Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 – Columbus Crew SC 2: Tchani, Manneh score against old teams in thrilling 2-2 draw

VANCOUVER: You couldn’t have written a better script.

Tony Tchani and Kekuta Manneh, who were traded for each other in an early-season blockbuster, both scored against their former clubs as Vancouver Whitecaps FC (13W-9L-6D) and Columbus Crew SC (13W-12L-5D) played to a thrilling 2-2 draw on Saturday afternoon at BC Place.

It was a battle between two of Major League Soccer’s hottest teams – and it did not disappoint.

Manneh led the way for Columbus with a goal and an assist, while Fredy Montero scored his team-leading 12th goal of the season for the Western Conference-leading ‘Caps before setting up Tchani’s stoppage-time equalizer.

The draw extends both teams’ unbeaten run to six matches.

Montero opened the scoring in the 15th minute, finishing from close range after some fine interplay between Aly Ghazal, Cristian Techera, and Yordy Reyna in midfield. The play actually started with Ghazal winning a second ball off a David Ousted goal kick. Then, Reyna played the ball back to Techera before flicking the Uruguayan’s throughball in behind to Montero.

Vancouver’s early lead didn’t last long.

Columbus equalized just four minutes later through Ola Kamara, who directed in a cross from Manneh at the near post. Then, after Reyna hit the post on a cheeky spin-o-rama early in the second half, Manneh found the back of the net himself in the 63rd minute with a heavy 25-yard strike into the side netting.

But the ‘Caps did not go down lightly.

Carl Robinson’s men created a number of chances in the dying stages, including a Reyna header off the post, before eventually drawing the game level in stoppage time.

In the build-up, Jake Nerwinski played a long ball into the box that landed at Montero’s feet after a fantastic dummy from Kendall Waston. Montero then found Tchani at the back post and the Cameroonian midfielder banged in his fourth goal of the season to help the ‘Caps earn a share of the spoils.

Saturday was Vancouver’s third straight home match in eight days after a pair of wins over Real Salt Lake and Minnesota United FC. They conclude their four-match homestand next Saturday, September 23 against Colorado Rapids (7 p.m. PT at BC Place – tickets still available).

Waston was shown a yellow card in the 56th minute and will therefore miss next Saturday’s match vs. Colorado due to caution accumulation … Once Upon a Time stars Colin O’Donoghue (Captain Hook) and Sean Maguire (Robin Hood) helped Team White earn a 4-2 win Saturday in Vancouver’s Legends & Stars charity match.

For every ‘Caps corner kick at home, McMillan donates $100 to the United Way. An additional $500 is donated for every goal scored off a corner kick. This match McMillan Corners for Kids has donated $500 for a running total of $10,400.

Budweiser Man of the Match: Yordy Reyna
Referee: Silviu Petrescu
Attendance: 20,592

Scoring Summary
15′ – VAN – Fredy Montero (Yordy Reyna, Cristian Techera)
19′ – CLB – Ola Kamara (Kekuta Manneh)
63′ – CLB – Kekuta Manneh (Wil Trapp)
90′ + 2′ – VAN – Tony Tchani (Fredy Montero, Jake Nerwinski)

Possession: Vancouver 40.3% – Columbus 59.7%
Shots: Vancouver 13 – Columbus 15
Shots on Goal: Vancouver 4 – Columbus 8
Saves: Vancouver 6 – Columbus 2
Fouls: Vancouver 11 – Columbus 12
Offsides: Vancouver 0 – Columbus 1
Corners: Vancouver 5 – Columbus 5

26′ – CLB – Josh Williams
33′ – CLB – Mohammed Abu
56′ – VAN – Kendall Waston
90′ + 1′ – CLB – Justin Meram

Vancouver Whitecaps FC
1.David Ousted; 28.Jake Nerwinski, 4.Kendall Waston ©, 26.Tim Parker, 2.Jordan Harvey (19.Erik Hurtado 80′); 66.Aly Ghazal, 16.Tony Tchani; 13.Cristian Techera (67.Alphonso Davies 60′), 29.Yordy Reyna, 20.Brek Shea (23.Bernie Ibini 72′); 12.Fredy Montero

Substitutes not used
24.Stefan Marinović, 8.Andrew Jacobson, 11.Nicolás Mezquida, 17.Marcel de Jong

Columbus Crew SC
23.Zack Steffen; 25.Harrison Afful, 3.Josh Williams, 17.Lalas Abubakar, 16.Hector Jimenez; 20.Wil Trapp ©, 8.Mohammed Abu (7.Artur HT); 32.Pedro Santos (21.Alex Crognale 83′), 10.Federico Higuain, 19.Kekuta Manneh (9.Justin Meram 70′); 11.Ola Kamara

Substitutes not used
41.Brad Stuver, 12.Adam Jahn, 28.Niko Hansen, 31.Connor Maloney