VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC (2W-1L-1D) suffered their first loss of the 2014 season on Saturday afternoon, falling 2-1 to Colorado Rapids (2W-1L-1D) in front of a third straight sold-out crowd to start the season at BC Place.
Striker Darren Mattocks, who was named the Budweiser Man of the Match, opened the scoring with his first goal of the season in the 67th minute. But after the ‘Caps went down to 10 men in the 77th minute, Rapids midfielder Jose Mari responded with two stunning goals in as many minutes to end Vancouver’s undefeated streak at four games.
Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson fielded an unchanged starting lineup on Saturday, returning to the 4-4-2 diamond midfield formation that proved effective in last weekend’s 2-1 win over Houston Dynamo.
And the match got off to a similar start, as Whitecaps FC began to push forward around the 10-minute mark after an early feeling out period.
The ‘Caps appeared to open the scoring in the 14th minute for the second straight match and midfielder Pedro Morales was involved again. This time, the Chilean ripped a shot from distance and Mattocks slotted home the rebound, but the Jamaican was called offside.
Everything you need to know about Saturday's match
The two nearly combined again in the 36th minute, as Morales released Mattocks into the box with an inviting through-ball from midfield. But Rapids goalkeeper Clint Irwin was quick off his line to make a sprawling chest save off Mattocks’ left-footed effort – one of Irwin’s three saves in the first half.
At the other end of the park, second-year striker Deshorn Brown was Colorado’s most dangerous player in the opening 45 minutes. The Jamaican had six of Colorado’s eight first-half shots, including a glorious opportunity in the 30th minute.
In the build-up, Rapids striker Gabriel Torres sent a well-played overhead ball to a streaking Brown, whose left-footed strike from inside the box trickled just wide of the goal.
The two teams entered the break all-square, and aside from an early Morales free kick in the 51st minute, neither side managed to create much in the opening stages of the second half.
But the floodgates eventually opened, starting in the 67th minute. That’s when Mattocks opened his 2014 goal-scoring account with a cool finish inside the box after receiving a nice flick-on from Kenny Miller.
Less than a minute later, Vancouver came within inches of adding to their lead. The ‘Caps had numbers on the counter and Mattocks laid the ball into the box for an unmarked Morales, who hit it first time only to see a sprawling Irwin deflect the shot wide.
It was easily the timeliest of Irwin’s six saves on the night, and the Rapids took advantage. Moments after Matias Laba was sent off for his second yellow card of the game, Mari notched a brace within the span of two minutes.
Both of the Spaniard’s goals, which came in the 79th and 81st minutes respectively, were perfect curling strikes from outside the area that eluded a sprawling David Ousted and found the back of the net after hitting the far post.
The ‘Caps came on strong in the dying stages of the match – Irwin punched away a Morales free kick in stoppage time – but it was not to be as the Rapids held on for a 2-1 victory.
Next up for Whitecaps FC is a much-anticipated home-and-home series with perennial Western Conference contender LA Galaxy. First, the two teams will meet next Saturday, April 12 at the StubHub Center in Carson, California, before going head-to-head again the following weekend at BC Place.
It’s not too late to participate in the best sporting experience in Vancouver. Whitecaps FC offer a flexible range of ticket products, including half-season tickets ($244), 5-packs ($149), student season tickets ($199), and a youth soccer half-season ticket ($100). Single-match tickets start at $22, subject to applicable fees. For more information on all Whitecaps FC ticket options, call 604.669.9283 ext. 2 or visit whitecapsfc.com/tickets.
Tweet of the Game
I love the offensive mindset that the @WhitecapsFC has this season. Very entertaining. Lots of skill in the midfield— Shane E Canuck (@ShaneEinarson) April 5, 2014
Stat of the Game
Whitecaps FC had seven shots on target, compared to Colorado's three, but Irwin's six saves helped the Rapids come away with the three points.
Quote of the Game
“You have to give credit to their two finishes. Same guy, same two finishes. If he doesn’t win MLS Player of the Week this week, then I don’t know who will. It's going to take a mighty performance from somebody else to do that.” - Jay DeMerit
Budweiser Man of the Match: Darren Mattocks
Referee: Ioannis Stavridis
67’ – VAN – Darren Mattocks (Kenny Miller)
79' – COL – Jose Mari (Marc Burch)
81’ – COL – Jose Mari (Nathan Sturgis, Charles Eloundou)
Shots: Vancouver 14 – Colorado 14
Shots on Goal: Vancouver 7 – Colorado 3
Saves: Vancouver 1 – Colorado 6
Fouls: Vancouver 15 – Colorado 14
Offsides: Vancouver 1 – Colorado 1
Corners: Vancouver 8 – Colorado 3
25’ – COL – Kamani Hill
54’ – VAN – Matias Laba
65’ – COL – Marc Burch
77’ – VAN – Matias Laba
80’ – COL – Charles Eloundou
90’+6 – COL – Clint Irwin
77’ – VAN – Matias Laba
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
1.David Ousted; 33.Steven Beitashour (19.Erik Hurtado 90’+3), 40.Andy O'Brien, 6.Jay DeMerit, 2.Jordan Harvey; 28.Gershon Koffie (7.Sebastian Fernandez 57’), 15.Matías Laba, 77.Pedro Morales, 31.Russell Teibert; 11.Darren Mattocks, 9.Kenny Miller (23.Kekuta Manneh 74’)
Substitutes not used
70.Paolo Tornaghi, 3.Sam Adekugbe, 16.Johnny Leveron, 29.Nicolas Mezquida
1.Clint Irwin; 27.Shane O’Neill, 3.Drew Moor, 5.Thomas Piermayr, 4.Marc Burch; 8.Dillon Powers, 6.Jose Mari, 13.Kamani Hill (2.Nick LaBrocca 59’), 24.Nathan Sturgis (33.Jared Watts 90’+3); 26.Deshorn Brown (19.Charles Eloundou 69’), 10.Gabriel Torres
Substitutes not used
12.John Berner, 18.Marvin Chavez, 21.Grant Van De Casteele, 94.Marlon Hairston