Coming off a listless 1-0 defeat at home to Atlanta United FC on Wednesday evening, the Vancouver Whitecaps traveled to Kansas City to take on Sporting. Matches between these two clubs are always entertaining and this one was no different. Well, maybe not entertaining soccer, but certainly entertaining…outcome.
Here’s how we’re lining up in KC ️— Vancouver Whitecaps FC (@WhitecapsFC) May 18, 2019
Pres. by @CapitalDirectCA#SKCvVAN | #VWFC pic.twitter.com/JNdusDLFLW
It was expected that Marc Dos Santos would rotate his squad after the Wednesday match and long, indirect, flight. However, maybe Caps fans became too accustom to Carl Robinson making wholesale changes, as MDS only made two changes to his lineup. PC and Rose came in for Hwang and Bangoura. Hwang was needing some rest while Bangoura had picked up an injury.
There were shades of Robinson’s Whitecaps in this one as the club seemed to struggle with acquiring and maintaining possession.
Can anyone explain who the Caps’ attack is supposed to be going through here in this match???— Jeremy Johnson (@jer_jjohnson) May 19, 2019
Sporting Kansas City’s ability to play in the midfield, and the Whitecaps apparent inability, led to Kristian Nemeth opening the scoring in the 37th minute. The goal came off a giveaway from Rose, who passed it into a covered Felipe, who was muscled off the ball. Crepeau made the first great save but Nemeth pounced on the rebound and then showed great composure to wait for Henry to slide past him and slot it into the open net.
Marc Dos Santos made the unusual, for him, move of making a halftime substitution, putting in Derek Cornelius for Victor Giro (PC). This transitions the club from a 4-3-3 to a 3-5-2. Showing no signs that they would get back into the match, Vancouver was gifted an opportunity thanks to an ankle-breaking tackle from Nemeth on Felipe, which forced Felipe out of the match.
Like last season though, the Whitecaps didn’t appear able to do much with the man advantage. Marc Dos Santos remaining two substitute In-Beom and Ardaiz showed that the club was going to try and not let the man advantage go to waste. However, just after Ardaiz came on in the 72nd minute for fullback Jake Nerwinski (like literally right after), Doneil Henry appeared to pull (or strain) his hamstring on a fantastic sliding tackle. Out of substitutes, it appeared that SKC escaped the red card and would secure their first victory in eight matches.
CUE THE LATE MATCH HEROICS!
Despite the poor showing from the Caps in the match, there just seemed to be this feeling that something would happen; at least it felt that way for me. Sure enough, with a little over one minute of injury time left, Cornelius drove home the winner, on a fantastic shot it must be noted.
The Whitecaps were able to escape Kansas City with a 1-1 draw that they probably did not deserve. Nevertheless, it is a much needed point. The club will now practice in Kansas City for the next few days before flying to New York to take on Red Bulls on Wednesday evening.
What are your thoughts on the match? Any important takeaways from this one?