Tchani’s goal in stoppage time costs Crew road win
Discussing his exit in March from the Vancouver Whitecaps last week, Crew SC midfielder Kekuta Manneh might have told a white lie.
He said he would try to treat the game Saturday night against Vancouver as he would any other road game, even though it would come against the team that drafted him as a teenager in 2013.
Manneh made things difficult for the Whitecaps, who traded him for midfielder Tony Tchani and $300,000 in allocation money. But even though the 22-year-old provided the Crew a goal and an assist, in the end he was overshadowed by his counterpart in the trade.
Tchani scored from close range in the second minute of second-half stoppage time, making a 2-2 tie out of what was minutes away from being a Crew win.
It was a missed opportunity, but there will be a few more opportunities
for the Crew (13-12-5), which next plays backto-back home games.
“I think it was a good performance. Having said that, we’re disappointed not to get all three (standings points for a win),” coach Gregg Berhalter said. “That last goal was unfortunate, but the guys battled well.”
The tie extended the Crew’s unbeaten streak to six games, its longest in five years.
Manneh took the lane the Whitecaps gave him in the 63rd minute, charging up the middle of the field before blasting a shot inside the left post from a few yards outside the box to break a 1-1 tie.
“It was, ‘You’re important to this team, and let’s show it,’” Berhalter said of a pregame talk with Manneh. “He was motivated, and I think he’s a gamechanger in this league, an outstanding player. That’s why we made the move for him.”
Manneh’s motivation was clear. As for the rest of the team, it came from what Berhalter said was pregame talk from the Whitecaps about the Crew not being tough.
“What came back to us was that we can’t win duels, that we’re soft, and it motivated guys,” Berhalter said. “Even though we had a much smaller lineup than them, we were fighting on everything. We let the soccer speak for itself.”
Yordy Reyna hit the post twice in the second half for the Whitecaps (13-9-6), the latter coming on a header in the 81st minute. Vancouver finally tied the
Shots: Columbus 8-7—15; Vancouver 2-11—13. Shots on goal: Columbus 4-4—8; Vancouver 1-3—4. Saves: Columbus, Steffen 0-2—2; Vancouver, Ousted 3-3—6. Fouls: Columbus 7-5—12,
score in stoppage time to extend its unbeaten streak to six games.
The Crew entered the game 0-7-0 when allowing opponents to
The Crew’s Ola Kamara shows his frustration after missing a scoring chance during the first half.
The Crew’s Kekuta Manneh, left, is pressured by the Whitecaps’ Aly Ghazal.