Vancouver Whitecaps 2, Montreal Impact 0: We’re in the final!!!

October 6, 2008 at 5:09 am | Posted in Whitecaps Season 2008 | 1 Comment

I can’t remember a better game at Swangard.  This was a thrilling, pulsating footy match with the result we wanted: a berth in the USL-1 final!  

I know I am biased, but this was a heroic effort by our team.  Down 0-1 on aggregate, our starting goalkeeper unjustly suspended from play, we had a lot of adversity to overcome.  It looked like a frustrating match to come when Sebrango missed a few opportunities in front of goal that should have gone in. 

The team played magnificently. Lets start with Tyler Baldock: he did not have a lot to do in goal, but when called upon he played in a solid way which gave the team tremendous confidence. He did not look nervous at all but was as cool as a cucumber.  He was called upon to make some saves late in the game and his handling of the ball was excellent.  

Man of the match?  You would have to throw a coin between Sebrango and Clarke.  Clarke was huge at the back, heading away the ball and calmly marshalling the defence.  He was confident, cool and commanding. He got forward and scored an absolute scorcher from quite a distance to put us up 1-0 in the 37th minute.  Fellow old boy Kindel gave him the ball to score with. Clarke gave everything out there, and is, in my mind, the heart and soul of our team.    

Both strikers Eddie Sebrango and Charles Gbeke ran their bollocks off. When the subs came in, both had no gas left in the tank.  Eddie came through for another goal; he is an evergreen wonder.  His goal in the 41st minute was provided by Gbeke, who has earned his starting position.  

Charles played an outstanding game and made several timely interventions deep into the second half which robbed Montreal of scoring opportunities.   

Kindel and Martin did great work, though they both tended to waste the ball and did not do well releasing men on the flanks in the second half.

 We played a kind of desperation football in the second half and should have been more calm on the ball; we could have blown it by playing too defensively and giving the ball up cheaply.  We were up 2-1 on aggregate, and should have pushed for another goal.  It was incredibly tense. 

Moose was fantastic, and no one would ever question his commitment and character.  His great fighting spirit is matched by his skill.  Hirano replaced him and looked a bit wobbly, but he hit the post late on with a fantastic and brave header.  

Ethan Gage tackled bravely and won the ball in midfield, which is his role. He seems to relish the role and will surely start for the Cap’s next year. He and Nash battled together well, and Nashy played his heart out. 

This was a magnificent victory and proof of our greatest asset: character.  The players wanted the win, wanted to get to the final, and it showed.  

The players came down to the Southside for a raucous celebration with us after the game.  I really had a great time thanking the players for their efforts.  Sebrango was over the moon, Charles shook everyone’s hand, it was joy all around for players and Southsiders alike!!!  

On to the final!!!

1 Comment »

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  1. Well said. The boys p[layed so well. Can’t wait for the final. A big week for MLS bid as well!

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