VANCOUVER, BC - Playing their second Major League Soccer match in three days, Vancouver Whitecaps FC (3W-2L-2D) defeated Western Conference rivals FC Dallas (3W-3L-1D) 1-0 on Saturday evening.
An early goal from Camilo Sanvezzo led the Blue and White to their first-ever win over the Texas-based outfit and ended Vancouver’s four-match winless streak in the league in front of 18,027 on Bell Pitch at BC Place. The weekend result took Whitecaps FC up to third place in the Western Conference standings and should also provide a boost of confidence, as the ‘Caps now embark on a busy stretch of MLS and Amway Canadian Championship action in the next few weeks.
“I think, first of all, I’m pleased to get the win,” said Whitecaps FC head coach Martin Rennie. “I think it was a hardworking professional performance, and I think that’s what we need to do week in, week out. I felt that against Kansas City, we were a bit too naïve in the way we opened up at times, and after we lost a goal, we opened up a bit too much. Professional soccer isn’t just about chasing the game and leaving yourself wide open, you have to be solid and we got back to that tonight and I think that was, you know, the big reason behind our win. I thought we were fairly comfortable in the game, had a couple good chances on the break, and if that final pass had been just a bit better, it could’ve helped us.”
With a short turnaround from Wednesday’s home defeat to Sporting Kansas City, Rennie made four changes to his side and set them out in a 4-3-3 formation. Jun Marques Davidson and Matt Watson came into midfield for Atiba Harris and John Thorrington, while Camilo and Omar Salgado replaced Davide Chiumiento and Eric Hassli in the Vancouver attack. It was Salgado’s first start since the 2-1 defeat at Colorado Rapids on July 9, 2011.
With the BC Place roof open on an overcast night, Whitecaps FC made a bright start to Saturday’s match, with Camilo having two efforts go wide of the target inside the first 10 minutes. Yet, the Brazilian did not have to wait long to get on the scoresheet.
On 11 minutes, Camilo took a pass from Young-Pyo Lee on the right flank before making an incisive run into the FC Dallas box. With space and time, the South American curled a superb left-footed strike past FC Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz - who was deputizing for Hoops number one Kevin Hartman - and into the far corner of the net for his second goal of the season.
The early goal prompted a response from the visitors, who applied some good pressure on their Canadian hosts in the first half. Whitecaps FC goalkeeper Joe Cannon saved a Daniel Hernandez free kick on 17 minutes and a low Bruno Guarda shot on 38 minutes. Brek Shea also threatened with two shots wide of goal but Vancouver took their slim advantage into the halftime break.
The second half proved to be a scrappy affair from both sides, but just like the first half, the match had all the hallmarks of a closely-fought Western Conference encounter. Shea drilled a pair of low strikes at Cannon, while a Martin Bonjour header and a Camilo shot from Lee’s cleverly-taken free kick on 72 minutes failed to test Seitz.
Harris and Hassli came on in the late stages to help see the match out for Whitecaps FC, but not before Camilo went close to scoring again. On 75 minutes, Watson did well to beat FC Dallas captain Ugo Ihemelu to a forward ball from Davidson and cut a fine pass back to the Brazilian from the visitors’ byline. Camilo’s first-time shot was well blocked away by Seitz.
Despite a late push from The Hoops, the final whistle from referee Edvin Jurisevic confirmed a third win of the season and a fifth clean sheet of the campaign for Whitecaps FC. For FC Dallas, Saturday’s defeat ended their winning streak at two matches, with all three of their losses this season coming on the road (0W-3L-0D).
Whitecaps FC return to the road to wrap up the month of April, as they visit the Ohio state capital for their lone regular season match-up versus Eastern Conference club Columbus Crew next Saturday. FC Dallas, meanwhile, are back in action on Wednesday when they host Real Salt Lake in another important Western Conference clash.
Budweiser Man of the Match: Camilo Sanvezzo
11' - VAN - Camilo (Young-Pyo Lee)
Shots: Vancouver 9 - Dallas 10
Shots on Goal: Vancouver 2 - Dallas 5
Saves: Vancouver 5 - Dallas 1
Fouls: Vancouver 19 - Dallas 11
Offsides: Vancouver 2 - Dallas 3
Corners: Vancouver 4 - Dallas 6
38' - VAN - Gershon Koffie
57' - VAN - Matt Watson
75' - DAL - Blas Perez
90' - DAL - Carlos Rodriguez
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
1.Joe Cannon; 12.Young-Pyo Lee, 15.Martin Bonjour, 6.Jay DeMerit, 3.Jordan Harvey; 28.Gershon Koffie, 27.Jun Marques Davidson, 16.Matt Watson; 7.Sebastien Le Toux, 37.Camilo Sanvezzo (29.Eric Hassli 79'), 17.Omar Salgado (9.Atiba Harris 73')
Substitutes not used: 18.Brad Knighton,, 11.John Thorrington, 19.Carlyle Mitchell, 20.Davide Chiumiento, 23.Long Tan
18.Chris Seitz, 3.Ugo Ihemelu, 22.Carlos Rodriguez, 14.George John, 17.Zach Loyd, 8.Bruno Guarda (31.Scott Sealy 72'), 2.Daniel Hernandez, 16.Bobby Warshaw (24.Matt Hedges 89'), 20.Brek Shea, 7.Fabian Castillo, 9.Blas Perez
Substitutes not used: 1.Kevin Hartman, 13.Hernan Pertuz, 28.Victor Ulloa, 32.Jonathan Top, 34.Ruben Luna