Match report by Todd May
MANNEH NICKED A GOAL AND AN ASSIST ON RETURN TO VANCOUVER
TCHANI ‘S LAST MINUTE GOAL SALVAGES HOME POINT VS FORMER CLUB
BC Place – Vancouver, BC
Having risen to 1st place in the Western Conference, Vancouver set out to extend their lead with yet another home matchs vs playoff contenders Columbus Crew.
It looked as though business would continue as normal as Montero got himself an early goal in the 15th minute. A fortunate deflection on a through ball fell kindly for Montero’s run in behind and the Columbian calmly slotted under the keeper for the games first goal.
The lead didn’t last longer than a few minutes as the familiar face of Kekuta Manneh came back to haunt his former club. The speedy winger played like he had something to prove and did just that as his trickery provided the instantly equalizer. Defending right back Nerwinski briefly lost track of Manneh allowing the cross to come in to Ola Kamara who made a clever near post run to get the flick on and score his sides first goal. It was the front man’s 16th goal of the season and is beginning to quietly make a name for himself as a player to be watched.
After a quick succession of matches for Vancouver, it was surprising to see so many faces putting in more significant minutes. The fatigue became more and more evident with every passing minute as Columbus dictated a significant amount of possession for the remainder of the first half.
Vancouver came out looking lethargic and uninterested in the second half as well which played right into Columbus’ hands they were keen to dictate play with their possession based game.
It only took until the hour mark for Columbus to take the lead through former start Kekuta Manneh. The young startlet scored a blistering goal to open his account on the night with a rocket from 25 yards out. Such was the quality of the goal, it had the home fans applauding the former Caps player.
Vancouver never really looked like getting anything from the game despite a late Yordy Reyna header cannoning off the post from close range.
Yet it would be former Crew player Tony Tchani who managed to nick a late equalizer for his current side to draw them level deep into stoppage time.
Whitecaps had been mounting pressure for the final few minutes and a little chipped cross from Montero found Tchani at the back post for the easy tap in. The midfielder has been largely anonymous for 90 minutes but scored a vital goal to keep his side top of a tightly contested Western Conference.
Whitecaps have a much-needed week off before returning for another home match against Colorado Rapids who sit bottom of the West. Kick off is scheduled for 7PM PT @BC Place.
Budweiser Man of the Match: Yordy Reyna
Referee: Silviu Petrescu
15′ – VAN – Fredy Montero (Yordy Reyna, Cristian Techera)
19′ – CLB – Ola Kamara (Kekuta Manneh)
63′ – CLB – Kekuta Manneh (Wil Trapp)
90′ + 2′ – VAN – Tony Tchani (Fredy Montero, Jake Nerwinski)
Possession: Vancouver 40.3% – Columbus 59.7%
Shots: Vancouver 13 – Columbus 15
Shots on Goal: Vancouver 4 – Columbus 8
Saves: Vancouver 6 – Columbus 2
Fouls: Vancouver 11 – Columbus 12
Offsides: Vancouver 0 – Columbus 1
Corners: Vancouver 5 – Columbus 5
26′ – CLB – Josh Williams
33′ – CLB – Mohammed Abu
56′ – VAN – Kendall Waston
90′ + 1′ – CLB – Justin Meram
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
1.David Ousted; 28.Jake Nerwinski, 4.Kendall Waston ©, 26.Tim Parker, 2.Jordan Harvey (19.Erik Hurtado 80′); 66.Aly Ghazal, 16.Tony Tchani; 13.Cristian Techera (67.Alphonso Davies 60′), 29.Yordy Reyna, 20.Brek Shea (23.Bernie Ibini 72′); 12.Fredy Montero
Columbus Crew SC
23.Zack Steffen; 25.Harrison Afful, 3.Josh Williams, 17.Lalas Abubakar, 16.Hector Jimenez; 20.Wil Trapp ©, 8.Mohammed Abu (7.Artur HT); 32.Pedro Santos (21.Alex Crognale 83′), 10.Federico Higuain, 19.Kekuta Manneh (9.Justin Meram 70′); 11.Ola Kamara