By RYAN TOLMICH
Despite a Jermain Defoe penalty finish, Toronto FC was forced to settle for the team’s third draw in five games.
TFC and the visiting Vancouver Whitecaps played to a 1-1 draw Wednesday night, as Defoe’s 64th minute equalizer canceled Darren Mattocks’ early second half finish, earning the two Canadian sides a share of the points.
Defoe looked like he had gotten on the board earlier in the game, only for the referee to rule out his 40th minute finish due to offside. In the midst of a back-and-forth half, TFC defender hit the post from a corner and the ensuing rebound was put back on frame by TFC’s Luke Moore. Whitecaps goalkeeper David Ousted got his hands to it, but the ball fell to Defoe, who converted from an offside position.
The Whitecaps got the scoring opened for real in the game’s 50th minute via Mattocks. Whitecaps midfielder Pedro Morales’ run down the left side drew out the TFC defense, paving the way for Mattocks to find space in the center of the box. The 23-year-old Jamaican struck Morales’ cross first time, giving his side a 1-0 lead early in the second half.
TFC found their equalizer 13 minutes later, when midfielder Jackson earned penalty after being bumped over by Whitecaps midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker. Reo-Coker’s English compatriot Defoe stepped to the spot and buried the equalizer, which proved to be enough to earn his side a home point.
With the draw, TFC remain in third place in the Eastern Conference with a game in hand, while the Whitecaps drop out of the final Western Conference playoff position due to a win by the LA Galaxy.
Both teams will be back in action Saturday, as TFC head to Texas to take on the Houston Dynamo while the Whitecaps travel to Rio Tinto Stadium to face Real Salt Lake.
Here are the game highlights: