Our ‘Caps beat their Canadian rivals 3-0 Saturday afternoon to gain a very important three points and put them themselves firmly in the Western Conference playoff race.
So, what did we learn?
Highlights: Montreal Impact 0-3 Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Living up to their word
This was a performance that could really build some momentum towards Vancouver’s playoff push.
The players said all the right things throughout the week and leading up to the match. They spoke about playing to win and being aggressive on the road, but they had to put their words into actions. And they sure did that, as Martin Rennie’s boys took the game to the Impact right from the opening whistle.
This left them vulnerable at the back at times and our ‘Caps rode their luck as Montreal hit the bar on two separate occasions – but so did we. The difference was that we scored early and capitalized on a few of our chances.
The team showed a lot of desire and were rewarded in the end with a well-deserved 3-0 victory. They looked like a playoff team and if they continue playing with aggressiveness and belief, that’s exactly what they’ll be.
Camilo seals the deal with a brilliant strike from distance
Back with a bang
After leading Major League Soccer in scoring for much of the season, Camilo picked up a niggling injury and ran into a barren spell in recent weeks.
Sometimes, as a striker you try too hard and nothing seems to work. Full credit to Rennie for making a bold move to change that, as he left Camilo on the bench to start the match – knowing that would take some heat off the Brazilian and give him a new perspective.
It really paid off, as Camilo came off the bench in the second half and secured the win with two great goals. After scoring a goal on a partial breakaway to make it 2-0, you could just see all the confidence coming back and that showed as he capped off the afternoon with a possible Goal of the Week to seal the win.
Not only was this a great win, it was also a signal that our magician is back.
Ousted comes up with a game-saver on Daniele Paponi
In my keys to the game, I said that it was time for our big guns to step up and lead us to a much-needed win – they did just that. This was a big-time performance from our big-time players.
In goal, goalkeeper David Ousted made a number of big saves to keep us in the game. At the back, skipper Jay DeMerit marshalled his defence and made some key blocks to help shut out the Impact at home.
In midfield, Budweiser Man of the Match Nigel Reo-Coker never stopped running and battled all day to seize control of the middle of the park with his surging runs. Up front, Kenny Miller scored on a penalty kick seven minutes in and of course, Camilo came up big in the dying stages of the match.
Our go-to players proved their worth on Saturday and the rest of the team followed suit. This was an inspired performance and one that should give us hope as we prepare for our final five matches of the season.