VANCOUVER, BC (June 22, 2019) – Vancouver Whitecaps FC found themselves down two goals and confused in the 20th minute on Saturday night. Despite a poor start against Colorado Rapids, a Yordy Reyna free kick got them a needed point against a conference opponent.
Yordy Reyna Free Kick Gets Whitecaps 2-2 Draw Against Rapids
It was all Colorado Rapids for the first 30 minutes. Connor Casey’s side came out pressing, especially on the Whitecaps back line. They regularly had two men challenging the defense in possession and it payed off.
After winning a corner, Nicolas Mezquida sent a cross in to the near post. The ball bounced past players from both sides, and Diego Rubio attacked the ball at the far post to score, despite two Vancouver players nearby.
Colorado made it 2-0 in the 20th minute on the counter. Kei Kamara unleashed Mezquida who dribbled the ball into the final third. He crossed the ball to Kamara, who headed it over the entire Vancouver defense to an onrushing Andre Shinyashiki who tapped the ball into an open net.
Vancouver composed themselves after that. Left back Ali Adnan pushed up into the midfield and started serving the ball into the box. Tim Howard was forced into difficult saves by Hwang In-Beom and later Freddy Montero.
Adnan got a lifeline in the final minute of the half. On the run, he was taken down by Diego Rubio in the box. Montero sent Howard the wrong way on the penalty to make it 2-1.
Colorado reverted to their normal defensive and wide 4-4-2 in the second half. While the game slowed down, the Whitecaps got most of the chances. Adnan continued to be a force. It ended up being a set piece won in the 80th minute. Yordy Reyan chose to go over the wall, shooting the ball between the heads of two Rapids players, off the post, and in.
Reyna hits home the equalizer in style!!!
— Vancouver Whitecaps FC (@WhitecapsFC) June 23, 2019
Adnan makes life difficult for Rubio: After the first 20 minutes, Adnan was a man possessed in the attack. He was heavily involved in the link up play and the final ball into the box. One could argue he was the best player on the field, forcing Rubio to defend uncomfortably rather than attack.
Rapids press than defend: Colorado came out in a new look for the first time under interim manager Casey. They pressed and went at Vancouver, who were unprepared. It got them a lead, but then they retreated to a more defensive shape. Unlike in games past, they couldn’t contain the opponent.
Points shared by bubble teams: Coming into the game, these teams were five and two points below the red line. This was a six-pointer among MLS Cup Playoff hopefuls. Ultimately, neither could gain an advantage on the other.