Vancouver Whitecaps draw 1-1 with New York Red Bulls in pursuit of first road win
TheVancouver Whitecaps might have thought they would collect the first road win of their inaugural MLS season Saturday (September 10) after scoring first against the New York Red Bulls in both teams’ 27th game of the year.
Hopes of ending the long drought in visitors’ strip surfaced in the game’s first half when Vancouver forward Eric Hassli sent a cross in the 23rd minute to Camilo Sanvezzo, who sped down the left side, outstripping defenders and barely keeping his balance until he ran out of turf and cut back neatly to Davide Chiumiento inside the box.
Chiumiento collected the ball facing away from the net, spun, and cracked one on the full volley with his right foot that beat New York goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul off the underside of the bar and into the roof of the net.
It was a world-class effort and seemed to give a jolt of energy to the visitors, who were playing on an evening when the home side was commemorating the 10th anniversary of the 9-11 terror attacks in New York City.
Alas, despite a brave display by Vancouver defender Jay DeMerit, some snake-bit play by New York star forward Thierry Henry, a near goal by ’Caps midfielder Shea Salinas, and an alert and heroic game by Whitecaps goalkeeper Joe Cannon, the two sides merely battled to an entertaining 1-1 draw.
The first 11 minutes promised an eventful evening in Red Bull Arena, with Henry dragging the ball in at the top of the box in the fourth minute, switching to his right foot, and blasting one high and wide to Cannon’s left.
Then a phantom foul two minutes later caused referee Terry Vaughn to disqualify a Camilo goal after a determined effort, and Henry sent a cute backheel wide of Cannon’s right post after the keeper made a point-blank save but couldn’t control the rebound.
Cannon was quick off his line twice in the first half to foil Red Bull probes, and DeMerit was a bruising presence on several occasions with great sliding tackles. Both continued that play well into the second half.
The New York side went down a man when Vaughn sent off midfielder Jan Gunnar Solli with a red card in first-half extra time for a foul on Camilo.
The first 45 minutes were marked by displays of temper from New York’s Rafael Marquez and frequent frustration by Henry, who came close on several occasions but ran up against offsides, rough play, and wide balls. Both players earned yellow cards during the game.
A relatively tame second half was brought to life in the 68th minute after the equalizing effort by New York’s Juan Agudelo (who substituted for midfielder Stephane Auvray in the 61st). The Colombian teenager ran up to tap in a long cross into the middle from Marquez.
Then Agudelo almost sent the home side ahead in the 80th when his header from in front was nicely parried on the ground at Cannon’s right post. The keeper was shaken up for a bit after saving a subsequent sure goal by taking Dane Richards’s blistering rebound shot full on the chest from close in.
Henry was reduced to talking to himself in the game’s late stages after sending a header just high in the 80th minute, watching Cannon make a nice save off his free kick four minutes later, and having another shot blocked soon after.
The Whitecaps’ next game is September 17, trying again for that elusive road win against the Los Angeles Galaxy.