The Vancouver Whitecaps bounced back from a disappointing 0-0 draw against L.A. Galaxy as they ran out of Columbus 2-1 winners against the Crew.
The match began as a very chippy affair. Neither side could really create a solid chance. The Whitecaps played much as you would expect them to, sitting very deep and trying to break with long balls.
In the 20th minute Bernie Ibini put in a dangerous low cross that fell to Kei Kamara who couldn’t quite get his body shape right and ultimately put it over the bar. Shortly afterward it was the turn of Columbus to threaten with Pedro Santos’ deflected shot thundering into the side netting.
In the 29th minute Columbus finally broke the deadlock. A long range shot was spilled by Marinovic and Gyasi Zardes’ first touch found the back of the net.
Shortly before half time Jose Aja’s header off a free kick was tipped onto the post by Zack Steffan. The linesman’s flag was up, so it wouldn’t have counted in any case, but at least #HeightXI was showing that it could, perhaps, rescue something.
The Whitecaps once again made no changes at half-time. I must say I find Carl Robinson’s refusal to make changes at the half, even when things have gone very badly, to be quite frustrating. The Whitecaps looked extremely flat in the first half and making a sub at halftime can send a message and shake things up. Of course Robbo would later be vindicated for keeping faith in his players so maybe there’s a reason he makes a fiscally responsible amount of bucks.
In the 50th minute, seemingly out of nowhere, Kei Kamara found some space and put Ibini through on the right. Ibini put it across to designated player Brek Shea, to smash home an equalizer.
After another long period of stalemate, substitute Alphonso Davies beat a player and broke through on goal, rounded the keeper and slotted it home. Unfortunately, the ‘Caps were once again screwed by VAR, as the goal was called back for a handball. Based on the angle I saw it was never a handball but it’s possible that there was a more definitive angle that TSN neglected to show. The ref certainly seemed to make the decision very quickly.
But just five minutes later justice was served as Teibert played a lovely ball through to Davies. Davies collected the ball, played it back to Felipe who put in a lovely ball to Kei Kamara who headed home to give the Whitecaps the lead.
With five minutes to go the Crew rattled one off the crossbar from a corner. Fortunately that would be as close as they came and the Whitecaps held on to win the match 2-1.
It didn’t have the glamour of El Trafico (and doesn’t really change my analysis from last week at all), but the Whitecaps secured an important road win which isn’t to be sniffed at. Next weak the ‘Caps are off to Sandy Utah to take on Real Salt Lake.