With the seconds ticking down Saturday, it looked like Kekuta Manneh would have the last laugh against his former team.
Then the player he was traded for added one final twist to keep the Vancouver Whitecaps atop Major League Soccer’s crowded Western Conference standings.
Tony Tchani scored in the 92nd minute against the club that swapped him for Manneh as Vancouver salvaged a 2-2 draw with the Columbus Crew.
FT: It’s score-against-your-old-club night.
The defensive midfielder poked his fourth of the season past Columbus goalkeeper Zack Steffen in stoppage time from in tight on a shot that took a slight deflection to send B.C. Place Stadium into a frenzy.
A member of the Crew from 2011 until the trade for Manneh in March, Tchani took a couple of steps in the heat of the moment with an eye towards celebrating his equalizer before catching himself as a show of respect.
“When I scored, I didn’t realize I was playing against my former team,” he said. “I realized [and] stopped … just respect.”
Manneh had given the visitors a 2-1 lead in the 63rd minute, also the winger’s fourth, after setting up Ola Kamara’s goal that tied the game in the first half.
Dealt to the Crew after four-plus seasons with the Whitecaps for Tchani and $300,000 US in allocation money, Manneh posed for selfies with fans before the game and got a nice ovation during player introductions, but those warm feelings were mostly put aside once things kicked off.
Selfie with scoots?
Tied 1-1 in the second half, Manneh grabbed the ball and sped through midfield with the Whitecaps retreating before blasting a shot past David Ousted.
Manneh: ‘This city gave me everything’
“I was really excited coming back to Vancouver,” said Manneh, who also didn’t celebrate his goal and got another round of applause when he was subbed off in the 70th minute. “This city gave me everything … everything I am today. I basically grew up here. I consider this a home for me. It was a bit emotional.”
Manneh, who has had a…