It wasn't supposed to be this close, was it? A field of rested Whitecaps, missing only Kenny Miller, squeaking out a win? Having to overcome a defecit? Needing a penalty to get back in the contest? What the hell just happened? In any case, a win is a win, and the Whitecaps got one tonight. However, the manner in which it was done will leave many shaking their heads, fearful of the season ahead.
The backline of the Whitecaps finally got some much needed rest (well, except Andy O'Brien, but I'm pretty sure he's a machine anyways) with Johnny Leveron, Greg Klazura and Jordan Harvey finally working their way into the starting lineup. Brad Knighton also relieved Joe Cannon, giving the veteran a well deserved rest after the fantastic start to the season he's had. However, it was a unit that hadn't seen any match time together, and it was evident they weren't as cohesive as the regulars.
Anyways, the match! The Whitecaps started quite well, with Camilo finding the back of the net just five minutes in, off a free kick. It looked like the 'Caps might run away against the team they were heavily favored to beat. However, just three minutes later, Edmonton would respond. Shockingly, on a backline full of untested players, it was O'Brien that would give up a goal. While O'Brien had tried to clear the ball away from danger, it instead found a streaking Michael Cox, who made no mistake in beating Brad Knighton. It was stunning, and the Whitecaps were clearly caught off guard.
Edmonton would take the lead 20 minutes later, Chris Nurse headed home a beautiful corner, and just like that, Edmonton had the lead. Surely, no one from the Whitecaps could have seen this unfolding. I imagine every Whitecaps fan must have been close to pulling their hair out; we had seen the 'Caps lose a seemingly unloseable contest against Toronto FC last year. Could Edmonton stun Vancouver as well?
Fortunately, the answer was no. Unfortunately, the Whitecaps equalized on a pretty controversial penalty. Camilo had weaved his way into the box, then flopped hard when there appeared to be minor contact on his feet. A penalty was called, and honestly, I don't think it was warranted. It's something that will be debated all week, but in my opinion, Camilo went down easy. (Insert Lindsay Lohan joke here)
Camilo converted on the penalty, driving the ball straight down the middle to at least salvage a tie for the boys from Van City. Substitute Tom Heniemann made sure the 'Caps would get the full three points, following some good work from Nigel Reo-Coker. Coker sent a ball in that Edmonton defender Edson Edward headed the ball to his own goalpost, before Heinemann cleaned up the garbage and sent the ball through.
This team certainly doesn't look confident in any way shape or form. They had to battle against FC Edmonton in a match they should have been able to set the pace to. The defense was obviously new and just getting their feet wet, but 2 goals to Edmonton is inexcusable. Hopefully Rennie plays a full lineup against Dallas, so perhaps we can see what this team is capable of.