Despite pushing their undefeated mark to ten games, WFC2 were left with a sour taste in their mouth after an uneven performance in a 2-2 draw with the visiting Real Monarchs SLC. The first place ‘Caps squandered a two goal first half lead after Ben McKendry and Kyle Grieg’s goals less than two minutes apart staked the home team to an early lead. Real’s captain, Ricardo Velazco, scored both goals for the Monarchs, including a beautiful curling effort to level the score shortly after halftime.
“You’ve got to play for 90 minutes obviously in football, for the most part, to get results” said head coach Alan Koch. “I thought we played well at times in the first half, there was a good stretch of probably twenty minutes where we scored our two goals and probably could have scored a few more.
After a sluggish start WFC2 struck twice within a minute. Ben McKendry, in his last game before the Amway Canadian Championship roster is announced, put a bow on his application with a beautifully struck volley from 15 yards out after a deft lay off from Brett Levis in the 24th minute.
“I think it was Fatawu [Safiu] had it on the wing and I trust that he’ll get a ball into the box and beat his man, then Brett [Levis] did really well to lay it off and I just tried to put it on frame.” said McKendry of his goal.”
Before the announcement for McKendry’s goal could be made, the fans were on their feet again. This time it was the ‘Caps talisman, and USL leading goal scorer Kyle Greig, finishing off a low cross from Sam Adekugbe for his ninth of the year.
Velazco cut the deficit in half in first half stoppage time as the forward found room on the edge of the WFC2 box to turn and fire into the bottom corner past Paolo Tornaghi in the Vancouver goal.
The 21 year-old Velazco was back at it again shortly after halftime. Given room at the top left and side of the box, the American’s curling shot clipped the underside of the crossbar beyond the outstretched fingertips of Tornaghi before crossing the line.
Despite owning possession for large portions of the match, the ‘Caps struggled to break down the Monarchs for large stretches. Adekugbe, showing the liveliness that first endeared himself to Whitecaps fans, fired a loose ball into the side netting in the 43rd.
Greig squandered a rare chance to win it in the 72nd as his near post header glanced painfully past the upright.
“We’re disappointed because I didn’t think we played very very well for the full 90 minutes,” said Koch. “but we’ll take the positives out of playing well in fits and spurts and the positives that we get to play them again next week. “Hopefully put together the good moments for longer periods of time.”
Image: WhitecapsFC/Bob Frid