Highlights: Whitecaps FC 2 - Real Salt Lake 1
VANCOUVER, BC - Playing their first match in the month of August, Vancouver Whitecaps FC (10W-7L-7D) earned a crucial 2-1 home win over Western Conference rivals Real Salt Lake (13W-9L-3D) in Major League Soccer on Saturday afternoon.
Second-half goals by Camilo Sanvezzo and Dane Richards avenged Whitecaps FC’s away defeat to Salt Lake just over two weeks ago. Though Nat Borchers’ late strike denied goalkeeper Brad Knighton a clean sheet in his first MLS start for Vancouver, the Blue and White held on for three important points on Bell Pitch at BC Place.
Saturday’s victory closed the gap between Vancouver and second-place Salt Lake to five points in the west, with the ‘Caps having a match in hand on their Utah foes. It was also Whitecaps FC’s second straight home win over RSL as an MLS club.
Beautiful sunshine came through the open BC Place roof on Saturday, with supporters seeing an evenly-contested first half, though Whitecaps FC created more of the scoring chances before the break.
Camilo tested RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando with a piledriver on 14 minutes. This after Whitecaps FC had a decent shout for a penalty when Barry Robson was bundled over the visitors’ box by Borchers.
Instead, it was RSL that came closest to scoring on 25 minutes. Javier Morales’ fine cross found the head of Alvaro Saborio, but the in-form striker put his finish off the post.
The chance saw a collision between Knighton and Jay DeMerit that resulted in both players needing treatment. On 31 minutes, the effects of the collision forced the Whitecaps FC captain to come out of the match. That resulted in new signing Andy O’Brien making his MLS and club debut in place of DeMerit.
The last chance of the half fell to the home side in first-half stoppage time, but Rimando did well to save Camilo’s header from Robson’s fine cross into the Salt Lake box.
After the break, Whitecaps FC made the most of their opportunities to win the match, starting with the game’s opening goal on 58 minutes.
Camilo registered his fourth goal of the season when the lively South American pounced on a loose ball in the RSL box after Will Johnson’s clearance deflected off of Salt Lake teammate Chris Wingert and into the Brazilian’s path. His assured finish made it 1-0 and brought ‘Caps fans to their feet.
Whitecaps FC then doubled their lead on 64 minutes with a superb goal by Richards. The Jamaican international took a pass from Camilo near the edge of the Salt Lake box before curling his finish around Wingert and past Rimando for his second Whitecaps FC goal of his career and third of the season.
With a two-goal lead, there was a festive atmosphere around BC Place. The scoreline prompted Rennie to bring in Kenny Miller and recent Canadian national team call-up Russell Teibert to the match. It was Teibert’s first spell of action for the ‘Caps this season.
As the match entered three minutes of stoppage time, a clean sheet for Knighton would have been well earned, with the Vancouver shot-stopper having made assured saves from Johnson, Saborio, and substitute Paulo Araujo Jr. in the second half.
Unfortunately for Knighton, Salt Lake found a way past him in second-half stoppage time. Paulo’s fine cross from the left found Borchers, whose header was well placed into the far corner of the ‘Caps net for the RSL defender’s second goal of the season.
Salt Lake’s late reply did not impact on the final result, as Whitecaps FC got back to winning ways at an important juncture of the season. They now turn their attentions to Wednesday night and a second home clash of 2012 with FC Dallas.
The ‘Caps will do so without several players on international duty and midfielder Gershon Koffie, who will be suspended for caution accumulation after the midfielder picked up a yellow card in Saturday’s win.
Budweiser Man of the Match: Camilo Sanvezzo
Referee: Paul Ward
58' - VAN - Camilo Sanvezzo
64' - VAN - Dane Richards (Camilo Sanvezzo, Darren Mattocks)
90+2' - RSL - Nat Borchers (Paulo Araujo Jr.)
Shots: Vancouver 11 - Salt Lake 12
Shots on Goal: Vancouver 5 - Salt Lake 6
Saves: Vancouver 5 - Salt Lake 3
Fouls: Vancouver 15 - Salt Lake 13
Offsides: Vancouver 3 - Salt Lake 0
Corners: Vancouver 7 - Salt Lake 3
37' - RSL - Tony Beltran
41' - VAN - Alain Rochat
49' - VAN - Gershon Koffie
83' - VAN - Jun Marques Davidson
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
18.Brad Knighton; 12.Young-Pyo Lee, 15.Martin Bonjour, 6.Jay DeMerit (40.Andy O'Brien 31'), 4.Alain Rochat; 28.Gershon Koffie, 14.Barry Robson, 27.Jun Marques Davidson; 20.Dane Richards, 22.Darren Mattocks (7.Kenny Miller 72'), 37.Camilo Sanvezzo (31.Russell Teibert 86')
Substitutes not used: 24.Brian Sylvestre, 3.Jordan Harvey, 9.Atiba Harris, 11.John Thorrington
Real Salt Lake
18.Nick Rimando; 2.Tony Beltran, 3.Kwame Watson-Siriboe, 6.Nat Borchers, 17.Chris Wingert; 20.Ned Grabavoy, 5.Kyle Beckerman, 11.Javier Morales (21.Luis Gil 45'), 8.Will Johnson (22.Jonny Steele 75'); 15.Alvaro Saborio, 7.Fabian Espindola (23.Paulo Araujo Jr. 68')
Substitutes not used: 24.Kyle Reynish, 29.Kenny Mansally, 14.Yordany Alvarez, 13.Justin Braun