A Marco Bustos brace wasn’t enough for WFC2 as the ‘Caps conceded a late goal to Seattle Sounders 2 to draw their Cascadian rivals 2-2 at McLeod Park in Langley. Just three days after losing 2-1 in Seattle, WFC2 was unable to capitalize the visitors who were forced down to ten men after Zach Mathers straight red early in the second half.
“You certainly can’t fault the all of the guys efforts, I thought some of the guys really worked for the full 90 minutes but some of them didn’t, head coach Alan Koch said following the match. “The second you disrespect the game, you disrespect the level and you disrespect your opponents, it shows.”
“Unfortunately we didn’t take care of business and didn’t deserve three points.”
Starving for a positive performance, the struggling Bustos looked more like his 2015 self, with a well taken volley four minutes in. The ‘Caps leading scorer from a year ago pounced on Kyle Grieg’s knocked down cross do smash in his fourth of the year.
After Jordan Schwietzer had equalized for Seattle in the 21st minute, Bustos would restore Vancouver’s lead from the penalty spot in the 50th. The Winnipeg native received a bit of good fortune as Seattle’s Tyler Miller got a hand to Bustos’ low penalty but was unable to keep it out.
The lead would appear to be in good hands after Mathers crunching tackle near midfield earned him a straight red, but for the second time in a week, Seattle would find a late goal. This time it was Schwietzer again, who flew in at the back post to head in Victor Mansaray’s cross with ten minutes remaining.
“Our three players in the centre of midfield (Ben McKendry, Kianz Froese, and Marco Bustos) were not as good as their three players,” Koch said. “We challenged them before the game and said ‘you’ve got to control the game,’ if the heart of midfield steps up to the plate, that gives you a chance to go out and win a game, and they weren’t good enough in the first 45 minutes.”
“I thought we were better in the second half but if you don’t play for 90 minutes at this level you’re not going to win many games.”
The draw means five points dropped in the last two games to a mid table Seattle side, putting further pressure on the ‘Caps three remaining games, which will now determine their playoff fate after riding top of the table for much of the season.
“If we take a step out of just this micro game, to be where we are as a group is fantastic, said Koch. “We’re what, five points off first place in the league? With the young group we have [...] If you’d said that to me at the start of the season I wouldn’t have believed you, so to be where we are is fantastic.”
“That being said, we’ve still got three big games to play, we’re fighting for everything, we’re playing for meaningful points which is great. We need the guys to step up for a full 90 minutes.”