FOXBOROUGH, MA – After picking up four of a possible six points to start the trip, Vancouver Whitecaps FC (9W-9L-4D) concluded their three-match road swing with a narrow 1-0 defeat to New England Revolution (8W-10L-5D) on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium.
It was an evenly-played match that ended level in possession and total shots.
The only difference?
Teal Bunbury finished one of New England’s only real chances of the match in the 53rd minute, helping the Revs improve their home record to 8W-2L-2D. And the ‘Caps couldn’t convert any of theirs, including a 70th minute free kick that Cristian Techera powered off the crossbar.
Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson made seven changes to his starting lineup for Saturday’s cross-continent trip, opting to rest a number of regulars on the tail end of this three-match trip that saw the ‘Caps travel 15,475 kilometres.
Notably, one of those changes came in goal with New Zealand international Stefan Marinovic making his Major League Soccer debut.
Marinovic looked comfortable in the opening frame, making a couple saves on strikes from distance and rushing off his line to cut off a Diego Fagundez throughball, though he wasn’t really tested beyond that thanks to some fine defending from the visitors.
Neither side managed to create much in the first 45 minutes.
The ‘Caps did threaten at times, however, thanks largely to Techera, who returned to the starting lineup after a pair of substitute appearances.
The Bug was influential in both of Vancouver’s best first-half chances, including some fine interplay with Uruguayan countrymate Nicolas Mezquida in the 37th minute that led to a headed Fredy Montero attempt just over the goal.
It was a decent road half from Robinson’s men, but it was undone shortly after the break.
New England opened the scoring in the 53rd minute through Bunbury, who finished from the top of the six-yard box after a nice diagonal ball from Kelyn Rowe.
From there, it was all Vancouver.
The ‘Caps had a number of chances to level the score, including a couple dangerous crosses from Jake Nerwinski, a heavy Mezquida strike from the top of the box, and a Techera free kick off the crossbar, but they couldn’t find an equalizer despite some relentless pressure in the late stages.
Whitecaps FC will now play six of their next seven matches at BC Place, starting next Saturday, August 19 against Houston Dynamo (7 p.m. PT – tickets still available).
NEWS AND NOTES
Matias Laba left the match in the 28th minute with a right knee injury … Alphonso Davies returned to action after missing two matches with an adductor strain and played the final 11 minutes.
Budweiser Man of the Match: Jake Nerwinski
Referee: Ismail Elfath
53’ – NE – Teal Bunbury (Kelyn Rowe)
Possession: New England 49.2% – Vancouver 50.8%
Shots: New England 12 – Vancouver 12
Shots on Goal: New England 4 – Vancouver 2
Saves: New England 2 – Vancouver 3
Fouls: New England 17 – Vancouver 10
Offsides: New England 0 – Vancouver 0
Corners: New England 8 – Vancouver 7
41’ – VAN – Andrew Jacobson
45’ + 3’ – NE – Lee Nguyen
63’ – NE – Kei Kamara
69’ – NE – Je-Vaughn Watson
New England Revolution
1.Cody Cropper; 2.Andrew Farrell, 4.Benjamin Angoua, 19.Antonio Mlinar Delamea, 15.Je-Vaughn Watson; 11.Kelyn Rowe, 5.Gershon Koffie, 24.Lee Nguyen (6.Scott Caldwell 85’), 14.Diego Fagundez (12.Xavier Kouassi 74’); 23.Kei Kamara, 10.Teal Bunbury (17.Juan Agudelo 65’)
Substitutes not used
18.Brad Knighton, 8.Chris Tierney, 16.Daigo Kobayashi, 28.London Woodberry
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
24.Stefan Marinović; 28.Jake Nerwinski, 4.Kendall Waston ©, 26.Tim Parker, 17.Marcel de Jong; 15.Matías Laba (8.Andrew Jacobson 29’), 16.Tony Tchani; 13.Cristian Techera, 11.Nicolás Mezquida (29.Yordy Reyna 64’), 20.Brek Shea (67.Alphonso Davies 79’); 12.Fredy Montero
Substitutes not used
1.David Ousted, 19.Erik Hurtado, 23.Bernie Ibini, 25.Sheanon Williams