A 94th-minute volley from substitute center back Derek Cornelius gave the Vancouver Whitecaps a stunning 1-1 tie at Sporting Kansas City on Saturday night in a game that saw both teams finish with 10 players.
Trailing 1-0 to a Krisztian Nemeth goal, Vancouver were given a one-man advantage when Nemeth himself was sent off in the 51st minute for a high tackle on Felipe. But with shorthanded Sporting holding on desperately in search of a first win since March 30, they caught a break when Vancouver, just seconds after using their final substitution, saw center back Doneil Henry leave the game injured.
Vancouver then found enough time to get players into the box, and Ali Adnan's cross came across invitingly for the 21-year-old Cornelius, a halftime sub as part of a formation switch, who took it out of the air and smashed it into the corner just before the final whistle.
Vancouver (3W-6L-4D) improve to 2-1-2 in their last five games and remain just three points behind Real Salt Lake for seventh place in the Western Conference, albeit with one additional game played. The Kansas City (2W-4L-5D) winless streak stands at 7 regular-season games and 9 in all competitions.
- THE BIG PICTURE: A belief-builder of a result for Vancouver and Marc Dos Santos. He switched to a 5-3-2 at halftime, brought on attacking subs after the red card, and somehow managed to get away with being caught out of substitutions. It's not pretty right now, but character, cohesion and a Dos Santos favorite — culture — come from this kind of night. On the flip side, Kansas City's misery at the result should not dent their confidence that they remain fully capable of making a postseason run once healthy.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Playing as Kansas City's lone forward three minutes into stoppage time, Yohan Croizet was severely outnumbered as he approached midfield. Rather than look for support or head for the corner, he took aim at a 60-yard chip of Vancouver goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau. The young Canadian goalkeeper had enough time to recover and chest-trap the lob somewhere around the penalty spot, then started the possession that resulted in Cornelius heroics.
Croizet's teammates not exactly thrilled with that attempt.— Sam McDowell (@SamMcDowell11) May 19, 2019
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Benny Feilhaber. With all due respect to the biggest night in the young career of Derek Cornelius, Feilhaber won a tackle and immediately hit an inch-perfect 40-yard diagonal to Johnny Russell to set up Sporting's opening goal and was essential in Sporting's midfield.
- SKC: Sun., May 26 vs. Seattle Sounders (6 pm ET | FS1, FOX Deportes, FOX Sports GO in US; DAZN in Canada)
- VAN: Sat., May 25 vs. FC Dallas (7 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US; TSN in Canada)