Whitecaps squander a game they had to win against Montreal squad
Missed opportunities highlighted the Vancouver Whitecaps opening game of the Nutrilite Canadian Championship. Lack of urgency did them in on Wednesday.
It's been an alarming trend of late - with Vancouver trailing after 45 minutes in each of its last five games - but was magnified even more in a 2-0 loss to the Montreal Impact at Swangard Stadium. The Whitecaps needed to secure a positive result to keep its hopes alive in the three-team tournament, which will decide Canada's sole entry in the CONCACAF Champions League.
"The pace of the game at the start was a little bit slow, the final ball wasn't there for us," said Whitecaps midfielder Martin Nash, following the game. "In the second half we created a lot of chances, but were weren't clinical in finishing them."
Roberto Brown opened the scoring on either team's first real chance of the night, banging home a rebound from point blank range in the 33rd minute after Jay Nolly made the initial save off David Testo's hard low boot. While the Whitecaps goaltender was good to knock the ball down, it skirted right to the feet of an unmarked Brown on the doorstep.
"Neither team had many chances to start, but they made the most of theirs," said Whitecaps head coach Teitur Thordarson.
Testo, a former Whitecap, sealed the victory with a rocket to the low left-hand corner of the Vancouver goal in the 66th minute.
While the Whitecaps failed to create anything in the first 45 minutes, the United Soccer Leagues First Division club was not without their chances in the second half. In fact, Vancouver was dictating the pace of the game after the break until Testo's goal.
Whitecaps' Eddie Sebrango and Steve Kindel both had glorious chances at knotting the score early in the second half, but were both the victims of bad luck. Sebrango unleashed an explosive shot from the top of the box in the 55th minute that had Impact goalkeeper Matt Jordan beat, but failed to elude the crossbar. And Kindel showed some great vision and awareness with a sublime chip shot that had eyes for the top left corner of the goal until knocked clear by Jordan's finger on a well-timed leap just three minutes after Sebrango's strike.
The Whitecaps lost by an identical score last Tuesday in Montreal, and drop to 0-2 in the double-round robin format. The Canadian Champions League kicked off on May 27 when Major League Soccer's Toronto FC earned a 1-0 victory in Montreal. Vancouver travels to Toronto (1-0) on July 1 and concludes its portion of the championship on July 9 against the MLS club at Swangard. The tournament wraps up with Toronto visiting Montreal on July 22.
"We have to go to Toronto with the mindset that anything can happen," said Nash. "We need to give it a go and then focus all our energy on the league."
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