September 11 recap: Crystal Palace Baltimore

I was able to go to the game today in Baltimore so I thought I would give a few of my thoughts:

-Crystal Palace dominated the first half. They had 5-6 great chances including at least 3 that I thought for sure should have been goals but they could not finish.

-I thought the foul that led to the free kick goal right at the end of the first half was generous to say the least. Based on the flow of the game and what the referee was calling up to that point, it seemed like a very soft foul.

-It looked like that might take the wind out of the sails of Crystal Palace, but they fought back and almost scored minutes into the second half. Their finishing was very poor, however. It was some of the worst I have seen at the collegiate level or above.

-The first and third goals for Vancouver were lovely. The first one was off a set play and the third one was a lovely placed ball from just outside the penalty area. I don't really know what happened on the second goal. Vancouver had a break down the right side and the initial shot was blocked but somehow the rebound was slotted home. Caleb Clarke made sure it was in as he forcefully put it in the back of the net, which the Baltimore keeper did not appreciate, leading to a minor scrum.

All in all, a game that could have easily went Baltimore's way if not for the finishing. The game was played on turf and Vancouver looked a bit uneasy, which may have contributed to their struggles. Vancouver did play a solid second half as they solidified their win.

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