Whitecaps FC fall 1-0 to Philadelphia Union in first home defeat of the season
Highlights: Whitecaps FC 0 - 1 Union
VANCOUVER, BC – In front of a sell-out crowd of 21,000 fans at BC Place, Vancouver Whitecaps FC (9W-7L-5D) saw their home unbeaten streak halted at 10 matches as they fell to a 1-0 defeat against Philadelphia Union (9W-6L-7D) in a hard-fought match on Saturday night.
Despite a number of great chances for the 'Caps, it was Philadelphia who came out with the full three points as striker Antoine Hoppenot sprung free and buried the winner in the 85th minute.
Head coach Martin Rennie made no changes to his starting lineup from last week’s road match against LA Galaxy.
It did not take long for the action to begin. On three minutes Union midfielder Danny Cruz broke down the left wing and fired a shot that rolled past the far post.
On six minutes, 'Caps 'keeper Brad Knighton was called upon and continued his fine form. A scramble in the 'Caps box ended with Brian Carroll getting a shot off, but Knighton rushed out and quickly deflected his attempt to safety.
Disaster struck for the home side on eight minutes when Union striker Keon Daniel made an aggressive tackle on Jun Marques Davidson. The Japanese-born American did not take kindly to the challenge and responded with a head butt to the back of Daniel, which saw him receive a prompt a red card from referee Baldomero Toledo and an ejection from the match.
Despite being down a man, the home side harnessed the energy of the stadium to mount a number of offensive attacks.
A close call for the 'Caps came on 15 minutes as Russell Teibert received a splendid ball from Miller on the left flank and lofted a one-time volley over the head of Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath, but just on top of the net.
On 27 minutes, Teibert was the playmaker as he set up a chance for Young-Pyo Lee. The young Canadian played a clever ball into the box to Lee, but the Korean fired high.
Five minutes before the break, Camilo collected the ball at the top of the attacking third of the field and passed the ball to Miller, who did really well to cut past his defender, but unfortunately for the Scotsman his shot from the top of the box flashed past the outside of MacMath's right post.
With an eventful, but scoreless, first half behind them, Vancouver regrouped and came out strong after the break.
Just under two minutes into the second half, Miller was subbed out of the match with tightness in his right adductor and was replaced by Kekuta Manneh.
The rookie nearly made an immediate impact on 50 minutes when he received a pass from Camilo in the box, and from a very tight angle beat MacMath before the ball agonizingly bounced back off the far post and stayed out to keep the match at 0-0.
On 68 minutes, Manneh had another chance as he carried the ball through the midfield and fired a rocket from the top of the box that was caught by a diving MacMath.
Just five minutes later, Amobi Okugo nearly countered for the Union. Le Toux put a well-placed corner into the box, but the defender's glancing header flew wide of the far post.
Another substitution had to be made for Vancouver on 82 minutes when centre back Brad Rusin came off with a right gluteal contusion and was replaced by Carlyle Mitchell, who recently returned from the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
The 'Caps looked the more likely to score despite being down a man, but they were dealt a dagger from the visitors with five minutes to play. After Mitchell initially blocked a through ball from Hoppenot, substitute strikers Aaron Wheeler and Hoppenot connected. Wheeler picked up the loose ball and back-heeled it to Hoppenot, who then cut in and finished past Knighton for a late 1-0 lead.
With the crowd urging them on, the 'Caps fought valiantly to keep their home streak alive, but in the end the final whistle blew to confirm their first home defeat of the season.
Next up, Whitecaps FC travel to Oregon to face Pacific Northwest rivals Portland Timbers in a crucial Cascadia Cup match at JELD-WEN Field. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. PT.
Budweiser Man of the Match: Johnny Leveron
Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Match sponsor: Home Depot
85' - PHI - Antoine Hoppenot (Aaron Wheeler)
Shots: Vancouver 14 - Philadelphia 16
Shots on Goal: Vancouver 5 - Philadelphia 5
Saves: Vancouver 4 - Philadelphia 5
Fouls: Vancouver 11 - Philadelphia 16
Offsides: Vancouver 0 - Philadelphia 3
Corners: Vancouver 2 - Philadelphia 4
8' - PHI - Keon Daniel
25' - PHI - Jack McInerney
59' - VAN - Johnny Leveron
65' - PHI - Danny Cruz
73' - VAN - Gershon Koffie
8' - VAN - Jun Marques Davidson
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
18.Brad Knighton; 12.Young-Pyo Lee (19.Erik Hurtado 88'), 3.Brad Rusin (24.Carlyle Mitchell 82'), 16.Johnny Leveron, 2.Jordan Harvey; 13.Nigel Reo-Coker, 27.Jun Marques Davidson, 28.Gershon Koffie; 31.Russell Teibert, 7.Camilo Sanvezzo, 9.Kenny Miller (23.Kekuta Manneh 47')
22.David Ousted, 8.Matt Watson, 14.Daigo Kobayashi, 26. Corey Hertzog
18.Zac MacMath; 25.Sheanon Williams, 14.Amobi Okugo, 31.Jeff Parke, 28.Raymon Gaddis; 11.Sebastien Le Toux, 21.Michael Farfan, 7.Brian Carroll, 44.Danny Cruz (29.Antoine Hoppenot 67'); 9.Jack McInerney (12.Aaron Wheeler 82'), 26.Keon Daniel (33.Fabinho 64')
1.Chris Konopka, 18.Matt Kassel, 19.Jose Kleberson, 22.Leonardo Fernandes