By: Bob Mackin
BURNABY, B.C.: Eduardo Sebrango had his second game-winning goal of the season to lift the Vancouver Whitecaps over the Rochester Rhinos 1-0 in a Saturday United Soccer Leagues' First Division game.
Sebrango took advantage of a loose ball and beat Rhinos' goalkeeper Scott Vallow in the 76th minute after Vallow challenged Aflredo Valente. Valente's assist was his 100th career point.
All three Vancouver matches have been 1-0 home results. Sebrango scored the only goal in the April 12 season opener against the Montreal Impact. The Minnesota Thunder used a penalty kick to win on April 26. Sebrango's game-winner against Rochester ended Vancouver's 223-minute scoring drought.
Valente set the tone for the Whitecaps with a second-minute volley that Vallow punched over the crossbar. Sebrango banked a shot off the underside of the crossbar. He was denied a goal in the 31st minute when defender Nate Craft stood on the goal line.
Valente on Vallow:
"He's probably one of the best keepers in the league. he made four or five great saves and kept them in it. If it wasn't for him, it could've been three easy in the first half. "
No Roberto the Rhino:
Ex-Whitecap Ze Roberto did not dress for the Rhinos. Former Simon Fraser University Clan defender Leigh Sembaluk replaced Luke Kreamalmeyer in the 67th minute.
The match under overcast skies attracted 4,762. Rainshowers arrived late in the second half.
The Whitecaps travel to Edmonton where they will host superstar English midfielder David Beckham and Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy in a Tuesday friendly. Ticket sales are hovering around the 30,000 mark.
The Whitecaps outshot Rochester 14-3.
"After the first half I couldn't believe we hadn't scored a goal with all the chances we had," said Whitecaps' head coach Teitur Thordarson. "We said to the guys at halftime just keep on going and be patient because we would get our chances in the second half. We were a little bit lucky on the goal we scored, but it was well deserved."
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