- With his assist on Sam Adekugbe's goal, Ryan Gauld set a new club-record for most MLS assists in a single season (including playoffs) with 13
- Brian White scored his 20th goal across all competitions in 2023, and is now two goals away from equaling the highest-scoring season in the club's MLS era. White also made his 100th Whitecaps FC appearance across all competitions
- Sam Adekugbe scored his first Whitecaps FC goal
LOS ANGELES, CA – Vancouver Whitecaps FC dropped the first game of their Round One Best-of-3 Series in the 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs, falling 5-2 against Los Angeles FC on Saturday night at BMO Stadium in Los Angeles, California.
It was a back-and-forth start in the game. Both teams were lively, putting the other under high pressure in the opening minutes. Good attacking displays from Sam Adekugbe, Brian White and Ryan Gauld would get the ‘Caps close to LAFC’s net.
However, it was Ryan Hollingshead that opened the scoring early for the home side. His first effort would come from a downwards header, before being parried away by Yohei Takaoka. Hollingshead would get a second bite of the cherry and place a follow-up shot into the bottom right corner.
The 'Caps would bite back in the 27th minute, and capitalize on a mistake from LAFC to equalize. Andrés Cubas would cut out a pass high up the pitch and play through White clean on goal. White made no mistake, slipping it past former 'Caps goalkeeper Maxime Crépeau to level the affair.
LAFC responded a couple minutes later. Giorgio Chiellini would thread a wonderful long ball over the top that was flicked on by Diego Palacios for Dénis Bouanga to latch on to. The 2023 MLS Golden Boot winner would drive towards the net, cut inside and unleash a vicious, curling shot past Takaoka to retake the lead.
The ’Caps would continue to work hard to try to find their equalizer, and were rewarded in the 40th minute. Gauld would whip in a cross from the left off a free-kick and Adekugbe would rise above the rest to head it cleanly into the back of the net for his first 'Caps goal. Both teams would come close at the end of the half to finding the advantage, but it would be level at the break.
The second half would start in similar fashion to the first, with both sides attacking from the get-go.
Cristian Olivera had a chance to drive towards goal in a counter-attacking move, sprinting down the right side and lacing a shot high over the bar.
However, LAFC would take the lead once again off a set-piece in the 52nd minute. Hollingshead would make no mistake once more as he thundered a loose ball into the net for his second of the night.
The home side would double their lead in the 64th minute, with Bouanga striking once more.
LAFC would not be done there, as Jesús Murillo would make it 5-2 off another corner kick.
Whitecaps FC continue their Best-of-3 Series against LAFC on Sunday, November 5th at BC Place. The club has already sold more than 20,000 tickets for the match. You can catch the game on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV, TSN, and AM730. Limited tickets are still available at whitecapsfc.com/tickets.
Referee: Jon Freemon
18’ – LAFC – Ryan Hollingshead
27’ – VAN – Brian White (Andrés Cubas)
29’ – LAFC – Dénis Bouanga (Diego Palacios, Giorgio Chiellini)
40’ – VAN – Sam Adekugbe (Ryan Gauld)
52’ – LAFC – Ryan Hollingshead
64’ – LAFC – Dénis Bouanga (Carlos Vela)
80’ – LAFC – Jesús Murillo (Mateusz Bogusz)
Possession: LAFC 50.2% - VAN 59.8%
Shots: LAFC 19 - VAN 8
Shots on Goal: LAFC 6 - VAN 2
Saves: LAFC 0 - VAN 1
Fouls: LAFC 16 - VAN 15
Offsides: LAFC 2 - VAN 0
Corners: LAFC 12 - VAN 3
22’ – LAFC – Carlos Vela
41’ – VAN – Javain Brown
55’ – VAN – Tristan Blackmon
63’ – VAN – Pedro Vite
82’ – VAN – Levonte Johnson
Los Angeles FC
16.Maxime Crépeau; 24.Ryan Hollingshead (30.Sergi Palencia 71’), 3.Jesús Murillo, 14.Giorgio Chiellini (33.Aaron Long 86’), 12.Diego Palacios; 11.Timothy Tillman, 6.Ilie Sánchez, 19.Mateusz Bogusz (23.Kellyn Acosta 86’); 25.Cristian Olivera, 10.Carlos Vela (9.Mario González 71’), 99.Dénis Bouanga
Substitutes not used
77.John McCarthy, 2.Denil Maldonado, 7.Stipe Buik , 27.Nathan Ordaz, 50.Filip Krastev
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
18.Yohei Takaoka; 23.Javain Brown (14.Luís Martins 58’), 4.Ranko Veselinović, 6.Tristan Blackmon; 20.Andrés Cubas (11.Junior Hoilett 71’); 7.Richie Laryea, 8.Alessandro Schöpf (22.Ali Ahmed 71’), 45.Pedro Vite (16.Sebastian Berhalter 82’), 3.Sam Adekugbe (28.Levonte Johnson 82’); 24.Brian White, 25.Ryan Gauld ©
Substitutes not used
32.Isaac Boehmer, 2.Mathías Laborda, 27.Ryan Raposo, 29.Simon Becher