Yordy Reyna, Whitecaps battle from two down for draw against Rapids

Vancouver Whitecaps' Yordy Reyna (29) celebrates his goal against the Colorado Rapids during the second half of an MLS soccer game in Vancouver on Saturday, June 22, 2019. (Ben Nelms/CP)

VANCOUVER — Felipe wasn’t in a sentimental mood.

The Whitecaps midfielder shrugged when asked about the role two of his former teammates played Saturday night in a 2-2 draw with the Colorado Rapids. Midfielder Nicolas Mezquida had two assists and striker Kei Kamara also set up a goal to help Colorado build an early 2-0 lead, forcing Vancouver to battle back for the tie.

"The past is the past," said Felipe. "We don’t really think about their motivation. We think about ourselves.

"I think the start of the game we weren’t so good. As the game went on, we dominated."

Yordy Reyna scored on a free kick in the 80th minute as the Whitecaps recovered from a ragged start to control the final two thirds of the Major League Soccer match.

Fredy Montero scored Vancouver’s other goal on a penalty kick in the 45th minute before a crowd of 19,893 at BC Place Stadium.

Diego Rubio and Andre Shinyashiki scored for Colorado (4-9-4). After losing eight straight matches the Rapids are unbeaten in their last six games (4-0-2).

Vancouver (4-6-7) has points in eight of its last nine games (3-1-5).

Mezquida said it "was weird" playing in Vancouver again.

"It was many, many feelings," he said. "I didn’t want to celebrate just for respect for the fans, because they showed me tonight a lot of respect."

The Whitecaps were coming off a three-week break, and it showed early as they allowed Colorado attackers to get behind their defence.

"In the first 25 minutes we didn’t come in very well," said head coach Marc Dos Santos. "We struggled. It wasn’t good.

"From there it was total control for us. We could have scored more than one goal in the first half. There was always a belief, a great personality and character from the players to push and try and get the win."

Montero scored his team-leading sixth goal of the season after defender Ali Adnan was hauled down in the box by Rubio.

Reyna’s tying coal came after Colorado defender Lalas Abubakar was called for a foul. His kick from about 19 yards sailed over the Rapids’ wall and goalkeeper Tim Howard seemed to lose sight of the ball until it was in the net.

Dos Santos believes his team deserved a better fate.

"It’s a point that could be seen in a positive way because we were down 2-0," he said. "But we feel we should have, from what we did today, have the full three points."

It also was another home game where Vancouver gave away points. The Whitecaps are 3-3-4 at home.

"One point is good, it’s better than losing," said Montero. "We have to create more chances in the last part of the field. That’s where we have to get better."

Colorado opened the scoring off a scramble just eight minutes into the game. Mezquida sent a corner kick into the box which Rubio headed past Whitecaps goalkeeper Zac MacMath.

Kamara and Mezquida both earned assists on Shinyashiki’s goal in the 20th minute. Mezquida sent a cross that Karma headed to Shinyashiki for his fourth goal of the season. The assist was Kamara’s first of the year.

Shinyashiki was frustrated the Rapids squandered the early lead and a chance to win a third straight game.

"It’s disappointing that we couldn’t keep the win and keep the three points," he said. "When you’re away and you get a two-goal lead, you should never tie or lose the game. We’re definitely disappointed about that, but the start of the game was really good for us."

The Whitecaps now go on the road to play in Dallas Wednesday and Seattle Saturday. Vancouver will be without four players called up to the Canadian national team.

"I’m only focused on the things I can control," said Dos Santos. "This is what we have. We cry about the guys who are not here, or we maximize the guys that are here."

Kamara led the Whitecaps with 14 goals last season. When his contract expired at the end of the season, he was selected by FC Cincinnati in the MLS Expansion Draft and traded to Colorado.

Mezquida spent five years with the Whitecaps, scoring 12 goals. Last December he was traded to Colorado for cash and MacMath.

NOTES: With Doneil Henry playing for Canada at the Gold Cup, Andy Rose started at centre back for the Whitecaps… Besides Henry, Whitecaps Russell Teibert, Max Crepeau and Derek Cornelius have also been called up by Canada’s national team… MacMath spent four years playing for the Rapids.

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