, Manneh scored his first goal of the season in the 81st minute to help the ‘Caps claim a point in their first road match of the season.
Striker Darren Mattocks picked up the assist on Manneh’s tally – the Jamaican’s second helper in as many matches.
Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson made just one change to his starting lineup after last week’s 4-1 win over New York Red Bulls.
Sunday’s contest got off to a slow start at the StubHub Center, as both teams struggled to sustain any offensive pressure with temperatures up and around 30 degrees Celsius.
After an uneventful opening 10 minutes, the complexion of the match took a turn around the 13-minute mark when Goats midfielder Agustin Pelletieri was sent off for a hard tackle on Morales.
To their credit, Chivas maintained an organized defensive structure despite going down to 10-men, which limited the ‘Caps from creating anything of substance.
There wasn’t much between the Western Conference foes in the first half, but Chivas looked the more lively side. They had five attempts on goal, though none caused Whitecaps FC goalkeeper David Ousted much trouble until the 45th minute.
There wasn’t much Ousted could have done at that point, as a 20-yard Torres strike deflected off Jay DeMerit’s backside into the bottom left corner of the goal to give Chivas a 1-0 lead at the half.
Vancouver came out of the interval a little more energized and creative in possession, but Chivas had the first chance in the 52nd minute. Goats midfielder Leandro Barrera broke in against the run of play, but Ousted raced off his line and made a sprawling save to keep the game within reach.
From that point forward, Whitecaps FC began to take control. In the 66th minute, Morales released Mattocks in the area with a ball over the top, but the Jamaican poked it just wide with Goats goalkeeper Dan Kennedy onrushing.
Manneh, who was subbed on in the 60th minute, also had several chances. The 19-year-old Gambian injected some life into the ‘Caps attack with his creativity on the left wing and he was rewarded for his efforts in the 81st minute.
In the build-up, Mattocks made a great run down the left flank, before slipping an inviting a ball into the box that Manneh hit first time into the bottom left corner of the goal.
Both teams pushed for the go-ahead marker in the game’s dying stages – Ousted made an alert save of a Torres header in the 85th minute and Manneh had another opportunity in the 86th – but it was not to be as the match ended in a 1-1 draw.
The ‘Caps are back on the road next Saturday, March 22 for an early morning clash with New England Revolution at 11 a.m. PT, before returning to BC Place to host Houston Dynamo on Saturday, March 29.
Retired defender Young-Pyo Lee will be honoured prior to the March 29 match.
Whitecaps FC season tickets start at the prorated price of just $331 and single-match tickets start at $22, subject to applicable fees. The ‘Caps also offer a flexible range of ticket products, including half-season tickets ($244), 5-packs ($149), student season tickets ($199), and a youth soccer half-season ticket ($100). For more information on all Whitecaps FC ticket options, call 604.669.9283 ext. 2 or visit whitecapsfc.com/tickets.
Stat of the Game
In just 30 minutes of action, Manneh led Whitecaps FC with four shots on Sunday. The second-year striker/winger also had both of Vancouver’s shots on target.
Budweiser Man of the Match: Kekuta Manneh
Referee: Ramon Hernandez
45’ – CHV – Erick Torres (Mauro Rosales)
81’ – VAN – Kekuta Manneh (Darren Mattocks)
Shots: Chivas 15 – Vancouver 8
Shots on Goal: Chivas 5 – Vancouver 2
Saves: Chivas 1 – Vancouver 4
Fouls: Chivas 17 – Vancouver 13
Offsides: Chivas 2 – Vancouver 8
Corners: Chivas 6 – Vancouver 0
17’ – VAN – Andy O’Brien
53’ – CHV – Oswaldo Minda
57’ – CHV – Bobby Burling
63’ – VAN – Matias Laba
13’ – CHV – Agustin Pelletieri
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
1.David Ousted; 33.Steven Beitashour, 40.Andy O’Brien (22.Christian Dean 77’), 6.Jay DeMerit, 2.Jordan Harvey; 20.Nigel Reo-Coker (23.Kekuta Manneh 60’), 15.Matías Laba; 9.Kenny Miller, 77.Pedro Morales, 7.Sebastián Fernández (19.Erik Hurtado 75’); 11.Darren Mattocks
70.Paolo Tornaghi, 28.Gershon Koffie, 29.Nicolás Mezquida, 36.Bryce Alderson
1.Dan Kennedy; 4.Tony Lockhead, 3.Carlos Bocanegra, 2.Bobby Burling, 15.Eric Avila; 7.Mauro Rosales, 8.Agustin Pelletieri, 30.Oswaldo Minda, 11.Leandro Barrera (26.Matthew Fondy 71’); 9.Erick Torres (21.Kristopher Tyrpak 87’), 17.Thomas McNamara (6.Daniel Fragoso 80’)
18.Trevor Spangenberg, 10.Adolfo Bautista, 19.Luke Moore, 22.Eriq Zavaleta