The New York Red Bulls let three points slip through their fingers on a short week with a heavily rotated lineup against the Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
The Whitecaps came prepared. Nursing several injuries and dealing with travel issues heading to New Jersey, the visitors remained compact in the first half, saved the energy for the second half, and took their chances. The Red Bulls came from behind initially to take the lead, but a VAR handball call leveled the match, finishing 2-2.
The Red Bulls started the match fully in control, but their possession yielded few results. The Whitecaps stayed compact, frustrating the Red Bulls centrally, and forcing the ball out wide. Despite holding nearly 70% possession, they failed to put a shot on goal through the first 30 minutes.
Scott Sutter opened the scoring in the 29th minute. Sean Nealis created the danger for the Whitecaps, turning the ball over in the Red Bulls half. The Whitecaps drove the ball down the left wing, sending a cross that elluded everyone. Sutter crept down the right wing, and cleaned up the loose ball from a difficult angle, beating Luis Robles.
The Red Bulls responded in the 37th minute from a corner kick. Kaku’s corner came back to him out wide, his cross found the head of Amro Tarek. Tarek sent his header towards goal and Brian White put a soft touch on the ball to help the ball find the net.
White created another goal for the Red Bulls in the 56th. White received a well weighted lofted through ball from Kaku down the right wing. White fired a cross through the box, but the low cross was deflected up, over Zak MacMath, off the post, and in.
The Whitecaps responded in the 61st minute. Sean Nealis deflected the ball in the box with his hand. While missed in real time, the VAR crew reviewed the play, and awarded the Whitecaps a penalty kick. Robles guessed the wrong way, and second half substitute, Fredy Montero, stepped up and scored the goal.
Both teams created chances during the remainder of the match, but neither finished those chances. The Whitecaps had a chance to win the match at the death, but Luis Robles robbed Lucas Venuto, making a fantastic diving save.
The Red Bulls improve to 5-5-3 following the draw. This weekend, they travel to FC Cincinnati looking for three points.
Photo by Bill Twomey Photography