VANCOUVER, B.C. -- In the midst of a tight Western Conference playoff race, this was not the result the Vancouver Whitecaps wanted or expected.
But Sunday's 2-2 draw with Western Conference bottom feeders Chivas USA left the team with plenty of mixed feelings.
On the one hand, the 'Caps failed to defeat the worst team in their conference. On the other, the team managed to come back from a two-goal halftime deficit and walk away with a point thanks to a stoppage time goal from Tom Heinemann.
“Looking at the first half, I think we lost the points on that one,” goalkeeper David Ousted said following the match. “But our second half was good and I'm proud of the guys for battling back and getting into it again.
“So we won a point in the second half but we definitely need to do better.”
Given the Whitecaps play three consecutive road matches following this affair, the draw really cranks up the pressure for the side to start picking up more points away from BC Place.
“We've definitely got the ability to go and do it,” Kenny Miller said of getting points on the road. “But it's not about standing here and talking about it. It's about going away to Dallas next week, to San Jose after that and to Montreal after that, and actually crossing that white line and perform enough and well enough to go and get the results we need, because...let's be honest, we're going to need more than one win.
“We're going to need a few points to make sure we give ourselves a chance going into those last five games, because this is a hit or miss three game run on the road.”
The match was yet another in which the Whitecaps started slowly and got punished for it.
“Inexplicably, we started slowly again,” head coach Martin Rennie said following the match. “Two weeks in a row after two minutes or three minutes, we're a goal down, so that's very, very frustrating. What made this one worse was that we then lost another goal.”
While obviously a bit perplexed by his team's sleepy beginning to Sunday's affair, Rennie was at least consoled by his team's reaction.
“Sometimes you have to scrap it out,” Rennie said. “As disappointing as it is not to get three, it's a really important point and I think it's going to be vital at the end.”
Martin MacMahon covers the Vancouver Whitecaps for MLSsoccer.com.