VANCOUVER, B.C. - Toronto FC II earned a point on the road, spoiling Whitecaps FC 2’s home opener with a 1-1 draw.
The home side struck first via Caleb Clarke, but that goal was canceled out by Jay Chapman’s header in the second half.
WFC2 came out as the more aggressive team, pressing the action and getting players into great positions early on. The host’s finally got their reward in the 33rd minute through Clarke, as he collected a perfect through ball and chipped goalkeeper Quillan Roberts. However, this game turned out to be a tale of two halves. Toronto struck in the 57th minute, when Chapman connected on Raheem Edwards’ cross.
Change in net pays dividends
Edwards was one of a few changes that ended up working very well for head coach Jason Bent.
With midfielder Luca Uccello on international duty with the Canadian U-18’s, Edwards and Martin Davis made the most of their opportunities. Edwards earned his chance after impressing against FC Montreal earlier this season.
However, the biggest surprise came in goal with Roberts starting over Alex Bono. Q showed his experience while on loan with the Wilmington Hammerheads last year has carried over to this season. Roberts was the standout in the first half. He was able to get his gloves on testing shots from midfielder Ben McKendry in 12th minute, Victor Blasco in the 15th minute and Clarke in the 21st minute.
Blasco, McKendry and Clarke… Oh My
Clarke and his two midfield partners gave Vancouver a real spark out of the gate. Blasco, in particular, was all over the field in the first half. The Spaniard repeatedly cut inside from the left wing and forced the Toronto’s midfield into coverage problems. Not only did he test Roberts and use his agility to get away from defenders, but also showed a bit of flair on the ball.
This didn’t carry over into the second half though. Toronto found their feet, with Edwards, Chapman and Babouli making an impact in the attacking third.
Discipline an issue for both clubs
Staying out of the referee’s notebook proved to be a difficult task for both sides.
Although he had a great first half, Blasco was drifting out of the game as it wore on and ultimately picked up a cheap second yellow card in the 68th minute. This put his side in a tough scenario, allowing the Reds to have a chance at opening the game up when it was 1-1.
Toronto’s man advantage ended when Mark-Anthony Kaye picked up a similar cheap booking eight minutes later. Both teams ended the game with 10 men as a result.
In the end, a point for both teams looked to be the right result for a match that had a little bit of everything.