VANCOUVER— Substitute Kekuta Manneh made the difference for Vancouver on Saturday, scoring a goal and setting up a second as the Whitecaps came back from two-goals down to salvage a 2-2 draw against FC Dallas at BC Place in front of 19,967 fans.
Manneh’s goal, the 18-year-old’s first in Major League Soccer, came in the 72nd minute when he rifled a shot inside the near post. The ball landed at the Gambian’s feet following a flurry of activity in the Dallas box which involved a fine reflex save by Dallas goalkeeper Raul Fernandez on a Camilo attempt and several pass attempts which didn’t quite come off for Vancouver (2-3-3).
The teenager followed that up with a surging run three minutes later, gliding past three Dallas defenders before centering across goal to Camilo, who converted what would end up being the game-tying goal. The Brazilian’s effort deflected off Jair Benitez from close range, giving Fernandez little chance to react.
For most of 70 minutes, however, it looked like FC Dallas (7-1-2) would widen their lead at the top of the Western Conference.
Nine minutes in, Dallas took the lead through an own goal from Andy O’Brien. Kenny Cooper got on the end of a Michel corner, but his glancing header was off target before the ball deflected off O’Brien and redirecting back toward goal and across the line.
Joe Cannon will share some guilt on the play, as well as on Dallas’ second goal. Just moments before the opener, he lingered on the ball, eventually forcing Camilo to concede a corner. Dallas then forced another corner immediately after from which they capitalized.
In the 47th minute, Matt Hedges doubled Dallas’ lead, beating Cannon from close range after Brad Rusin headed the ball backward into his own area from another Michel free kick conceded by Nigel Reo-Coker near the halfway line.
But after the ‘Caps clawed back, Dallas saw their odds of escaping with a late win go down considerably when Jackson lashed out at Alain Rochat in the 77th minute.
Rochat was tugging Jackson’s shirt as the pair battled for the ball, eliciting a wild swing from the FC Dallas midfielder that struck the Vancouver defender in the face. Referee Ricardo Salazar immediately reached for his back pocket and a straight red.
Opta Chalkboard: 'Caps finally make good on their possession and shot advantage
Despite being down a man, Dallas still had a chance to win, but Cannon dropped quickly in stoppage time to push away a Blas Perez half volley. Minutes earlier, Camilo forced a similar save out of Fernandez.
The Whitecaps are next in action on Wednesday, when they play the second leg of their Canadian Championship semifinal against FC Edmonton at BC Place. The ‘Caps currently lead that tie 3-2 on aggregate.
FC Dallas, meanwhile, get a bit of a break after failing to capture their eighth win of the season, hosting the Portland Timbers on May 8.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Kekuta Manneh||The game changed for the 'Caps when the teenage attacker came on, and his goal and assist saved a point.|
|2||Raul Fernandez||It's always an adventure with the Peruvian, but he made multiple standout saves when FCD needed him.|
|3||Gershon Koffie||He went under the radar a bit when Nigel Reo-Coker arrived, but he helped keep David Ferreira silent.|