CHESTER, PA – The streak-busters are back.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC (7W-7L-3D) put an end to Philadelphia Union’s (7W-5L-5D) 10-match home unbeaten run with an entertaining 3-2 win on Saturday night at Talen Energy Stadium.
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After red-hot Roland Alberg opened the scoring in the 14th minute, the ‘Caps responded with three goals of their own before Philadelphia got one back in stoppage time.
Andrew Jacobson opened his account for Whitecaps FC, against his former team no less, while Kekuta Manneh and Christian Bolaños both tallied their fifth goals of the season – one shy of captain Pedro Morales for the team-lead.
The Union had lost just one of their last 11 matches in all competitions coming into this one.
But the ‘Caps, who ended lengthy home unbeaten streaks at LA Galaxy and New England Revolution in 2015, proved up to the task.
Perhaps these two teams should meet more often.
Considering both sides’ recent form, and a 3-3 draw in their last encounter at Talen Energy Stadium, many expected there to be goals in this one. They were right.
This was an action-packed affair right from the opening whistle.
Philadelphia had the better chances early. In the fourth minute, David Ousted robbed Tranquillo Barnetta from close-range after a long throw-in from Keegan Rosenberry.
A few minutes later, Tim Parker came up with a key block on Alberg at the penalty spot.
The Union would eventually open the scoring in the 14th minute, but it was not without some controversy. After a nice build-up in midfield, Fabian Herbers ripped a shot off the crossbar. The rebound appeared to strike the arm of Union midfielder Sebastien Le Toux before falling to Alberg, who smashed in his seventh goal in four matches.
Vancouver responded just five minutes later.
In the 19th minute, Jacobson got on the end of a Bolaños corner – that was mishandled by goalkeeper Andre Blake – to level the score against his former club.
It was a goal Blake surely would have liked back, but the Jamaican made up for it shortly later with a diving save on a heavy Nicolas Mezquida strike from 25 yards.
The ‘Caps weren’t done there.
Just before halftime, Manneh put Vancouver ahead with a highlight-reel goal that should be a contender for MLS Goal of the Week. It started at centre field, where Morales picked out the youngster. Manneh then blew by defender Joshua Yaro, the second overall pick in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft, before cutting into the middle and firing in a low strike off the post and in.
Philadelphia came on a bit early in the second half, but the ‘Caps managed to keep them at bay before adding a third in the 84th minute through Bolaños. The Costa Rican had all sorts of space on the counter after being spotted by Erik Hurtado, who had another good game.
And he made no mistake with a right-footed finish into the near post.
Chris Pontius got one back for the Union on a stoppage-time corner, but it was too little, too late.
Next up for Whitecaps FC is the decisive second leg of the Amway Canadian Championship Final against Toronto FC on Wednesday at BC Place (7 p.m. PT on TSN – tickets on sale NOW). The ‘Caps will need to win by at least two goals to repeat as Voyageurs Cup champions.
NEWS AND NOTES
Striker Octavio Rivero was with the team in Pennsylvania but did not dress for Saturday’s match. Amidst rumours that Rivero has been sold to Chilean club Colo-Colo, Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson confirmed on the TSN Radio pre-match show that the two clubs are in talks. The ‘Caps will not be making any further comment on Rivero’s status at this time.
Budweiser Man of the Match: David Ousted
Referee: Armando Villarreal
14’ – PHI – Roland Alberg (Sebastien Le Toux)
19’ – VAN – Andrew Jacobson
41’ – VAN – Kekuta Manneh (Pedro Morales)
84’ – VAN – Christian Bolaños (Erik Hurtado)
90’ + 4’ – PHI – Chris Pontius
Possession: Philadelphia 53.3 % – Vancouver 46.7 %
Shots: Philadelphia 21 – Vancouver 10
Shots on Goal: Philadelphia 4 – Vancouver 6
Saves: Philadelphia 3 – Vancouver 2
Fouls: Philadelphia 7 – Vancouver 14
Offsides: Philadelphia 1 – Vancouver 1
Corners: Philadelphia 6 – Vancouver 5
36’ – PHI – Tranquillo Barnetta
51’ – VAN – Kekuta Manneh
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
1.David Ousted; 6.Jordan Smith, 17.Andrew Jacobson, 26.Tim Parker, 2.Jordan Harvey; 15.Matías Laba, 77.Pedro Morales (31.Russell Teibert 65’); 7.Christian Bolaños, 11.Nicolás Mezquida (27.Blas Pérez 75’), 23.Kekuta Manneh (13.Cristian Techera 79’); 19.Erik Hurtado
Substitutes not used
70.Paolo Tornaghi, 3.Sam Adekugbe, 8.Fraser Aird, 14.Cole Seiler
1.Andre Blake; 12.Keegan Rosenberry, 15.Joshua Yaro, 16.Richie Marquez, 33.Fabinho (22.Leo Fernandez 82’); 7.Brian Carroll, 10.Tranquillo Barnetta; 25.Ilsinho (13.Chris Pontius 65’), 6.Roland Alberg, 9.Sebastien Le Toux; 11.Fabian Herbers (20.Walter Restrepo 75’)
Substitutes not used
27.John McCarthy, 2.Warren Creavalle, 4.Ken Tribbett, 28.Raymon Gaddis
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