Vancouver Whitecaps FC (pictured) celebrate after scoring against the host New York Red Bulls in a Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League match on February 22, 2017, in Harrison, New Jersey, USA. (Photo: Mexsport)
HARRISON, New Jersey -- The Vancouver Whitecaps did what was required in the opener of their Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal on Wednesday night.
Despite playing a man down after Cristian Techera’s 70th-minute ejection, they recorded a 1-1 draw at the New York Red Bulls, netting a precious away goal.
Yet, the Whitecaps, who will host the second leg on March 2, felt they could have kept the host off the scoreboard completely.
"It's a good result for us," said captain and Costa Rica international defender Kendall Waston, whose corner kick set-up Kekuta Manneh's 39th-minute goal. "It wasn't the result that we expected. 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."
Goalkeeper David Ousted was one of the heroes, denying Sacha Kljestan's 47th-minute penalty kick. The United States international sent his attempt down the middle as Ousted produced a kick save.
“I study those things,” the 32-year-old custodian remarked. “I looked at what Sacha does and how he’s good at sometimes to get the keeper to overcommit to those penalties. Wait as long as possible. Stuck out a leg and luckily I got there.”
Ousted also thwarted striker Bradley Wright-Phillips twice on penalty kicks at Red Bull Arena in a 2-1 Vancouver win in 2015.
“He should not be allowed to be in this stadium,” joked Wright-Phillips, who tallied the Red Bulls' lone goal Wednesday.
Now, the Whitecaps will turn their focus towards the second leg. Head coach Carl Robinson wasn't taken anything for granted, given the Red Bulls' dangerous attack.
"We're in a decent position, but Red Bulls are a good team, and they can score on the road, we know that," he finished. "The objective was to try and get that goal. I was actually disappointed that we only managed to score the one goal, because we got into some great situations."