VANCOUVER, BC – Toronto FC scored twice in the span of five minutes late in the second half en route to a 2-0 win over 10-men Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday afternoon at BC Place.
Victor Vazquez and Jozy Altidore provided the scoring for Toronto FC in the 76th and 80th minutes after Brek Shea was sent off just a few minutes prior. As Carl Robinson said after the match, Shea’s sending off was the “turning point” in the game.
Unfortunately for the home crowd of 20,438, it went in the direction of the visitors.
Robinson made three changes to his lineup after Tuesday night’s Champions League affair in Mexico. In midfield, Russell Teibert and Nicolas Mezquida replaced Andrew Jacobson and Marcel de Jong. But most notably, goalkeeper Spencer Richey got the nod in place of the suspended David Ousted (red card) to make his Major League Soccer debut.
Richey wasn’t really tested in the first half against a Toronto FC side that was missing striker Sebastian Giovinco (leg contusion) – Vancouver’s centre back pairing of Kendall Waston and Tim Parker managed to clear anything that came into the area. And neither was Reds keeper Alex Bono. It was a cagey opening 45 minutes with little space either way.
Both sides did have shouts for penalties, but neither were called. Toronto’s best chance came off a Michael Bradley free kick that Nick Hagglund headed wide at the back post, while Whitecaps FC striker Fredy Montero came close on a blocked Bono clearance that nearly deflected into the goal.
Robinson subbed on Christian Bolaños at halftime – and the complexion of the match changed entirely. The Costa Rican midfielder immediately injected some creativity into Vancouver’s attack, as the ‘Caps began to threaten.
But then, after Richey made a diving right-palm save on a curling Justin Morrow strike, the game changed again when Whitecaps FC winger Shea was shown a straight red card for "foul and abusive language" to the referee after he was given a yellow card for a foul on Hagglund.
Toronto opened the scoring in the 76th minute through Vazquez, who finished with a header from the edge of the six after Altidore knocked down a Raheem Edwards cross. And then, four minutes later, Altidore doubled Toronto’s advantage with a nice little turn and finish inside the box.
As is often the case with these Canadian rivals, things got heated towards the end of the game with some feisty play in midfield between the likes of Bradley and Matias Laba.
In the end, the two goals against were too much for the 10-men 'Caps to overcome.
Whitecaps FC return to action on Saturday, April 1 vs. LA Galaxy following a weekend off for the FIFA international window. They will then look to overturn a two-goal deficit on April 5 vs. reigning Mexican champions Tigres UANL in the decisive second leg of the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals. 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 $300 for a running total of $500.
Budweiser Man of the Match: Tim Parker
Referee: Ismail Elfath
76’ – TOR – Victor Vazquez (Jozy Altidore, Raheem Edwards)
80’ – TOR – Jozy Altidore (Jonathan Osorio)
Possession: Vancouver 42.1 % – Toronto 57.9 %
Shots: Vancouver 8 – Toronto 10
Shots on Goal: Vancouver 1 – Toronto 3
Saves: Vancouver 1 – Toronto 1
Fouls: Vancouver 11 – Toronto 14
Offsides: Vancouver 6 – Toronto 1
Corners: Vancouver 3 – Toronto 7
70’ – VAN – Brek Shea
87’ – TOR – Michael Bradley
70’ – VAN – Brek Shea
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
18.Spencer Richey; 25.Sheanon Williams, 4.Kendall Waston ©, 26.Tim Parker, 2.Jordan Harvey; 15.Matías Laba, 31.Russell Teibert; 67.Alphonso Davies (7.Christian Bolaños HT), 11.Nicolás Mezquida (23.Kekuta Manneh 74’), 20.Brek Shea; 12.Fredy Montero (19.Erik Hurtado 74’)
Substitutes not used
70.Paolo Tornaghi, 8.Andrew Jacobson, 13.Cristian Techera, 17.Marcel de Jong
25.Alex Bono; 15.Eriq Zavaleta, 3.Drew Moor, 6.Nick Hagglund (44.Raheem Edwards 75’); 23.Steven Beitashour, 31.Armando Cooper (7.Victor Vasquez 64’), 4.Michael Bradley ©, 21.Jonathan Osorio, 2.Justin Morrow; 10.Tosaint Ricketts (23.Chris Mavinga 81’), 17.Jozy Altidore
Substitutes not used
1.Clint Irwin, 14.Jay Chapman, 18.Marco Delgado, 22.Jordan Hamilton