Kei Kamara helped the Vancouver Whitecaps (4-5-4, 16 points) steal a road point against FC Dallas (4-1-5, 17 points) Saturday with a 100th-minute penalty kick that ended the game in a 2-2 draw.
Referee Ted Unkel pointed to the spot after FC Dallas keeper Jimmy Maurer took down Vancouver striker Anthony Blondell late into stoppage time. Kamara stepped up and put the ball past Maurer, tying the game with essentially the last kick of the match.
“It’s a brutal ending for us,” Maurer said. “It’s a game we had in control and it ends up 2-2. It’s a tough one to take. We’ve got to learn from this and move on. Luckily, we have a game Friday so we turn the page quick, learn from our mistakes and move forward.”
The rally from Vancouver started in the 82nd minute. With the Whitecaps down 2-0, Blondell took on FC Dallas defender Matt Hedges.
Hedges forced Blondell, who had subbed on for Brek Shea 14 minutes earlier, to play a cross the box into the box. The ball was deflected into Dallas’ net by its own defender, Maynor Figueroa. After a check with the video assistant referee, Unkel awarded the own goal and Vancouver was close at 2-1.
“It was a tough one,” Kamara said. “Tough going down two goals, but that’s why they say don’t give up. We had a great sub with Anthony coming in, making two great plays to get us back into the game. But tough game, and we’re happy to go away with one point.”
May 19, 2018; Frisco, TX, USA; Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder Russell Teibert (31) heads the ball against FC Dallas midfielder Santiago Mosquera (11) in the second halfat Toyota Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
FC Dallas originally owned Blondell’s discovery rights, but the team traded them to Vancouver for $50,000 of General Allocation Money at the end of last year. He has only scored one goal on the year, but he provided the spark needed Saturday to give the Whitecaps a key road point.
“[Blondell] was excellent,” Whitecaps coach Carl Robinson said. “The guys in the locker room mentioned him specifically because when you’re a sub, it’s easy to sulk or be disappointed you don’t start the game. But subs are there to come on and make a difference, and he certainly did that.
“I think he should have scored earlier. He got a chance when the ball dropped for him and he took too long to hit the ball, but he never gave in. He worked the off sideline, he got in around the back, he created the own goal and, obviously, the penalty decision was on him as well.”
It’s the third match that Vancouver has drawn 2-2 on late goals, including comebacks against Houston and San Jose. Kendall Waston scored a late equalizer in the Houston match, while Yordy Reyna scored the tying goal versus the Earthquakes.
“It was very eventful, especially towards the end,” Robinson said. “We’ve got to focus on our performance. We were 2-nil down in a very difficult place, in warm weather against a really good team — and we managed to claw our way back. Lots of positives, a gutsy performance. I think we got what we deserved in the end, if I’m being totally honest, but we did make it difficult for ourselves.”
FC Dallas coach Óscar Pareja was frustrated with the result. During the postgame press conference he noted his team’s missed opportunities late in the game. FCD four home draws, coming back from behind in matches against Colorado and Real Salt Lake and losing an early lead against Portland.
“I thought it was a hard day for both teams, where we could not find the rhythm in the first half,” Pareja said. “In the second half, I thought there were patches we looked good and we created some actions, but not with frequency that we normally have. I thought it was at the end when they started putting numbers out front. We can’t complain about the chances we created. The team created two good goals and we had chances to score a couple more with the goal open that would decide the game.”
Dallas’ silver lining had to be Reggie Cannon’s first career MLS goal, continuing his progression in his second season. Cannon, who has started every match, found himself one-on-one with Vancouver defender Brett Lewis. After Lewis dove for the ball, Cannon had space to go past him and put an outside-of-the-box effort past Whitecaps goalkeeper Brian Rowe for a 40th minute Dallas lead.
“[Cannon is] a player who is growing tremendously both ways,” Pareja said. “Not just defensively, but now, today, offensively with a great goal — a player who is taking advantage of that opportunity. Very positive performance for Reggie today.”
Cannon has been working on his decision-making, and it paid off today with plenty of opportunities coming through the right side. Cannon also took another shot on goal that was saved by Rowe in the 57th minute.
But Cannon says his first goal means nothing after the way the result went sour for FCD.
“In all honesty, I don’t even feel like I scored a goal,” Cannon said. “We lost points, and I honestly don’t care [about the goal]. I don’t care about the fame, the money — I just wanna win. I know it sounds stupid, but at the end of the day, we deserved those points and they were taken away. We’re responsible for that, and myself included.”
Maxi Urruti also added to his goal tally this season off of a team play between Mauro Diaz and Santiago Mosquera. Diaz intercepted the ball at midfield and found Mosquera, who was flanked by two defenders. Mosquera played the ball back through to Urruti, who sent his one-time effort past Brian Rowe for a 2-0 Dallas lead early in the second half.
Dallas will travel to the home of the reigning MLS champion, Toronto FC, for a match Friday night. Vancouver will return home to BC Place to take on the New England Revolution on Saturday.