Whitecaps 0 Puerto Rico 0

August 18, 2008 at 6:10 am | Posted in Whitecaps Season 2008 | Leave a comment

The Caps faced an Islanders side that was tired and content to defend after thrashing Seattle 3-0 in Tukwila the other night.  PRI came in looking for a scoreless tie and got their way.  They are a well organized side that spread their team out well and pressurize the ball and smother the rythym of the other team.   Not that they didn’t have their chances, but Jay Nolly was there to stop them in their tracks.  The Caps started with Gbeke and Sebrango up front but Gbeke had a joyless night locked in physical combat.  He did not have one chance to score.  Sebrango nearly scored in the first minute of the game with a glancing header, but he was kept quiet as well after that.  

The Caps had problems getting good balls into the box and crossing the ball poorly seems to be one of our most worrying problems.  Many times this year we have had players get into good positions along the flanks only to deliver poor crosses which are easily defended.   Our play from free kicks and corners is also poor.  A team has to take advantage of these otherwise you have to score goals the hard way.  

We pushed hard in the second half and substitute Addlery hit the crossbar and later misdirected a near post cross which a striker with a more deft touch might well have scored on.  He continues to disapoint.  

The key play of the game came off of a headed corner which the PRI keeper  managed to stop going over the line.   He held the ball against the ground with one hand and Jarun kicked it out from under the keeper’s hand into the goal.  The referee disallowed the goal.  In my book the keeper did not have control of the ball and the goal should have counted. In the protests that followed Sebrango was sent off.  If Eddie had let the Captain do the complaining he could have stayed on the pitch and we might have won the game.  There was still ten minutes to play when he was sent off, but Eddie is the man who was most likely to win it for us.  

The Nolly-Jarun-Charles triad looks very solid at the back.

We will have to be content with a draw although that puts us 3 points out of the top spot and it really was a better result for PRI than for the Caps.  A goalless draw always leaves a bitter taste in your mouth when you are at home, but at least out defense was solid.  We had to rely on our bench strength because Geordie Lyall went off a half and Lyle Martin also had to leave the game in the second half.  It may be that he was taken off to get more offensively minded Valente a chance to get down the flanks. Lets hope he is not hurt.  

IT will be interesting to see if one of our strikers takes up the slack from Sebrango’s suspension which will surely follow…

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