After a listless weekend performance that saw them fall further out of the Western Conference playoff picture, the Vancouver Whitecaps rebounded in CONCACAF Champions League play on Tuesday night, topping Sporting Kansas City 3-0.
The Whitecaps attack has been dormant recently, but were able to figure out the Kansas City defense on this night, with Christian Techera scoring twice and striker Erik Hurtado also getting on the score board. It was an ounce of revenge for Vancouver, who were beaten and shut out by SKC just a few days ago. Losing ground in the race for the post-season definitely hurt, but with the win, the Whitecaps have essentially taken control of Group C for Champions League qualifying. They sit atop the group with two wins and six points, well ahead of Central FC and SKC, who each have a single point.
Head Coach Carl Robinson, who’s been under much scrutiny lately with the Whitecaps struggling to find their footing, went with a competitive lineup comprised mostly of first-team players. The notable differences were Paulo Tornaghi in for David Ousted in net, and young Saskatchewan native Brett Levis figuring in on the backline. Pedro Morales sat, and that meant a new Captain for the night, with Kendall Waston wearing the arm-band.
The Whitecaps got the party started early, scoring a pair of goals within the first 20 minutes of the contest. Cristian Techera was first, as he was able to get his head on a nicely placed lob after a Masato Kudo steal.
Then it was Erik Hurtado extending the lead, calmly getting onto a deep pass and flicking into the open net.
The Whitecaps put the match further out of reach in the 65th minute, with Techera bagging his second of the contest. He took a perfectly placed pass off his foot, took a few steps and scored the third Whitecap goal of the game.
GOOOOALLLLLLLLL!!!!! TECHERA BAGS A BRACE!!! pic.twitter.com/DALeOqQvw6— Vancouver Whitecaps (@WhitecapsFC) August 24, 2016
It was a positive night for the crowd at BC Place, with the Whitecaps scoring and looking exciting in the process. It certainly doesn’t entirely erase the memories of Saturday’s stinker, but a bit of the sting has now come out. I think the win, and the three goals, should vastly improve the Whitecaps confidence as they try to right the ship and return to the MLS Regular Season play-off hunt.