Whitecaps earn pre-season tie with Earthquakes

CF Montreal's Rida Zouhir (18) and Vancouver Whitecaps' J.C. Ngando (26) vie for the ball during the second half of an MLS soccer game in Vancouver, on Saturday, April 1, 2023. (Darryl Dyck/CP)

INDIO, Calif. — J.C. Ngando’s goal in the 19th minute gave the Vancouver Whitecaps a 1-1 tie against Western Conference rival San Jose Earthquakes in MLS pre-season action on Saturday in Coachella Valley, Calif.

In the 12th minute, Ngando played a short corner to Ryan Gauld, who whipped a floated cross into the box for Bjørn Inge Utvik. The Norwegian saw his header fly narrowly over the San Jose goal.

Five minutes later, Tanner Beason of San Jose opened the scoring and took the 1-0 lead.

The Caps tied it up when Ngando’s free kick from the left side of the box went untouched and into the back of the net.

The visitors continued to have the better of the chances in the first half, with Damir Kreilach putting a header wide in the 28th minute and Gauld hitting the crossbar with a right-footed shot outside the box.

In the dying moments of the match, Whitecaps FC BMO MLS Academy product Liam Mackenzie made an interception in midfield and played in Jay Herdman. The New Zealand youth international fired a left-footed shot just wide of the far post.

The Whitecaps continue their pre-season preparations for the MLS season in Coachella Valley, before returning to Vancouver on Feb. 21.

Vancouver’s season opener is on March 2 when they host Eastern Conference side Charlotte FC at BC Place.

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