VANCOUVER, BC – Cristian Techera scored his second goal in as many games – and what a goal it was – as Vancouver Whitecaps FC (8W-8L-4D) defeated Real Salt Lake (8W-6L-5D) 2-0 in front of a sold-out crowd of 22,120 on Wednesday night at BC Place.
After an RSL own goal put Vancouver ahead in the 34th minute, Techera smashed in a 25-yard MLS Goal of the Week contender three minutes later and the ‘Caps never looked back from there.
It was a scrappy game at times – there were a total of seven yellow cards handed out.
But the ‘Caps got the result, and kept a much-needed clean sheet in the process, to move within one point of RSL in the always-competitive Western Conference.
"I talk about character in this group, and today we showed character and resolve," said Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson. "I’m pleased today because we dodged a few bullets which we needed to do. If we were to have gotten a third goal, it would have made it a lot easier. But we didn’t need it and we kept a clean sheet and good teams keep clean sheets."
Robinson made three changes to his starting lineup after Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Colorado with Techera, Nicolás Mezquida, and Masato Kudo replacing Pedro Morales and the injured Kekuta Manneh (right foot) and Blas Pérez (left hamstring).
Notably, it was Kudo’s first appearance since suffering a fractured jaw on May 11.
It took the ‘Caps a little while to get going in this one. In fairness, there wasn’t much flow to the game early on with a number of fouls on both sides.
The ‘Caps did have one early chance on the counter that went begging, but aside from that RSL looked a little more likely to score. And they nearly did in the 15th minute, when David Ousted came up with a big goalline save on a point-blank Yura Movsisyan header. RSL came close again in the 22nd minute, as Omar Holness smashed a Tony Beltran cross over the goal.
Sometimes, you just need a little luck.
And Vancouver got some in the 34th minute. After some great work by a lively Christian Bolaños down the right, Matias Laba sent in a low cross that deflected off RSL defender Justen Glad into the back of the net. Glad was awarded an own goal, but Kudo and Mezquida deserve some credit too for wreaking havoc in front of goal.
At any rate, it was 1-0 Vancouver.
The goal injected some life into the ‘Caps attack, and they doubled their advantage just three minutes later. There was no luck involved this time, as Techera fired a stunning 25-yard strike into the top left corner to give Vancouver a 2-0 lead heading into the break.
Remarkably, it was Techera’s fourth career goal against RSL – he has nine in total – and it would be all Vancouver needed on this night.
The ‘Caps managed the game well for most of the second half and nearly added a third goal through Mezquida, who missed wide in the 50th minute, and Kudo, who was denied by RSL keeper Jeff Attinella in the 69th minute.
RSL did have a couple late opportunities, including a Movsisyan strike off the crossbar in stoppage time, but Ousted and the ‘Caps held firm.
Next up for Whitecaps FC is a first-ever visit from Orlando City SC on Saturday night at BC Place (7 p.m. PT on TSN1/4 and TSN 1410 radio). The ‘Caps then conclude their four-match homestand on Tuesday, July 19 vs. English Premier League club Crystal Palace FC.
Tickets for both matches are still available at whitecapsfc.com/tickets.
MCMILLAN ‘CAPS CORNER KICK DONATIONS
For every ‘Caps corner kick at home, McMillan donates $100 to the United Way. An additional $500 is donated for every goal scored off a corner kick. This match McMillan Corners for Kids has donated $100 for a running total of $7,900.
Budweiser Man of the Match: Cristian Techera
Referee: Jose Carlos Rivero
34’ – VAN – Justen Glad (own goal)
37’ – VAN – Cristian Techera (Christian Bolaños)
Possession: Vancouver 53.7 % – RSL 46.3 %
Shots: Vancouver 5 – RSL 13
Shots on Goal: Vancouver 2 – RSL 4
Saves: Vancouver 4 – RSL 1
Fouls: Vancouver 18 – RSL 19
Offsides: Vancouver 4 – RSL 0
Corners: Vancouver 1 – RSL 6
13’ – RSL – Jordan Allen
25’ – VAN – Andrew Jacobson
28’ – RSL – Tony Beltran
54’ – VAN – Kendall Waston
59’ – RSL – Luke Mulholland
74’ – RSL – Olmes Garcia
89’ – VAN – Marcel de Jong
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
1.David Ousted ©; 6.Jordan Smith, 4.Kendall Waston, 26.Tim Parker, 2.Jordan Harvey; 17.Andrew Jacobson, 15.Matías Laba; 7.Christian Bolaños, 11.Nicolás Mezquida (77.Pedro Morales 76’), 13.Cristian Techera (33.Marcel de Jong 66’); 9.Masato Kudo (19.Erik Hurtado 71’)
Substitutes not used
70.Paolo Tornaghi, 8.Fraser Aird, 14.Cole Seiler, 30.Ben McKendry
Real Salt Lake
24.Jeff Attinella; 2.Aaron Maund ©, 15.Justen Glad, 21.Aaron Maund, 16.Chris Wingert (6.Boyd Okwuonu 88’); 12.Omar Holness, 18.Luke Mulholland (11.Javier Morales 65’), 27.John Stertzer; 80.Olmes Garcia, 14.Yura Movsisyan, 70.Jordan Allen (7.Juan Manuel Martinez 65’)
Substitutes not used
18.Nick Rimando, 3.Phauel Kavita
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