Whitecaps rout sad Earthquakes at BC Place

July 27, 2015 at 9:21 pm | Posted in Vancouver Whitecaps, Whitecaps season 2015 | Leave a comment
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The Vancouver Whitecaps and their fans had been starved of a good home victory for some time now,(since May 30, in fact!). With a struggling San Jose Earthquakes coming to town, a home victory seemed more certain than not.

In spite of having a brand new gorgeous football stadium with a lovely natural grass playing surface, the Earthquakes are a bit of a sorry lot this year. They currently dwell near the bottom of the Western Conference. On this match day we saw why; they are perhaps the poorest team we have seen at BC Place this year, and what is more they didn’t seem to care that much either.

Whitecaps coach Carl Robinson started his usual formation of 4-2-3-1 with Dean, (in at left back for the suspended Harvey), Waston, Kah and Beitashour at the back, Koffie and Laba in deep midfield, Mezquida, Rosales and Manneh in attacking midfield and Riveiro at striker.

San Jose were at panic stations early as Kekuta Manneh struck terror in their hearts with one of many magnificent surging runs on this Sunday afternoon match. Though Manneh coughed up the ball on the play, so did San Jose’s defenders, leaving a surging Mauro Rosales to finish with a left footed low shot to the keeper’s right side. Frankly, it looked like most MLS keepers would have stopped it, but San Jose’s goalkeeper David Bingham (who is the worst keeper we have seen in a long time) flopped down like a limp piece of lettuce, letting the ball roll underneath him. It was 1-0 after only 5 minutes.

We were just chatting about how we were a bit disappointed that Waston and Kah had not scored this season when Rosales teed up a lovely out-swinging corner eight kick yards out from goal; two behemoths went up for the ball and ours won it. Kendall Waston had beaten Honduran international Victor Bernardez to the ball and headed it inside Bingham’s right post for the Whitecap’s second goal just after 30 minutes.

San jose only managed one breakthrough in the first half to the right of Ousted’s goal, but the close range effort went wide of the net. David Ousted was able to make a number of saves from shots but they were easy pickings for the big Dane.

Nico Mezquida made Bingham work with a full volley that looked like it might sneak into the far post, but this time the keeper was equal to the task.

When the half time whistle blew, a victory looked assured barring big collapse by the Whitecaps.

The collapse never happened, and in the 57th minute Mezquida chipped a ball over the earthquakes defensive line to Riveiro, who drew a penalty by positioning his body in front of the last defender and slowing his pace. Mezquida grabbed the ball and looked set to take the penalty, but cooler heads prevailed and Riveiro eventually stepped up to take it. The team decided to give Riveiro a break so he could get out of his scoring draught. Bingham guessed the correct way to his right, but Riveiro’s penalty had a deadly accuracy to it and pace to spare. It was 3-0 and Riveiro’s troubles were over.

Instead of going for more goals as they should have, the Whitecaps proceeded to practice passing the ball backwards between themselves. The result was a very boring last 30 minutes. The ‘Caps obsession with defensive passing actually handed San Jose two good chances late in the game. Why the Whitecaps did not keep attacking to entertain the home fans I don’t know. Why not go for 4 or 5 and strike fear into the hearts of the rest of the league?

Whitecaps old boy Shea Salinas clanged one off of the crossbar ten minutes from time, and to us it looked as thought the ball had bounced down over the line. In spite of what can only be described as a very poor performance, the Earthquakes managed to claw one back through Quincy Amarikwa in the 90th minute. Salinas was again involved; he seemed to be keen to show his old team a thing or two.

One treat of the second half was seeing Pedro Morales get 20 minutes at the end of the match as a sub for Mezquida. He was up to his old tricks a made some beautiful passes even if all of the bluster had gone out of this match by the time he came on. Hurtado came on for the great Rosales (who deservedly won man of the match) and Teibert replaced Koffie. All three Whitecaps substitutes must take responsibility for the fact San Jose scored a goal and nearly had another one after these three came on.

The San Jose Earthquakes were so bad on this night it looked like we were playing against the NASL’s Edmonton in a Canadian Championship game. Even previously deadly striker Chris Wondolowski looked like a plodder during this match. Wondolowski had played the day before for the USA against Panama in the Gold Cup third place match which only served to prove how bad the Earthquakes bench must be.

It was nice to win at home but I would have preferred to play against a team that actually put up a fight. Dominic Kinnear, the Earthquakes manager, must surely make some moves to improve his squad or risk finishing last in the Western Conference in 2015.

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