For the great majority of Friday night's rivalry match between the Vancouver Whitecaps FC and Toronto FC, they were battling to a scoreless draw, and then Fredy Montero got what looked to be an 84th-minute game winner by converting a penalty. But TFC had other ideas, with Nick DeLeon firing through traffic, deflecting off Whitecaps defender Ali Adnan and past goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau for a 90th-minute equalizer.
In the wake of a draw that felt like a loss, Crepeau and VWFC coach Marc Dos Santos shared post-game thoughts with media that indicated they'll be thinking about this one for a while.
"At the end of the day we scored and we conceded late, we have to admit the tie is fair," Dos Santos said. "That’s a fair result for both teams. If we don’t admit it then we’re delusional and we don’t progress as a team."
Dos Santos indicated that the emotional high of getting a late goal against a rival might have backfired. As he noted, "The five minutes after a goal are always very dangerous minutes. A team for one or two minutes is still in celebration mode, the other guys don’t have anything to lose and yeah, that happened. It’s unfortunate that it came out of a deflection, but even if the result is fair, there’s little things that we could have done better, many things."
Dos Santos also indicated that they were aiming to make a late tactical change. "We wanted to make a sub because [midfielder] Inbeom [Hwang] was cramping a lot and he was very fatigued and he was on the the ground. And then there’s a lack of pressure on our left side, their right side. And then the play comes in and then I didn’t see the goal yet, I think it got kind of deflected. It’s unfortunate because we wanted to make the sub but the ball wasn’t going out and unfortunately we weren’t able to do it."
Crepeau observed, "I think it wasn’t our best performance tonight. I can’t speak for their team, I don’t care about them, I care about us. I think that we didn’t bring our best game tonight but it’s deceiving to end up with only one point at the end of tonight."
He added, in the same vein, "We’re solid defending crosses and I have no words for this play where the ball is on DeLeon’s foot coming in, Ali’s doing his job trying to block the cross and then it’s going past me, kisses the post really close. It’s difficult to end out the game like that, it’s heartbreaking."
The draw left both teams on 18 points and in contention for the final playoff spot in their respective conferences, though the Whitecaps have now played 16 matches to TFC's 14.