HARRISON, New Jersey: Danish goalkeeper David Ousted stopped two Bradley Wright-Phillips penalty kicks as Vancouver Whitecaps FC (9W-6L-2D) defeated the 10-men New York Red Bulls (4W-5L-5D) 2-1 on Saturday at Red Bull Arena.
Ousted, who was wearing the captain’s armband on the night, first denied last year’s MLS Golden Boot winner in the fifth minute. And then he did so again in the 65th minute – once again diving to his right.
Meanwhile, Kekuta Manneh found the back of the net in his second straight game and Kianz Froese scored his first MLS goal late to help the ‘Caps secure their second straight win.
The ‘Caps, who remain unbeaten against the Red Bulls, now have five road wins on the season – a new club record in MLS. And it’s only June 20.
More importantly, the three points move Whitecaps FC into a tie with Seattle Sounders FC for first in the Western Conference at the halfway mark of the season.
The only change Carl Robinson made to his starting lineup after Vancouver’s June 6 win over LA Galaxy was the inclusion of Nicolas Mezquida. The Uruguayan midfielder replaced captain Pedro Morales, who was left out of the team due to a left calf injury. An illness also kept Mauro Rosales out of the starting XI, though he made the substitute’s bench.
To say this one got off to an eventful start would be a slight understatement.
Within the first 11 minutes of the match, Ousted saved a Wright Phillips penalty kick – the first of his MLS career – and Sacha Kljestan was shown a straight red card for a foul on Kendall Waston.
And then, in the 15th minute, a lively looking Manneh made the 10-men Red Bulls pay.
In the build-up, Cristian Techera brilliantly released Steven Beitashour down the right flank before the right back whipped in a perfect cross to Manneh, who calmly steered it past Luis Robles. For Beitashour, who conceded the fifth-minute PK, it was his third assist of the season as well as his third assist in four career starts vs. New York.
The ‘Caps nearly doubled their lead in the 19th minute, when Octavio Rivero ripped a long-distance strike off the post, but entered the break with a comfortable one-goal lead.
New York got off to a positive start to the second half and nearly drew the game level in the 65th minute, when Ousted stopped another Wright-Philips PK.
Shortly later, Robinson inserted youngsters Froese and Deybi Flores into the match and it paid off.
In the 77th minute, Froese got in behind and put away his first career MLS goal after starting the play with an interception in midfield. Rivero was given an assist on the goal – his second in as many games and third of the season.
New York put on some late pressure and forced Ousted into a few more big saves before eventually getting one back through subsitute Anatole Bertrand Abang, but the visiting ‘Caps held on for the victory.
It didn’t come without a cost, however.
Gershon Koffie and Kendall Waston both picked up yellow cards and will therefore miss next weekend’s match vs. New England due to caution accumulation (Saturday, June 27 at 4:30 p.m. PT on TSN2)
Budweiser Man of the Match: David Ousted
Referee: Jorge Gonzalez
Attendance: 20, 053
15’ – VAN – Kekuta Manneh (Steven Beitashour, Cristian Techera)
77’ – VAN – Kianz Froese (Octavio Rivero)
82’ – NY – Anatole Bertrand Abang (Chris Duvall)
Shots: New York 7 – Vancouver 9
Shots on Goal: New York 5 – Vancouver 3
Saves: New York 1 – Vancouver 4
Fouls: New York 12 – Vancouver 22
Offsides: New York 4 – Vancouver 2
Corners: New York 9 – Vancouver 4
60’ – VAN – Gershon Koffie
63’ – VAN – Matias Laba
90’ + 1’ – VAN – Kendall Waston
11’ – NY – Sacha Kljestan
New York Red Bulls
31.Luis Robles; 25.Chris Duvall, 23.Ronald Zubar (20.Matt Miazga 68’), 55.Damien Perrinelle, 7.Roy Miller; 8.Felipe, 11.Dax McCarty; 15.Sal Zizzo (9.Anatole Bertrand Abang 46’), 16.Sacha Kljestan, 13.Mike Grella; 99.Bradley Wright-Phillips (17.Manolo Sanchez 77’)
Substitutes not used
18.Kyle Reynish, 5.Connor Lade, 27.Sean Davis, 91.Dane Richards
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
1.David Ousted; 33.Steven Beitashour, 4.Kendall Waston, 44.Pa-Modou Kah, 2.Jordan Harvey; 15.Matías Laba (20.Deybi Flores 70’), 28.Gershon Koffie; 13.Cristian Techera, 9.Nicolás Mezquida (31.Russell Teibert 88’), 23.Kekuta Manneh (38.Kianz Froese 71’); 29.Octavio Rivero
Substitutes not used
70.Paolo Tornaghi, 7.Mauro Rosales, 19.Erik Hurtado, 26.Tim Parker