Highlights: D.C. United 0 - 1 Whitecaps FC
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Whitecaps FC (7W-5L-4D) battled to a 1-0 victory against D.C. United (2W-12L-3D) in front of 13,122 fans at RFK Memorial Stadium on Saturday as they continued their hot streak, recording their fifth win in seven matches.
A penalty kick from Camilo, after Matt Watson was taken down in the area, was the difference between the sides as Vancouver produced a solid defensive display and Brad Knighton made a number of key saves.
With Young-Pyo Lee not travelling to D.C., head coach Martin Rennie replaced the fullback in the starting lineup with Jun Marques Davidson. Nigel Reo-Coker lined up at right back while Davidson started as the holding midfielder.
D.C. United almost took an early lead on 7 minutes when former ‘Caps midfielder Kyle Porter took a shot from point blank range but Whitecaps FC keeper Knighton pulled off a fine save to deny Porter. The follow up from Dwayne De Rosario was also well blocked by Carlyle Mitchell as Vancouver rode out the early barrage from D.C.
The game was proving to be an open affair and after 12 minutes there was a chance for Vancouver. A freekick from Camilo was headed on by a D.C. United defender to Russell Teibert at the back post. The Canadian international struck a powerful effort from a tight angle that hit the foot of the post and deflected away to safety.
Knighton needed to be alert on 24 minutes when De Rosario drilled in a searching cross from the right. Chris Pontius looked to get a touch to put the ball in but the keeper reacted quickly to snuff out the danger.
Five minutes later there was a further chance for Whitecaps FC when a corner from the left was cleared as far as Reo-Coker. The Englishman crossed the ball back into the middle with Watson getting in at the near post but directing his header wide.
There was another fine stop from Knighton on 34 minutes as former Whitecaps FC midfielder John Thorrington lined up a shot from outside the box but could not beat the keeper with his powerful strike as the teams went in level at halftime.
Whitecaps FC made a strong start after the break and were rewarded with a goal on 47 minutes. Kenny Miller played the ball through the United defence to Watson as the Englishman raced into the penalty area. Bill Hamid, the D.C. United keeper, hauled down Watson and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Camilo stepped up to take the penalty and smashed the ball down the middle to give Vancouver the lead.
There was relief for Vancouver when on 54 minutes, with United looking to get straight back into the match, Ethan White lined up a shot from distance that looked to be heading towards the bottom corner but was watched wide by Knighton.
A clever corner from Whitecaps FC in the 60th minute almost paid dividends as Teibert played a one-two with Miller before laying the ball off for Daigo Kobayashi. The midfielder drove forward and hammered a left-footed shot that went just wide of the post.
Vancouver came close twice in quick succession on 64 minutes as a cross from the right from Teibert found Miller who laid the ball off for Jordan Harvey. The left back rifled a shot on target that was palmed away by Hamid. From the rebound, Miller again played the ball to Harvey who this time found Teibert on the edge of the box. The Canuck’s first time drilled effort was kept out by another impressive stop from Hamid.
D.C. United were finding it hard to break Vancouver’s solid defence and were unable to create many chances in the second half but Whitecaps FC were still threatening and Miller wasn’t far off with a long range strike in the 76th minute.
As the match wore on, D.C. United pressed Vancouver for an equalizer and in the third minute of added time D.C. brought Hamid up for a corner. The tactic almost paid off as the keeper got a head to the ball in the box but could not direct the header on target as Whitecaps FC held on for the win.
Head coach Martin Rennie was pleased with the work rate of his team as they extended their good run of form.
“I thought after about 20 minutes we became stronger in the first half and I thought we put really good pressure on the opposition,” Rennie commented. “I thought we pressed really hard. Overall, I thought it was a really hard working performance, a well-deserved win. It’s our second away win in the last three games, in the last seven games we’re 5W-1L-1D so we’re on a really good run at the moment. We’ve got confidence and it showed well today.”
Matt Watson was awarded the Budweiser Man of the Match award for an industrious performance in midfield and for drawing the foul for the match-winning penalty kick.
Next up for Whitecaps FC is another away match against Eastern opposition as they take on Sporting Kansas City this Wednesday, July 3. Kickoff at Sporting Park is at 6p.m. PT.
Budweiser Man of the Match: Matt Watson
Referee: Matthew Foerster
48' - VAN - Camilo Sanvezzo
Shots: D.C. United 23 – Vancouver 16
Shots on Goal: D.C. United 4 - Vancouver 3
Saves: D.C. United 2 - Vancouver 4
Fouls: D.C. United 9 - Vancouver 12
Offsides: D.C. United 4 - Vancouver 3
Corners: D.C. United 9 - Vancouver 7
70' - VAN - Gershon Koffie
90’ - DC - Bill Hamid
28.Bill Hamid; 22.Chris Korb, 21.Daniel Woolard, 15.Ethen White, 25.Alain Rochat; 27.Sainey Nyassi (20.Carlos Ruiz 71'), 23.Perry Kitchen, 8.John Thorrington, 19.Kyle Porter (16.Casey Townsend 60'); 7.Dwayne De Rosario (26.Lionard Pajoy 69'), 13.Chris Pontius
Substitutes not used: 31.Joe Willis, 2.James Riley, 17.Conor Shanosky, 33.Taylor Kemp
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
18.Brad Knighton; 13.Nigel Reo-Coker, 24.Carlyle Mitchell, 16.Johnny Leveron, 2.Jordan Harvey; 14.Daigo Kobayashi (28.Gershon Koffie 68'), 27.Jun Marques Davidson, 8.Matt Watson (3.Brad Rusin 85'); 31.Russell Teibert, 7.Camilo Sanvezzo (11.Darren Mattocks 77'), 9.Kenny Miller
Substitutes not used: 1.Joe Cannon, 23.Kekuta Manneh, 29.Tommy Heinemann, 32.Greg Klazura