VANCOUVER, Canada — The Vancouver Whitecaps head into the upcoming international break with lingering disappointment after a 1-1 draw Friday to Canadian rivals Toronto FC. Fredy Montero and Nick DeLeon each scored late second-half tallies to help their side earn a draw, but the Whitecaps failed to generate much offense in front of 21,083 fans at home.
The Whitecaps and Toronto both move up to 18 points on the season. Whitecaps FC sit in eighth place in the western conference with a 4-6-6 record while Toronto FC sits seventh in the east on 5-6-3.
“To be honest, I think we deserved it,” TFC striker Jozy Altidore told reporters post-match. “I thought for most of the game, we controlled most of the play. Fair play to them, they punished us on the one time we lost the ball on a difficult spot. I think we deserved three points, but we’ll take one, because we’ve been in a rut. It’s a positive result away from home for us.”
The Whitecaps failed to deliver as their offense appeared to be set to vacation mode. The home side failed to register a shot on target from open play, and they did not earn corner.
“Kind of mixed emotions, really,” Whitecaps FC’s Scott Sutter told Pro Soccer USA post-match. “If you concede in the 90th minute, you’re always disappointed with just drawing. Even though I think over the whole course of the game, a point is probably a fair result, so a little bit disappointed that we conceded so late.”
Toronto FC’s winless streak stretches to six matches (0-4-2), as they head home for a match vs Sporting Kansas City on June 7 at BMO Field.
“It was a hard-earned point, that’s for sure,” Toronto FC skipper Drew Moor said. “It was a weird game. They sat in pretty deep, and allowed us to come at them a little bit. Getting a point, we would have liked to have had all three. Going behind and then showing the character to stay in it, and come back and get a point, it’ll make the trip home a little better.”
May 31, 2019; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Vancouver Whitecaps forward Fredy Montero (12) celebrates his goal with midfielder Yordy Reyna (29) during the second half at BC Place. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports
It was a tentative opening half as both teams failed to generate quality scoring opportunities. The best chance came off a Toronto FC ball over the top that Terrance Boyd chased down. The 28-year-old was in behind the Vancouver defense only to flub his shot on target into the waiting arms of Max Crepeau.
Whitecaps FC led the possession battle 52%-48%, but Toronto FC had the lone shot on target as the match awaited a goal and some sense of offensive creativity.
“I think we kind of cancelled each other out playing very similar systems with the 3-5-2,” Sutter added. “It was a slow game, especially in the first half. In the second half it started to open up for both teams a bit more. We just needed to raise our energy in the second half, and I think we did that. I think it’s a fair result at the end of it.”
As the Whitecaps pushed to find some attacking bite, Yordy Reyna made his return to the pitch as a second half substitute. Reyna had missed the previous six matches with a hamstring injury.
The Peruvian midfielder’s return to the lineup paid dividends as he earned Vancouver a penalty in the 81st minute. Reyna broke into the Toronto FC box and was tackled from behind by Moor. Referee Jair Marrufo pointed to the spot.
“It’s a tough loss of possession for us,” Moor explained. “We’re in the midfield and they’re coming at us. Yordy’s got a lot of speed. I conceded some space and just tried to delay him, and wait for some of my teammates to get back. He’s just so fast. I made a desperate attempt to poke the ball away, and just couldn’t get to it. He beat me on the play, and took it well. I was on a card as well, and was surprised I didn’t get a second. We’ll count that a small victory.”
Montero stepped up and slotted the ball down the middle to give Vancouver a late 1-0 advantage. Montero’s fifth goal of the season was quickly answered by Toronto FC.
Nick DeLeon’s cross into the Vancouver box deflected off left-back Ali Adnan and found a home past Crepeau. Whitecaps FC appealed for an offside flag to be raised as Altidore was to the right of the Vancouver net, but did nothing was forthcoming.
In a match that neither side deserved to win, Toronto FC scored at the death to earn a valuable point on the road. As far as Canadian derby matches go, Vancouver and Toronto played a tentative match with neither side doing enough to earn all three points.
“Sometimes you draw and it’s like a win,” Sutter said. “Sometimes you draw and it’s like a loss. This one felt like more of a loss than a win, to be honest. We’re a bit down. It’s been a tough stretch of games in a few weeks.”
Vancouver Whitecaps FC Starting XI: Maxime Crepeau; Derek Cornelius, Andy Rose, Erik Godoy; Ali Adnan, Russell Teibert, 70 (Felipe), Jon Erice(C), Hwang Inboem, Scott Sutter; Lucas Venuto, 61 (Yordy Reyna), Fredy Montero. 3-5-2
Toronto FC Starting XI: Quentin Westberg; Chris Mavinga, 32 (Eriq Zavaleta), Drew Moor(C), Laurent Ciman; Justin Morrow, Alejandro Pozuelo, Marky Delgado, Liam Fraser, Richie Layrea, 49 (Nick DeLeon); Jozy Altidore, Terrance Boyd, 76 (Jordan Hamilton). 3-5-2