Whitecaps clobber Impact 3-0September 22, 2013 at 2:15 pm | Posted in Whitecaps Season 2013 | 2 Comments
Just when we thought they were crap, the Vancouver Whitecaps have stunned us all with a sensational 3-0 away win over the Montreal Impact. It was a remarkable win, not least for the fact that the dormant Whitecaps strikers Kenny Miller and Camilo Sanvezzo both scored.
Camilo was benched at the start of the match and the “Wolfman” Tommy Heinemann was preferred for his crash and bang approach to football. The Whitecaps started bright and pressurized Montreal from the start. The pressure paid off six minutes into the match when Nigel Reo-Coker surged past a Montreal defender wide on the right and crossed the ball low in front of the Impact’s goal. The ball managed to avoid everyone and made it to the far post where Matt Watson was alone. It was rather ironic because Watson completely fluffed the shot and the ball was going wide of goal when it hit the hand of Montreal defender Hassoun Camera, who looked suspiciously like he was goalkeeping. Referee Jorge Gonzales immediately pointed to the penalty spot.
Since Camilo was off of the pitch Kenny Miller took the responsibility and dispatched the penalty home low to the left of the goal beyond the diving Troy Perkins. It was the start the Whitecaps desperately needed.
The Whitecaps nearly went up 2-0 when Carlyle Mitchell banged a header off of the crossbar off of a nice free kick by Reo-Coker in the 34th minute.
The bizarre officiating of Major League Soccer again came into play in this match when De Vaio won a corner kick in the 36th minute. The corner kick was driven across the Whitecaps goal and went into touch again without anyone making contact with the ball. Incredibly, the Referee called another corner kick for Montreal. Off of this corner kick, the Whitecaps scrambled the ball away to the top of the box where Patrice Bernier met the ball with a half volley which screamed towards the Whitecaps goal. Jun Marques Davidson moved to his right and steered the ball away part with his chest and part with his shoulder. The referee Gonzales called a penalty kick, but then chatted with the fourth official and changed his mind. It was the correct call because there was no contact with Davidson’s arm; the Whitecaps had dodged a bullet. Usually this kind of eccentric MLS refereeing goes against us!
Tommy Heinemann hustled well but kept forgetting to take the ball with him when he got open. He had a late chance in the first half but slammed the ball well wide after Reo-Coker had toiled very hard to create it. He never really looked like scoring because he was double-teamed by Italian Serie A vets Alessandro Nesta and Matteo Ferrari and did not have the speed to trouble them.
The Whitecaps started brightly again in the second half and Reo-Coker hit the crossbar after yet another surging run. Miller and Watson both missed good chances, and it looked like the Whitecaps would rue missing them with Montreal putting their goal under heavy pressure.
Luckily Whitecaps keeper David Ousted had a very good match, making several key saves and handling the ball very well. Jay DeMerit and Mitchell did superbly well at the centre of the Whitecaps defence. Getting a clean sheet against Montreal, considering their firepower, was a tremendous achievement. The Whitecaps were a bit lucky, with Montreal hitting the woodwork several times, but mostly it was a well organized and hard working defensive effort that kept the Impact out.
Whitecaps coach Martin Rennie made the right call with his substitutions, giving Camilo the chance to lead the ‘Caps counter attacking efforts mid way through the second half. He replaced Miller, who looked like he suffered an injury. Heinemann gave way to Russell Teibert a few minutes later, and Teibert’s hustle was key to frustrating the impact in the last third of the game.
With Montreal pouring forward and looking like they might score, Whitecaps right back YP Lee cleared the ball with a wonderful curl on it straight into the path of the charging Camilo on the halfway line in the 88th minute. The two veteran Italian centre backs Nesta and Ferrari struggled to catch up with young Camilo, who put one move on Nesta at the top of the penalty area to lose him and then hit a tight angled shot to the left of Impact Keeper Troy Perkins. Perkins could only get a touch on Camilo’s left footed effort as it went past him inside the far post. It was a superb effort by Camilo, who looked relieved to have scored a goal after so many games without one. I must say I enjoyed watching the Montreal fans pour out of the Stade Saputo in droves when Camilo scored: they knew they were beaten.
Camilo hadn’t finished there as he collected the ball in midfield and beat Montreal’s Justin Mapp in a duel early in injury time. He charged towards goal as the Impact defenders retreated; he then slammed an effort with his right foot from 25 yards which curled past Perkins again. It was the second of two superb goals by Camilo.
After all of the misery the Montreal Impact and its cynical management have dealt us over the years, this victory felt very good indeed. It left me wondering: where has this Whitecaps team been all season? The return of DeMerit, the maturing of Carlyle Mitchell and the re-insertion of Jun Marques Davidson tightened up our defence and seemed to have made the difference. The fact that Camilo and Miller have tasted goal scoring again is also good news.
But is it too late?
Even with this stirring win we are still four points out of a playoff spot with five games to go. If the Whitecaps play like they did yesterday in Montreal, however, we are still in it with a chance.