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Match Report - Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs New England Revolution

MLS: New England Revolution at Vancouver Whitecaps Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

For the fourth match in a row the Vancouver Whitecaps finished tied to earn a single point in the standings.

Right off the hop we have a fairly questionable line-up decision going on here. Ali Ghazal pairing at CB beside Kendall Waston while Jose Aja was forced to ride the pine.

The first half started off well enough for the Caps. Just twenty seconds in Yordy Reyna found a bit of space on the right side of the box and crossed to an open Kei Kamara, but Kei hesitated on the shot and put it directly into the keepers sprawling arms. The Caps then fell into the rope-a-dope for the next 20 minutes as they looked to hit on the counter. This strategy would bite the home side in the ass as the Rev’s drew first blood in the 26th minute. Sean Franklin lets Christian Penilla get by him on the left flank, Penilla crosses the ball into the box (for no-one in particular) only for Ali Ghazal to go to ground and clear the ball right into the top corner for an own goal. The Caps tried to answer back immediately as Christian Techera got away from his marker and lobbed the keeper, but hit the bar. Most of the remainder of the first half was then spent with the teams trading the ball back and forth in midfield with no real meaningful chances.

Then the second half got underway and the fireworks started going off. In the 48th minute Penilla again beat Sean Franklin on a through ball and this time he does it all himself beating Brian Rowe low to the far post. Almost immediately after the re-start the Whitecaps, through some fantastic interplay from the Canadian trio of de Jong, Teibert, and Davies, carved their way up the left flank to have Nigel, on the overlap, float a beauty of a ball to the back post for Christian Techera who buried it with a fantastic volley. de Jong ended up pulling his hamstring on the play and would come out for Brek Shea in the 60th minute. The Bug would strike again in the 51st minute as Russel Teibert intercepted a pass on the left flank and floated another cross over the heads of the helpless New England defenders and onto Techera’s waiting noggin. Techera bonked it once into the keeper, then again up and over him and the game was level. The Rev’s didn’t just rollover after the two quick tying goals however. In the 59th minute Teal Bunbury put New England back in the lead. Ali Ghazal was hurried and passed the ball away while going to ground, Bunbury takes advantage of the open space and runs through the middle of the pitch unmolested where he gets on the end of a Diego Fagundez ball and slots it home behind Rowe. The tying goal came in the 74th minute. Felipe plays a long ball down the right flank to streaking Yordy Reyna, Reyna crosses to Techera at the back post who scores another volley from his favored left foot. That was it for scoring in this one though Kei Kamara and Felipe both could have finished.

All in all the team played an exciting brand of football in this match. I liked that they didn’t roll over and die when the second goal went in. A questionable start for Ghazal at CB probably cost the team the full three points. I have to assume based on the coach’s decision today that he does not fully trust Aaron Maund and Jose Aja as a CB pairing, and it’s hard to see Doneil Henry slotting in immediately once he is back from loan. As such I can understand Robbo wanting to try Ghazal out in the CB role as someone will need to fill the gaping hole that will be left when Kendall Waston heads to Russia. After his display in this match I don’t think Ghazal is the man for the job. It’s unbelievable to me that Kei Kamara miffed on the two chances he had today. Kei has not looked like the same player since coming back from his injury. At the moment the Whitecaps are scoring by committee and that’s not a bad thing. The team desperately needs all it’s guns blazing or some steady defense (preferably both) if it wants to truly make a run to the top of the table.


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