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Whitecaps left scratching their heads after late loss to TFC

In a seesaw second half in which Darren Mattocks scored twice, the Vancouver Whitecaps nonetheless ended up on the wrong side of a 3-2 result to Toronto FC Wednesday night at BMO Field.

After opening the scoring through a poacher’s finish from Mattocks in 50th minute, things went pear shaped as Toronto bagged two goals within four minutes around the 70th minute – the first as Lee Young-Pyo lay on the field injured, and the second of which came as the South Korean defender remained off the field for an extended time getting treatment.

HIGHLIGHTS: TOR 3, VAN 2

“The second half was one of the most exciting halves I’ve been involved in for a long time,” head coach Martin Rennie told Vancouver radio station TEAM 1410 following the match. “Obviously it’s always hard when you come out on the wrong end of it. It’s one of those games where you’re scratching your head thinking, 'How did we lose it?'

“But when we look back at it, we’ll say, ‘We could have done better defending the set play, we could have done better not giving away the corner, we could have done better on a number of little things, and unfortunately that cost us tonight.”

The Whitecaps looked as if they’d claimed a late draw as Mattocks once again scored in stoppage time, getting on the end of a Jordan Harvey cross with a jump that any track and field athlete would be proud of to beat and bring the match to 2-2.

“I kind of feel bad for Milos,” Joe Cannon told TEAM 1410 after the match. “I could definitely see myself doing the same thing. Ninety-first minute, high cross, you're coming – you don’t expect some guy to jump out of the air. I’ve had it happen to me once or twice in my career. Definitely not a fun feeling when you go up grasping for air. Credit to Darren. He played such a great game for us tonight and finished his chances when we needed him to.

“As a senior pro, it’s even more gut wrenching to see a rookie come out and do the things he does and for us to not live up to the other end of the bargain.”

That incredible display of athleticism for the equalizer was all for naught though, as four minutes later ex-Whitecap Terry Dunfield scored a header of his own from a Torsten Frings corner to give the home side their 3-2 win.

“It hurts to a point,” Cannon said. “You want to yell and scream, and blame people and do all the things you do when you’re a kid, but the fact of the matter is we have a game on Saturday [against the Chicago Fire] and there’s not enough time to harp too much. At the same time we are professionals and we get paid to make little decisions. Unfortunately we didn’t do it tonight.”

Martin MacMahon covers the Vancouver Whitecaps for MLSsoccer.com.