VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC opened the 2018 MLS season with a thunderous bang on Sunday afternoon, as newcomer Kei Kamara and teenage phenom Alphonso Davies dazzled and scored in their 2-1 victory over rivals Montreal Impact in front of a record crowd at BC Place.
It was Davies’ first MLS regular season goal, while Kamara is now just one short of 100 in his accomplished MLS career. The milestones were set in front of 27,837 fans, setting a new attendance record for a Whitecaps FC MLS regular season home match. It was also the largest crowd to attend a ‘Caps home opener since the club’s inception in 1974.
After a first half that saw each team sizing each other up, the ‘Caps broke the match open just after the hour-mark.
Russell Teibert, who was tenacious in the midfield all afternoon, engaged the Vancouver attack when he spotted Davies on the left wing. The 17-year old then sent a terrific delivery into the middle, where Kamara headed the ball inside the near post with pace to put Whitecaps FC ahead, 1-0.
Just seven minutes later, it was another ‘Caps newcomer doing some damage, when Mexican international Efrain Juárez launched a through ball along the right flank to a speeding Cristian Techera on the counterattack. Davies filled the lane in the middle, and pounded a left-footed shot into the net to double the advantage, despite Impact goalkeeper Evan Bush’s efforts to keep the ball out.
Montreal drew one back in the 81st minute, with Victor Cabrera displaying some nifty footwork just outside the left of box, then crossing the ball to forward Matteo Mancosu for the header to cut the lead in half.
It would not be enough however, as the ‘Caps put together a complete team effort for the 2-1 victory. The ‘Caps received contributions across the board, as five different players registered in the scoresheet. Four new acquisitions made their debut in the Blue and White, with Felipe and Anthony Blondell subbing on, to join Kamara and Juarez.
Whitecaps FC now head out to Texas for their first road trip of the season, visiting Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium on Saturday, March 10. Kickoff is at 3 p.m. PT live on TSN1/4. They are back home on Saturday, March 24 when they host LA Galaxy at BC Place. Visit whitecapsfc.com for ticket information.
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 to start the season.
Budweiser Man of the Match: Kei Kamara
Referee: Drew Fischer
63’ – VAN – Kei Kamara (Alphonso Davies, Russell Teibert)
70’ – VAN – Alphonso Davies (Cristian Techera, Efrain Juárez)
81’ – MTL – Matteo Mancosu (Daniel Lovitz, Ignacio Piatti)
Possession: Vancouver 49.6% – Montreal 50.4%
Shots: Vancouver 11 – Montreal 8
Shots on Goal: Vancouver 4 – Montreal 1
Saves: Vancouver 0 – Montreal 2
Fouls: Vancouver 13 – Montreal 15
Offsides: Vancouver 5 – Montreal 1
Corners: Vancouver 3 – Montreal 4
11’ – VAN – Efrain Juárez
32’ – MTL – Víctor Cabrera
37’ – VAN – Kendall Waston
90’+2’ – MTL – Matteo Mancosu
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
1.Stefan Marinović; 28.Jake Nerwinski, 4.Kendall Waston ©, 22.Aaron Maund, 17.Marcel de Jong; 31.Russell Teibert; 13.Cristian Techera, 29.Yordy Reyna (8.Felipe 75’), 6.Efrain Juárez, 67.Alphonso Davies (20.Brek Shea 81’); 23.Kei Kamara (9.Anthony Blondell 89’)
Substitutes not used
12.Brian Rowe, 7.Bernie Ibini, 11.Nicolás Mezquida, 18.José Aja
1.Evan Bush; 24.Michael Petrasso, 2.Víctor Cabrera, 22.Jukka Raitala (17.David Choinière 78’), 3.Daniel Lovitz; 6.Samuel Piette; 14.Raheem Edwards (16.Jeisson Vargas ’70), 13.Ken Krolicki, 8.Saphir Taïder, 10.Ignacio Piatti ©; 21.Matteo Mancosu
Substitutes not used
41.James Pantemis, 7.Dominic Oduro, 18.Chris Duvall, 28.Shamit Shome, 33.Marco Donadel