Photo courtesy C. Inoferio / Rio Grande Valley FC
EDINBURG, Texas – Despite finishing with a double-digit advantage in shot attempts, TJ Casner and Rio Grande Valley FC were forced to come from behind to earn a 1-1 draw against visiting Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 on Saturday at H-E-B Park. WFC2 moved ahead in the 23rd minute when Gloire Amanda dragged his service through traffic in the RGVFC area and into the path of a hard-charging Deklan Wynne who found the mark for the second time this season. The advantage held until the 70th minute when a ball to the back post off the foot of Eric Bird was laid back by Justin Bilyeu, allowing Casner to step into his strike and beat Vancouver keeper Sean Melvin. Bird nearly delivered a winner himself in the 88th minute, but his close-range effort was stopped by Melvin and the try off the rebound from Francisco Pungo missed the target. Splitting honors on Saturday leaves Rio Grande Valley at 7-10-6 overall (27pts) and 4-4-4 at home while Vancouver sits at 4-12-7 overall (19pts) and 2-8-3 on the road.
23’ – VAN – Deklan Wynne (Gloire Amanda)
70’ – RGV – TJ Casner (Justin Bilyeu)
Three Things That Matter:
1. The draw was the second between the two sides inside a span of three weeks after a meeting at Thunderbird Stadium finished level at 3-3 on August 2. The result also represents the third draw during a current four match unbeaten streak for RGVFC, mitigating the recent run’s impact on the Toros’ playoff aspirations. Nonetheless, the side had the better of play throughout the contest – finishing with a 15-4 edge in shot attempts - and managed to pick up another point. With seven of its final nine outings slated to come against teams which it currently trails in the standings, Rio Grande Valley remains in firm control of its own destiny.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
TJ Casner, Rio Grande Valley FC – Casner’s equalizing goal was a vital one for an RGVFC side in need of points, and the Clemson product added four key passes while completing 37 of his 42 passes overall
Rio Grande Valley FC at Real Monarchs SLC – Aug. 25, 9 p.m. ET, Rio Tinto Stadium
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 at San Antonio FC – Aug. 23, 8:30 p.m. ET, Toyota Stadium