VANCOUVER, BC – Fredy Montero scored his fifth goal in as many games as 10-men Vancouver Whitecaps FC (10W-9L-5D) battled back to earn a 1-1 draw with Seattle Sounders FC (11W-7L-8D) on Wednesday night in front of a sold-out crowd of 22,120 at BC Place.
Seattle’s Nicolas Lodeiro opened the scoring on a 19th-minute penalty, but Montero found an equalizer in the 64th minute – just a few minutes after Tony Tchani was sent off for a second yellow card. The former Sounders FC striker finished first time after a fantastic individual effort from substitute Alphonso Davies, who claimed his first career MLS point on the play.
It was Montero’s team-leading 11th goal of the season, and third against his former team, and it helped Vancouver earn a share of the spoils. Budweiser Man of the Match David Ousted also had a big part to play, making a season-high seven saves.
As Carl Robinson said this week, Wednesday’s contest was a “great test” for his team.
Seattle came to Vancouver as the hottest team in MLS and the co-Western Conference leaders, having won six of seven matches during a nine-match unbeaten run. And they looked the part early, controlling over 60 per cent of possession in the opening frame.
Newcomer Victor Rodriguez, who was making his first MLS start, was particularly dangerous for the Rave Green. And it was the Spaniard who drew the foul that led to Lodeiro’s 19th-minute penalty.
Rodriguez had a chance of his own in the 33rd minute, going for goal on a 30-yard free kick, but Ousted made a diving, near-post save to keep Vancouver within one.
It was Ousted’s turn again early in the second half.
The Danish keeper stopped a diving Chad Marshall header – with his head, no less – before turning away a heavy Lodeiro strike in the first 10 minutes of the second frame. Then, after Robinson brought on Davies and Bernie Ibini in a double substitution, the ‘Caps were reduced to 10 men in the 60th minute.
But that would not stop them.Just a few minutes later, Robinson’s men drew the game level thanks in large part to Davies, who closed down Marshall with a blazing run down the left, cut into the box, and fed Montero at the centre of the box. Just like that, the game was tied.
And that, despite some end to end action in the final half hour, is how it would end.
Whitecaps FC now head out east for a long trip to Orlando City SC this Saturday (4:30 p.m. PT).