Whitecaps see off Impact in tepid encounter

April 28, 2011 at 3:44 am | Posted in Whitecaps Season 2011 | 1 Comment

While we did our best to build up the rivalry and excitement for the first leg of the Vancouver Whitecaps and the Montreal Impact in the Canadian Championship semi-final, it was a tepid affair. It did not help that there was hardly anyone in the Impact’s stadium because of the seventh game between the Habs and the Bruins. It demonstrated in stark terms which sport is number one in Montreal, and Canada for that matter.

Watching the game was like a flashback to our past in the USL-1. The game was typical of that era of the Whitecaps: not a lot of flowing football in what was predominantly a physical stalemate. Both teams had difficulty in keeping possession and in stringing any more than a few passes together. In spite of the SportsNet commentator telling us how entertaining the match was, it really was not that great to watch as a football match.

I must say I was surprised to see strength of the squad Teitur put out, the only surprise being Mahloud Akloul, who played the full 90 as a withdrawn midfielder in front of Rochat, Boxall, Wagner and Leathers. Mahloud looked poor at the start, failing to make passes and looking anchored to one spot on the pitch showing little movement.  He got better, especially in the latter phases of the game when he was really stringing some passes together well. He will be pleased to get a competitive game under his belt for the first team.  It was not clear from his performance that he is preferable to Brovsky or Harmse, however.

Hassli looked slow and cumbersome up front, but so did almost everyone on the pitch. Camilo started again and scuffed another shot wide which should have been in the back of the net early in the first half. When he came off later in the second half , I expected Salgado to come in, but inexplicably Khalfan came on up front.  Perhaps Teitur was happy with a 0-1 win and was in preservation mode. I thought this game would be a perfect opportunity to give Salgado his first start. I’m not quite sure what Teitur is thinking!

Football can be a funny game: a match which is expected to be explosive and passionate turns out to be cold and dull.

It turned out to be a 0-1 win for the Whitecaps as Russell Teibert showed his class on the left flank by putting a beauty of a ball low across the goalmouth for local hero Terry Dunfield to head in with a diving effort. He looked delighted to score. Poor Terry looked like a racoon, his bruised and puffy face showing the legacy of a broken nose in the recent match against Dallas. I winced when Hassli grabbed his face during the celebrations!  Another smart move by our beloved Eric…

Lets hope this win gives the Whitecaps a boost after what has been a trying time for the team. Given the recent fixture congestion, it will be interesting to see who starts against Columbus on Saturday.

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  1. I figure that Teitur is saving Salgado for a start in Columbus when Hassli can’t play. And Harris just had knee surgery.


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