By: Iain MacIntyre
METRO VANCOUVER - The attack is different, but the result was going to be the same until Eddie Sebrango finally converted a scoring chance in the 76th minute to give the Vancouver Whitecaps a 1-0 win against the Rochester Rhinos Saturday night at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby.
Sebrango scored into an unguarded net after the ball caromed to him from a challenge on Rochester goalie Scott Vallow by Alfredo Valente, improving Vancouver's United Soccer Leagues record to 2-1.
But it was just the Whitecaps' second goal in three games under new coach Teitur Thordarson, who has the mandate to recharge Vancouver's attack after the defensive regime of Bob Lilley.
Saturday, Thordarson's side created a pile of scoring chances that were squandered before Sebrango's strike.
With Whitecaps dominated the game.
They could have had the game won in the first 13 minutes and should have had it over by halftime. Instead, it was still scoreless in the second half to a combination of poor finishing by Vancouver and excellent goalkeeping by Vallow.
Only two minutes into the game, Valente collected a knockdown from Eddie Sebrango and curled a right-footed volley that Vallow spectacularly pushed over the bar. At 13 minutes, Vallow made himself big enough to block Tony Donatelli's heavy shot from 14 yards after a cutback by Valente.
Between the two chances, Sebrango crushed the underside of the bar with a shot from six yards after a long throw by Martin Nash was helped on to him. And before the end of the half, Sebrango had his header from Nash's corner kick cleared off the goal-line. Another Nash cross found Steve Kindel unmarked at the penalty spot, but the Whitecap looked undecided whether to knock it down or drive it towards goal and instead guided it harmlessly wide.
The Rhinos rarely threatened the Whitecaps' goal, although Vancouver's Lyle Martin could have been called for a penalty for recklessly bundling over Johnny Menyongar at the side of the box in the 14th minute.
The Whitecaps kept the Rhinos under pressure with their long balls to Sebrango and forward Nicholas Addlery, and the dominance in the middle of the park of Nash and Kindel.
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