HARRISON, N.J. â€” Kekuta Manneh scored in the 39th minute as the Vancouver Whitecaps tied the New York Red Bulls 1-1 on Wednesday in the first leg of their CONCACAF Champions League quarter-final.
Manneh headed the ball off a New York defender for the Whitecaps’ lone offence with Kendall Waston and Christian Techera adding assists. Vancouver was playing its first meaningful game of 2017.
Techera was given a red card in the 70th minute after a high boot on New York’s Sal Zizzo.
“The effort, the application, the determination that we put in, especially when we went down to 10 men for the last half an hour, was phenomenal,” said Vancouver head coach Carl Robinson. “If you put the work in, you get the rewards. Today we got a little reward, we know there’s a lot of work to do in the game, but weâ€™re fairly happy.”
Bradley Wright-Phillips, last season’s Major League Soccer Golden Boot winner, responded in the 62nd minute for New York.
David Ousted stopped a penalty from Sacha Kljestan in the 47th minute. Luis Robles made three saves for the Red Bulls.
The two sides will play the second leg of the aggregate series at B.C. Place Stadium on March 2. A win or scoreless draw would send Vancouver to the semifinals against a Mexican opponent â€” either Tigres UANL or Pumas UNAM. A 1-1 draw would force extra time.
“It wasn’t the result that we expected,” said Waston. “We wanted to go to Vancouver with a clean sheet but in our stadium, with our fans, I think we can win this match and hopefully we can qualify for the semifinals.”
Techera, along with forward Erik Hurtado, will miss the second leg. Hurtado received a yellow card in the 55th minute and will have to sit out due to caution accumulation.
Vancouver was without four attackers, including Yordy Reyna, Christian Bolanos and Nicolas Mezquida, who are all injured. Designated player Fredy Montero stayed home to prepare for the return leg.
The Canadian Press