Whitecaps hold on for draw as Minnesota rallies late

Minnesota United goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth and defender Kevin Venegas eye the ball as forward Christian Ramirez knocks it out of the box during the clubs' match with the Vancouver Whitecaps. (Aaron Lavinsky/Star Tribune via AP)

MINNEAPOLIS — Francisco Calvo and Jerome Thiesson scored second-half goals and Minnesota United rallied for a 2-2 draw with the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday night.

Vancouver led 2-0 before settling for the draw.

"Definitely disappointing," said Whitecaps goalkeeper David Ousted.

"Up two-nil at half and felt that we put ourselves in a good position. But they came strong in the second half and a couple of mistakes from our point and it was 2-2. Then it was kind of a battle of who was gonna get the third."

Calvo, unmarked at the back post, headed a long cross from Kevin Molino into the turf and just inside the back post for his first career goal to get United (5-9-3) back into the game five minutes into the second half.

Thiesson tied it with his first MLS goal. Taking a centring pass from Miguel Ibarra, Thiesson, a veteran of the Swiss Super League, sent a hard, curving roller from 20 yards out through the defenders and past a diving Ousted into the left side of the net in the 63rd minute.

"Credit to Minnesota, they reacted very well at halftime and we knew that would be the case, but we’re disappointed," said Whitecaps coach Carl Robinson. "We need to manage the game better. Two mistakes cost us in the 50-minute period. We gathered ourselves then. We could have won it, maybe could have lost it. So, overall, we’ll take it."

Cristian Techera converted a penalty kick in the 17th minute, and Ton Tchani scored in first-half stoppage time for Vancouver (6-6-3).

"I thought Cristian and Alphonso (Davies) were excellent today," said Robinson. "I think Cristian and Alphonso caused a lot of problems. They were our biggest threats on the pitch. Both had very, very solid games.

After a misplayed backpass, Minnesota keeper Bobby Shuttleworth took out Brek Shea in the box, leading to Techera’s penalty kick. Tchani’s first goal with the Whitecaps was a driving header off a free kick by Techera.

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