Mistakes cost Whitecaps dearly against UnitedApril 26, 2015 at 6:17 pm | Posted in Whitecaps season 2015 | 1 Comment
Tags: Christian Techera, DC United, Mauro Rosales, Pedro Morales, Vancouver Whitecaps
Last night’s Major League Soccer match at BC Place saw two hot teams line up against each other. The league leading Vancouver Whitecaps hosted DC United, who had won their last four matches.
The Whitecaps started with Ousted in goal, Beitashour at right back, Kah and Waston in the centre and Adekugbe at left back. Laba and Teibert played defensive midfield, and Mattocks, Morales and Rosales lined up behind lone striker Rivero.
The Whitecaps put pressure on early as a lively Steven Beitashour found Octavio Rivero on the right side of the pitch. There was a hint of offside, but the linesman’s flag stayed down. Rivero shaped up to shoot, but tricked everyone by crossing the ball to an unmarked Pedro Morales to the left of goal. The Maestro took the ball down with his chest and hit a solid volley past DC keeper Dykstra into the far corner of the net. Morales, who has had it a bit tough recently in front of goal, ripped his shirt off and celebrated wildly. Referee Dave Gantar showed him a yellow for his transgression of that silly FIFA rule. After just barely a minute, it was 1-0 Whitecaps.
United replied soon after when they got a throw-in deep in Whitecaps territory. Russell Teibert was caught looking the wrong way and the thrower threw the ball to Farfan, whom Teibert was supposed to be marking. Farfan got the ball alone under no pressure and had lots of time to fire the perfect cross to the towering Boswell who easily outmuscled the smaller Adekugbe to nod the ball into Ousted’s goal.
Mathias Laba saw yellow early after breaking up a DC United counter attack when the ball struck his arm. Laba had his arm by his side and did not know anything about it. Laba was sent off just eight minutes after his first yellow when he clipped the heel of counter attacking DC United striker Espindola. Having given Laba the silly and unwarranted yellow earlier, referee Gantar had to send Laba off after only 41 minutes. Gaunter was booed like no other official has ever been at BC Place for the rest of the night. Unfortunately Gantar made the play which was the key play in the match; the Whitecaps lost a key player and did not recover. The Whitecaps managed to get into the dressing room at 1-1 and the mood at BC Place was ugly.
In the second half it was hard to see the Whitecaps were down to 10 men as they enjoyed a decent amount of possession and still looked dangerous going forward. Ousted made two outstanding saves in quick succession early in the half which brought grateful applause from the Whitecaps faithful. It looked as though Ousted was in the mood. A rocket shot from United’s Rolfe in the 64th minute burst Ousted’s bubble, however. Rolfe had swerved past Teibert in midfield, passed the ball to his left, and smashed home a bouncing ball which fortunately came to him after Beitashour’s tackle.
Russell Teibert was the goat again; he let Rolfe run past him and missed the opportunity to foul Rolfe instead of letting him run by. While it would have put more pressure on the Whitecaps with another yellow card, it would have stopped a goal.
To the Whitecaps credit, they pressed forward to get an equalizer and came agonizingly close to tying up the match. Rosales hit the post, Morales had a close range shot blocked from the rebound, Rivero shot wide from close range, Adekugbe fluffed a close range effort, and even Ousted came up on corner kicks to try to score. It was terrific entertainment, but the Whitecaps could not get any luck on this night and it all ended with a whimper rather than a bang.
Carl Robinson used all of his subs, but with mixed results. Koffee replaced Mattocks soon after half time, and performed the best of the substitutes. Manneh, who came in for Teibert after 70 minutes, performed poorly, passing the ball time and time again to DC United rather than to his teammates. The worst move was when Robinson took Rosales out for Christian “the Bug” Techera in the 76th. Techera has only been with the team for a week and looked understandably lost in it all. He only had two or three touches on the ball. This was not the match to bring him in; surely Mezquida was the man. Mezquida knows his teammates and how they play; poor Techera looked like the stranger he is. It was perhaps the worst call Robinson has made all season.
It was night of mistakes which caused the Whitecaps to drop all three points at home. Still we can’t complain; we sit on top of the MLS standings by two points.