VANCOUVER, BC - Fresh off a pair of matches against the Seattle Sounders, the Vancouver Whitecaps were back in action on Saturday evening facing a Real Salt Lake team that was without several of it's stars, including Kyle Beckerman, Javier Morales and Nick Rimando.
The Whitecaps, who have oft been criticized for not being able to get results against weaker opponents, were off to another quick start courtesy of an Octavio Rivero penalty in the sixth minute.
Moments earlier as Nicolas Mezquida's free kick floated into the box, Elias Vasquez clumsily stumbled into Rivero and sent the Uruguayan striker tumbling to the turf. Referee Chris Penso did not hesitate to award the penalty and Rivero scored from the spot for his ninth goal of the 2015 MLS campaign.
RSL attempted to stay in the match, but the quality between the two sides was noticeable. In addition, Vancouver benefited from the majority of the calls made by the officials, and this ultimately led to RSL head coach Jeff Cassar being banished from the touchline after a verbal confrontation with the referee just before the half hour mark.
Without their coach and Vancouver manufacturing the majority of chances, it looked as though there were more goals to come from the in-form Caps. Five minutes before the halftime break the Whitecaps were rewarded with a second goal, and it was a lovely goal resplendent with Gambian flair.
As the quick and tricky Kekuta Manneh twisted and turned, the reigning MLS Player of the Week, Pa Modou Kah, worked himself into a position on the edge of the six-yard box. Kah, who scored an unlikely brace in the nil-three victory in Seattle last weekend, found himself completely unmarked in front of Jeff Attinella's goal, and the centre back-cum-striker calmly put the ball in the back of the net to send the home side into the locker room with a comfortable two-nil lead at the half.
Five minutes into the second half the Whitecaps extended their lead once again this time courtesy of Cristian "El Bicho" Techera, who knocked in a Jordan Harvey cross at the back post. Harvey's low cross first skipped past the outstretched foot of Rivero before landing at the feet of Techera, who was nearly at the byline when he made the shot.
The Whitecaps had a glorious opportunity to extend their lead ten minutes later when three, yes three, Whitecaps attackers were released by a fantastic ball over the top by Techera.
As Manneh raced down the left flank he was joined by Rivero in the middle, and Mezquida, who was racing down the right channel. Manneh's first touch on the ball was quite heavy, and the ball rolled forward where it was collected easily by Attinella. Had Manneh been better able to control the ball, or lay it off to one of his unmarked teammates, then it was very likely the Blue and White would have been celebrating another goal.
They didn't, however, have to wait very long before they found the back of the net for a fourth goal.
Twenty minutes from full time Techera smashed in his second, and the Whitecaps fourth, goal of the evening from about twenty yards out for the brace. If the result was ever in doubt before this moment, then it was effectively put to rest by the diminutive Uruguayan winger.
To finish off a thoroughly forgettable evening for the Claret and Cobalt at BC Place, Abdoulie Mansally was sent off in the final minutes of the match for a nasty late tackle on Kendall Waston. Waston himself will be unavailable next weekend for the match at Sporting KC due to yellow card accumulation.
The victory over RSL gives the Whitecaps an impressive fourty-two points, and the thirteen victories achieved thus far in 2015 ties the previous record of thirteen victories in a season that was set in 2013.
The Whitecaps have very little time to rest, and will travel east to play the Montreal Impact in the first leg of the Amway Canadian Championship on Wednesday evening before heading to the midwest to play Sporting Kansas City on Saturday, August 15th.
Budweiser Man of the Match: Cristian Techera
Referee: Chris Penso
7’ – VAN – Octavio Rivero (Penalty kick)
40’ – VAN – Pa-Modou Kah (Kekuta Manneh)
50’ – VAN – Cristian Techera (Jordan Harvey, Nicolas Mezquida)
68’ – VAN – Cristian Techera (Jordan Harvey, Pedro Morales)
Shots: Vancouver 13 – RSL 6
Shots on Goal: Vancouver 9 – RSL 2
Saves: Vancouver 2 – RSL 5
Fouls: Vancouver 11 – RSL 15
Offsides: Vancouver 2 – RSL 0
Corners: Vancouver 6 – RSL 2
45’ – RSL – Phanuel Kavita
60’ – VAN – Kendall Waston
88’ – RSL – Abdoulie Mansally
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
1.David Ousted ©; 33.Steven Beitashour, 4.Kendall Waston, 44.Pa-Modou Kah, 2.Jordan Harvey; 15.Matías Laba (31.Russell Teibert 69’), 28.Gershon Koffie; 13.Cristian Techera, 9.Nicolás Mezquida (77.Pedro Morales 63’), 23.Kekuta Manneh; 29.Octavio Rivero (11.Darren Mattocks 76’)
Substitutes not used
70.Paolo Tornaghi, 20.Deybi Flores, 26.Tim Parker, 88.Robert Earnshaw
Real Salt Lake
24.Jeff Attinella ©; 14.Justen Glad (6.Boyd Okwuonu 72’), 3.Phanuel Kavita, 12.Elias Vasquez, 29.Abdoulie Mansally; 27.John Stertzer, 20.Luis Silva (16.Pecka 69’), 10.Luis Gil; 13.Olmes Garcia, 49.Devon Sandoval, 50.Sebastian Saucedo
Substitutes not used
1.Lala Fernandez, 17.Demar Phillips, 19.Luke Mulholland, 21.Aaron Maund, 23.Sebastian Jaime