By DAN KARELL
Leading by two goals from on-loan forward Erick Torres after just 14 minutes, Chivas USA looked well on their way to a huge road victory and their second win in as many games.
But the host Vancouver Whitecaps fought back and scored two second half goals to draw Chivas USA, 2-2, on Sunday evening at BC Place, with the game-tying goal coming in stoppage-time from reserve forward Tommy Heinemann. The draw kept the Whitecaps within two points of the fifth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
It was clear early on that the Whitecaps defense wasn’t mentally ready to play, while Torres no doubt was. In just the third minute, a poor clearance from Whitecaps defender Andy O’Brien set up Torres’ first goal of the day, a fantastic overhead kick from about 16 yards away.
The Whitecaps nearly equalized in the seventh minute when Kenny Miller was put through on goal, but his strike deflected wide off the near post. The home side rued that missed opportunity when in the 14th minute, Chivas USA’s Edgar Mejia whipped in a ball that Torres expertly guided in with his head to give his side a two goal lead.
The goal was Torres’ sixth goal total and fourth in his last two matches since joining Chivas USA from Guadalajara in July.
Three minutes into the second half, Whitecaps goalkeeper David Ousted came up with a big save on Bryan de la Fuente to keep the deficit at two, and keep his side alive in the match. In the 64th minute, Ousted’s counterpart Dan Kennedy came off his line to clear a ball, but his clearance fell right to the Whitecaps Gershon Koffie who sent a swerving shot that found it’s way across the goalline.
Tristan Bowen, in his first match since serving a two-match suspension, should have put the match away in the 85th minute with a great chance from the top of the box that he skied over the bar. The miss came back to haunt the club as Heinemann showed up in the six-yard box in stoppage time to hammer home rookie teammate Erik Hurtado’s cross to level the scoreline.
Here are the game highlights: