The Vancouver Whitecaps finished out their Group Stage matches of the CONCACAF Champions League Wednesday night with a dominant performance against Trinidad and Tobago league champions Central FC. In front of a sparse crowd at BC Place, the Whitecaps controlled the ball and tempo for the majority of the match and finished with a 4-1 victory.
The scoring for the Caps was early and often, starting in the 11th minute, courtesy of Blas Perez.
A closer look at the opening goal from Pérez #VWFC #SCCL pic.twitter.com/jvoo5L3YG2— Vancouver Whitecaps (@WhitecapsFC) September 29, 2016
Thanks to a beautiful chested-down ball and a drive toward the net, Perez was able to draw a penalty, which Techera converted in the 22nd minute. There was brief concern for Whitecaps fans as Central’s de Silva scored a great free-kick just prior to the half, to give Central hope heading into the 2nd half. The Caps were quick to snuff out any chance of a comeback however, as Kudo put the game away in the 49th minute.
49' .@masatokudo9 easily converts the Techera pass to make it 3-1 for the 'Caps #SCCL #VWFC pic.twitter.com/8Mi4usUBYs— Vancouver Whitecaps (@WhitecapsFC) September 29, 2016
Techera finished his strong evening in the 70th minute, scoring his second goal of the match, to go with his two assists. In three CONCACAF matches, Cristian Techera now has five goals and two assists.
Techera, on , with his second of the night. pic.twitter.com/uf1zhoJ2cV— Vancouver Whitecaps (@WhitecapsFC) September 29, 2016
Despite the strong showing from the Vancouver Whitecaps on Wednesday evening, it is important to remember that they were facing a team still in preseason, that travelled more than 4,000 miles for a match that was nothing more than a tune-up match for their regular season -given that they were already eliminated. This does not mean that the Caps should not be lauded for their strong performance; however, it should be viewed in the context of the situation.
Although the Whitecaps had little to play for in this match, having already won their group and advanced to the quarterfinals, set for February, they were playing for a higher seeding. Thanks to the victory, the Whitecaps finish with 12 points from four matches, with a goal differential of +8. As a result, the worst seed the Caps will have is 3rd, with Pachuca (Mexico) and Arabe Unido (Panama) the only teams still able to finish ahead of them. In the end, the seeding might not matter, but it is still nice to have the illusion of an easier opponent.