VANCOUVER, B.C. – It was a back-and-forth Cascadia derby at times, but 90 minutes couldn't separate the Vancouver Whitecaps from the visiting Portland Timbers, as the sides both finished with one point apiece in a 2-2 draw at BC Place Sunday night.
Darlington Nagbe opened the scoring with a screamer four minutes from half-time, finding the top left corner from outside the area, but it was a furious four minutes late in the second half that will have fans throughout MLS talking about this one.
It started with a spectacular double save from Donovan Ricketts in the 75th minute, as the big goalkeeper stopped both Kekuta Manneh and Camilo Sanvezzo from point black range.
A minute later, Camilo scored a deflected free kick from over 30 yards out into the bottom corner of the goal, giving the home side an equalizer and some hope.
Almost before they were done celebrating, though, Portland stormed back down the other end of the field and restored the one-goal lead. Nagbe held off a defender then squared for Will Johnson to lash home at the top of the box and stun BC Place back into silence.
That just gave Camilo the chance to author his piéce de résistance.
After a marauding build-up down the left, Darren Mattocks’ cross found Young-Pyo Lee overlapping on the right side. The veteran pulled back for Camilo near the top of the box, and the Brazilian magician conjured a flying, acrobatic overhead kick that beat Ricketts from 16 yards.
But there would be no winner. In stoppage time, Ricketts pulled off another couple of fine saves, first palming a Lee effort over the bar, before diving across goal to stop a good Mattocks look.
There was also a penalty shout when Manneh went down in the area with moments left to play after having been clipped by Futty Danso. But referee Silviu Petrescu told the young attacker to get up, before blowing the whistle moments later after a similar appeal from Jose Adolfo Valencia.
The Whitecaps, now 11-11-9, saw their playoff hopes all but disappear with the result. They are back in action Wednesday, as they travel to CenturyLink Field to take on the Seattle Sounders for another Cascadia derby.
As for the Timbers, now 12-5-14, they saw a chance to pull even with RSL atop the Western Conference go up in smoke with Camilo's brace. They also take on the Sounders in their next match, next Sunday at JELD-WEN Field.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Camilo Sanvezzo||Dangerous every time he's on the ball, and having an MVP-caliber season. Goal of the Year finalist and a clutch brace today.|
|2||Darlington Nagbe||The goal was spectacular, unteachable talent. The strength and vision on the assist were a sign of maturity and understanding. He's the complete package.|
|3||Donovan Ricketts||This one would have ended 14-3 if it wasn't for him. Once again he saved a point for Portland.|