MLS Snapshot: Whitecaps blow lead, come back to draw Rapids

Photo credit: @WhitecapsFC
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The game in 100 words (or less): The Vancouver Whitecaps and San Jose Earthquakes (and perhaps the LA Galaxy, should Jonathan Dos Santos turn out to be Midfield Superman) seem destined to duke it out for the sixth and final playoff place in the Western Conference this season, and the Whitecaps’ bid took a significant, unexpected hit Saturday night, as Carl Robinson’s side threw away an early lead before coming back from a goal down to draw the last-place Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Everything was going according to plan after Tony Tchani fired the visitors ahead in the 5th minute, but Axel Sjoberg and Kevin Doyle bagged goals either side of halftime to put Colorado 2-1 ahead. As woeful teams are known to do, though, the Rapids capitulated defensively with fewer than 15 minutes to go. Two points, down the toilet, for each side. The point pulls Vancouver ahead of the Portland Timbers for fifth in the West, expected to fall back to fifth, though, assuming San Jose close out Columbus Crew SC in Saturday’s nightcap.

[ MORE: Sunday’s MLS schedule is chock-full of important matchups ]

Three Four moments that mattered

5′ — Tchani slides the ball through traffic for 1-0 — Pick your spot and pass the ball to it — that’s exactly what Tchani did for the opener, even if he needed a bit of good fortune to avoid a sea of bodies.

15′ — Sjoberg, the poacher, poaches — Just a guess: Sjoberg is the tallest player in soccer history to be referred to as a “poacher,” even if only for a brief moment.

54′ — Doyle slots it past Ousted for 2-1 — Doyle gets the goal, but here’s giving Marlon Hairston the credit he deserves for the quick-thinking backheel inside the box. Champagne football (by Rapids standards, at least).

76′ — Montero is forgotten, heads home to equalize — Someone Everyone forgot to mark Montero on this Cristian Techera free kick, and that’s how you blow a late lead, and that’s how you end up at the bottom of the league table.

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Man of the match:

Goalscorers: Tchani (5′), Sjoberg (15′), Doyle (54′), Montero (76′)