Featured image courtesy of D.C. United // Hannah Wagner
D.C. United’s winless streak continues after a 2-2 draw with Vancouver sent the Black-and-Red packing with a point and even more pressure.
The Black-and-Red have been on a quest to secure a playoff spot as decision day hurtles ever closer, but Wayne Rooney’s men have been unable to bag all three points from a match in a while despite some truly inspired play – Christian Benteke’s first half-hat trick against the Red Bulls, anyone?
The trip to Vancouver was always going to be a tough one, but there were high hopes. D.C.’s hunger for the playoffs has been growing with each passing match. Clearly, Vanni Sartini’s squad wanted a win every bit as much as the Black-and-Red did, and as a result of the draw, they cling to sixth place in the Western Conference.
We hate to say, “We told you so,” but Vancouver’s Brian White was marked as a danger from the get-go. White’s goal in the 2′ was a bit of foreboding fulfilled, as he dropped into the box to nab a cross from Ryan Gauld.
Thankfully, Benteke came through with D.C.’s answer in short order. Ted Ku-DiPietro was all quick thinking with a quick pass to the Belgian striker that faked out Vancouver’s Yohei Takaoka. While Takaoka was focused on Ku-DiPietro, Benteke was putting a sizzler in the back of his net in the 11′.
D.C. headed to the locker room level with Vancouver due to Benteke’s strike, giving the Black-and-Red faithful some hope for three points and a boost in the playoff push.
Vancouver clearly had other ideas. The hosts came into the second half hot, putting the Black-and-Red under pressure as White, Richie Laryea, and Ranko Veselinovic all tried their chance at Alex Bono within the first ten minutes.
Finally, Pedro Santos and White got into a dustup that would see the ‘Caps awarded a penalty, much to D.C.’s chagrin. Of course, Gauld neatly tucked away the penalty kick to convert and put Vancouver back in the lead in the 57’ with a deft left-footed strike.
Suffice it to say, Black-and-Red supporters at home in the D.C. area could likely be heard decrying the fresh ‘Caps lead all the way at BC Place.
Enter, Mateusz Klich.
It could be 20 yards or 30 yards, Everywhere we go, 40 yards or 50 yards, Klich is scoring goals, Klich is scoring goals!
Although the Polish DP has been a bit quiet on the goalscoring front, Klich came through for the Black-and-Red in a big way, firing an absolute rocket from outside the box in the 62′ to save a point.
Mateusz Klich from outside the box to equalize. 💥 pic.twitter.com/7gjGfjPkh5— Major League Soccer (@MLS) October 1, 2023
Yes, the strike was so nice we’re watching it twice.
The Black-and-Red couldn’t find another opportunity to capitalize on, but thanks to Klich, they didn’t leave BC Place empty-handed. However, D.C. did leave with even more urgency to find points in the final matches of the season or risk being excluded from the playoffs. Again.
D.C. United remains on the road to face Austin FC on Wednesday, October 4, at 8:30 pm ET.
MLS Regular Season – Game 35
Vancouver Whitecaps FC: 2 White 2′, Gauld 56′
D.C. United: 2 Benteke 11′, Klich 62′
Vancouver Whitecaps FC: Yohei Takaoka, Ranko Veselinovic, Tristan Blackmon, Javain Brown, Richie Laryea (Ryan Raposo 63′), Alessandro Schopf (Ali Ahmed 86′), Sebastian Berhalter (Junior Hoilett 73′), Andres Cubas, Pedro Vite (Sam Adekugbe 72′), Brian White, Ryan Gauld
D.C. United: Alex Bono, Ruan, Derrick Williams (Steven Birnbaum 74′), Donovan Pines, Pedro Santos (Éric Davis 79′), Chris Durkin (Andy Najar 86′), Gabriel Pirani, Mateusz Klich, Jackson Hopkins (Yamil Asad 79′), Ted Ku-DiPietro (Cristian Dájome 79′), Christian Benteke
Vancouver Whitecaps FC: Schopf 82′
D.C. United: Klich 69′