Report and Reaction: Whitecaps give up two leads and drop two points in disappointing DC draw

Report and Reaction: Whitecaps give up two leads and drop two points in disappointing DC draw

On a night when things went in their favour elsewhere, Vancouver Whitecaps couldn’t get their own job done at BC Place on Saturday, giving up two leads and dropping two big points in a disappointing 2-2 draw with D.C. United.

It was another squandered opportunity for Vancouver to consolidate their push for a playoff place, despite it looking bright for the Whitecaps early when Brian White headed them into a lead with less than two minutes on the clock. But a defensive slip allowed Christian Benteke to tie things up for the visitors with their only shot in the first half.

Ryan Gauld fired the ‘Caps ahead from the spot just before the hour mark but their lead lasted mere minutes before DC again tied things up after more lax defending around the edge of the Vancouver box for Mateusz Kilch to fire home.

Neither side could find the winner and with both sides in a real battle to make the postseason, a share of the points didn’t really help either team and sets up some nervous matches down the stretch to prolong their seasons.

Vanni Sartini made four changes to the team that started the disappointing midweek draw in Colorado, with Sebastian Berhalter playing an unusual right wingback role.

Thankfully for the ‘Caps, one of those changes wasn’t the enforced one of Gauld, who had come off early in the second half against the Rapids.

The Brian/Ryan connection took less than two minutes to make an impact for Vancouver when the ball broke to Gauld and he sent a delicate chip to the back of the six yard box for White to rise and head home his 14th of the season in league play and 18th overall.

The ‘Caps were in the ascendancy but another defensive mishap allowed DC to tie things up in the 11th minute.

Yohei Takaoka played the ball out to Tristan Blackmon but the centre back slipped, allowing Ted Ku-Dipietro to pounce on the loose ball, playing it inside to Benteke, who easily slotted it into the empty net for his 14th of the season.

A very costly slip.

A big blow to Vancouver, but they should have taken the lead on a 2-on-1 break in the 27th. Richie Laryea’s pass however was too hard and ran away from White.

Moments later and the visitors could have gone ahead when Pedro Santos sent an inviting ball to the back post that just eluded Ku-Dipietro.

With just one shot on target apiece for each side during the first half, the game was very much there for the taking if either team could take the game, and especially the midfield, by the scruff of the neck.

White almost got the second half off to a quick start for the ‘Caps when he drove a low shot straight at Alex Bono.

Less than a minute later the DC keeper was called into action again, acrobatically turning away a Laryea shot.

Vancouver were the only team offering any sort of an attacking threat and they got their reward in the 57th minute when Gauld fired home from the spot, after White was felled in the box.

The penalty wasn’t originally called but was given on video review. It was a tough one on the visitors and sent their manager Wayne Rooney apoplectic at the fourth official on the sideline.

But then, as in the first half, DC tied things up from nowhere when a deflection fell to a wide open Klich on the edge of the box in the 62nd minute and the Pole’s sweet first time volley beat Takaoka to square things up once more.

DC should have taken the lead four minutes when Gabriel Pirani was played in but pulled his effort wide.

Vancouver pushed to retake the lead but the closest they came was an Ali Ahmed curler that a full-stretched Bono turned away in the 87th minute.

The winner couldn’t be found despite some urgency in stoppage time and Vancouver had to be content with a point.

Two points from two matches against teams below the playoff line, when six points were expected, has been a potential gamechanger for the Whitecaps. With three matches remaining against the top three teams in the West, victories will see them with a high seeding for the playoffs. The problem is the consistency isn’t there to make you feel they can do that and instead they may very well be looking over the shoulder to see if they can limp into the postseason instead.

FINAL SCORE: Vancouver Whitecaps 2 – 2 DC United

ATT: 19,442

2’ – VAN – Brian White (Ryan Gauld)
11’ – DC – Christian Benteke (Ted Ku-DiPietro)
57’ – VAN – Ryan Gauld (penalty kick)
62’ – DC – Mateusz Kilch

Possession: VAN 48.9% – DC 51.1%
Shots: VAN 9 – DC 10
Shots on Goal: VAN 6 – DC 3
Saves: VAN 1 – DC 4
Fouls: VAN 9 – DC 12
Offsides: VAN 4 – DC 1
Corners: VAN 4 – DC 4

VANCOUVER: Yohei Takaoka; Javain Brown, Ranko Veselinović, Tristan Blackmon; Andrés Cubas; Sebastian Berhalter (Sam Adekugbe 72’), Alessandro Schöpf (Ali Ahmed 86’), Pedro Vite (Junior Hoilett 73’), Richie Laryea (Ryan Raposo 63’); Ryan Gauld, Brian White [Substitutes not used:
Isaac Boehmer, Mathías Laborda, J.C. Ngando, Simon Becher, Russell Teibert]

DC: Alex Bono, Ruan (Andy Najar 86’), Derrick Williams (Steven Birnbaum 74’), Donavan Pines, Pedro Santos (Éric Davis 79’); Chris Durkin, Jackson Hopkins (Yamil Asad 79’), Mateusz Kilch; Gabriel Pirani; Ted Ku-DiPietro (Cristian Dájome 79’), Christian Benteke [Substitutes not used: Luis Zamudio, Erik Hurtado, Nigel Robertha, José Fajardo]




On his team’s performance:

“I think we played well. I think we did what we were supposed to do most of the game. D.C. presented the challenge that we expected, with this long ball to Benteke, and we decided to, after a couple times, that we weren’t doing what we were supposed to do. We let him win the ball, and win the second ball, when that [winning the second ball] was actually the right way to do it. We created chances, we had a million chances in front of the goal. Unfortunately we’ve been a little soft again, we basically gave away a goal. Like, you know, it was a gift, and the second goal, also, I would say this. I use the term the same way that I used it in Salt Lake, we’ve been soft. And if you’re soft like this, it’s hard to win playoff games, and today was a playoff game. Wednesday will be a playoff game, even with more implication, because Wednesday, the two teams that are ahead of us in terms of games played, San Jose and Portland, they don’t play. So it’s actually a moment where we could go in Seattle, if we win, with four points ahead of the eighth place as a little bit of safety for at least one game, but we need to be stronger. We need to be better, again, we’ve been soft and if you are soft defensively, then it’s very hard offensively even if you have four clear chances in front of goal… It’s very hard to score even if you have four chances, and so it shouldn’t be easy to score for the other team. Unfortunately we made it easy. I don’t want say we’ve been unlucky because, you know, luck doesn’t exist at the end, it’s about us, in that we need to deserve to be lucky, and today we didn’t.”

On Wednesday’s game:

“We have a little advantage [over St. Louis] that they have to fly from the middle of the United States, basically, to here. So they will be maybe be a little bit more tired than us. And we need to be ready to go and, again, do more or less the same game we did today. Because I think that, with a little bit more organization, but the idea is more or less the same. St. Louis play a very direct game, so its going to be ‘win the second ball’ and everything so, play more of less the same game as today, because we played well, but we need to be stronger, mentally, technically, we need to be in fighting mode, I would say.”


On his partnership with Ryan Gauld:

“I’m not really sure that’s something I could put a finger on. I think ever since we started playing together in 2021 I think we’ve had this good connection on and off the field. We just have a good run of form right now and it’s just opening goals and helping the team and hopefully we can continue on this this pattern of play.”

On Wednesday’s game:

“It’s going to be another tough test. Like I said, we need to address some things in both boxes in terms of being able to, you know, kill games off and get the goals that we need to get. And on the other side of it stop them from scoring goals in the way that other teams have been scoring.”

Authored by: Michael McColl

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.