Canada Soccer

Whitecaps draw even against Impact

Posted on 5 May 2010 in Canadian Championship

Vancouver Whitecaps FC pulled off a 1:1 draw against visiting Impact Montréal on Match Day Two of the 2010 Nutrilite Canadian Championship. Impact striker Peter Byers opened the scoring in the 31st minute before Vancouver's Marcus Haber evened the score on a penalty in the 81st minute. The draw means both Vancouver and Montréal settle for a single point and remain behind Toronto FC in the three-team standings.

"I am happy with a point, but I think we should have won the game," said Whitecaps FC head coach Teitur Thordarsson. "We had two or three very good chances."

One of those chances came late in the match with the Whitecaps pressing against the 10-men Impact. Marlon James got into the box, but fired his shot wide.

"Our first half was not very good, but the second half was more up to our standards," said Thordarsson. "That is the way it is. We (now) have to look forward to our next game."

Whitecaps FC's starting XI featured Jay Nolly in goal, Chris Williams at right back, Greg Janicki and Nelson Akwari at centre back, Zurab Tsiskaridze at left back, Wes Knight, Luca Bellisomo, Martin Nash and Ansu Touré from right to left at midfield, Jonathan Steele as an attacking forward, and then Marcus Haber up front at the top.

Impact's starting XI featured Matt Jordan in goal, Stephen DeRoux at right back, Nevio Pizzolitto and Cédric Joqueviel at centre back, Adam Braz at left back, Felipe Soares, David Testo, Tony Donatelli and Leonardo Di Lorenzo from right to left at midfield, and Rocco Placentino as an attacking forward, and then Peter Byers up front at the top.

Marlon James came into the match at the start of the second half and missed scoring the winning goal by the closest of margins when his cross shot missed the target just wide to the left of Matt Jordon's goal.

It was Byers in the 31st minute who opened the scoring. He was sent through on a pass up the middle by midfielder Donatelli. Byers won the ball on the ground and put his shot across and past Nolly.

"It was very tight from the beginning, but after we got control of the game, we started moving the ball around," said Byers. "We were fortunate to get a chance and we put it away."

Before the start of the second half, the Whitecaps made one change to the lineup, switching out Steele for forward Marlon James.

In the 62nd minute, Touré centered a ball from 25 yards out, but there was no one there to connect. A few minutes later, the Impact returned with a cross by Pizzolitto, but goalkeeper Nolly caught the play.

With the game still deadlocked after 69 minutes, both the Impact and Whitecaps FC made changes up front. Montréal's Placentino came off in favour of teenager Reda Agourram while Vancouver's Touré came off in favour of 20-year old Randy Edwini-Bonsu. Just five minutes later, Vancouver made another change in an attempt to even the score: Knight was replaced by Justin Moose.

Finally in the 80th minute, the home side got its equaliser shortly after a free kick on the edge of the box. On the cross, Impact's Adam Braz was shown his second yellow card of the match and the Whitecaps were awarded a penalty kick. Haber made no mistake to convert the penalty into a 1-1 score.

As for the Impact, it made its final two changes in the 78th and 85th minutes. Soares came off in favour of Philippe Billy and Byers came off in favour of Patrick Leduc. The changes helped the Impact hold off for a 1:1 draw. Late in the match, however, the Impact received its second red card when Reda Agourram was sent to the dressing room.

Both the Impact and Whitecaps FC have one point each in the 2010 Nutrilite Canadian Championship standings. The Whitecaps now have a week off while the Impact return home to host the 12 May match at Stade Saputo in Montréal. It will be the Impact against Toronto FC on Match Day Three of the Nutrilite Canadian Championship.

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