Manneh scores first of the preseason as ‘Caps draw Quakes

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(ISN) – TUCSON, ARIZONA – For the second straight match, Vancouver Whitecaps FC turned in a dominant second-half performance.

It resulted in a 2-0 win over New England Revolution on Wednesday.

And on Saturday, it helped the Blue and White battle back to earn a 1-1 draw with San Jose Earthquakes in preseason action at the Kino Sports Complex.

After going down 1-0 in the 28th minute, Whitecaps FC came out flying in the second half and drew the game level courtesy of a well-taken Kekuta Manneh goal in the 65th minute.

Manneh received the ball from Sam Adekugbe at the top of the box, before cutting to the left and slotting it into the bottom right corner.

That came just minutes after Manneh made a blazing run down the middle and unleashed a heavy strike that was parried over the goal by Quakes second half goalkeeper Bryan Meredith.

The ‘Caps came close to scoring a late winner, but Meredith helped the Quakes hold onto the draw in the first match of a Desert Friendlies doubleheader in Tucson, Arizona.

Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson once again opted to field a different lineup for each half on Saturday. His starting lineup featured trialists Dane Richards, Robert Earnshaw, and Kalif Alhassan playing behind lone striker Darren Mattocks, who had Vancouver’s best chance in the 24th minute.

Goalkeeper David Ousted was between the posts for Whitecaps FC in the first half and he was busy.

In the 28th minute, the Dane made a diving save on an Adam Jahn header but Paulo Renato put the Quakes ahead 1-0 on the ensuing corner.

Ousted was called upon again in first-half stoppage time – this time diving to his left to stop low Tommy Thompson strike from inside the box.

San Jose controlled the run of play in the first half, but it was all Vancouver after the break.

Manneh was buzzing on the left, and Mauro Rosales looked equally as dangerous on the right side. Uruguayans Nicolas Mezquida and Octavio Rivero also combined well for the second straight match.

Rivero had at least three quality second-half chances, including a header from a Rosales cross at the back post and a half-volley he sent just wide after receiving a perfect ball over the top from Mezquida.

Vancouver’s Young Designated Player also forced Meredith into making a fantastic save on a shot from a tight angle in the game’s dying stages.

After claiming a win and a draw in their first two preseason matches, the ‘Caps will play their final match in Tucson on Tuesday morning against Houston Dynamo.