CINCINNATI, OH – Late thrillers, as Inbeom Hwang scored a bomb from distance in the dying minutes of the first half and Felipe Martins found the back of the net in the late stages of the match to give Whitecaps FC a come-from-behind win against FC Cincinnati at Nippert Stadium on Saturday evening.
For the second consecutive match, head coach Marc Dos Santos deployed the team in a 4-3-2-1 along with two changes to the starting XI from last week at Minnesota United FC as Érik Godoy and Joaquin Ardaiz replace Doneil Henry (back contusion – day-to-day) and Yordy Reyna (ankle – day-to-day).
It was a strong start for FC Cincinnati, who came into the match looking to break their three-match losing skid. Just six minutes in, it was former Whitecaps FC forward Darren Mattocks who was able to head down a cross to Allan Cruz, who finished a close-quarters chance to open the scoring.
After a surging start by the home side, the ‘Caps seemed to settle in with a number of chances; however, none were better than the free kick opportunity in the 41st minute.
After winning a foul in the middle of the park, Fredy Montero delivered a ball into the box that found the head of former ‘Caps defender Kendall Waston, who cleared the ball out of the immediate danger, but it was Hwang who pounced on the loose ball and fired an absolute rocket into the low corner of the Cincinnati net to tie the game going into halftime.
To begin the second half, it was FC Cincinnati pressing early and nearly took the lead as Cruz forced 'Caps keeper Maxime Crépeau to make an incredible reflex save.
After a couple chances by the home side, Vancouver defender Ali Adnan sparked the ‘Caps with one of his signature runs at goal, drawing a free kick opportunity just outside the box, that Montero sailed just over the net.
Following the free kick attempt, in the 66th minute it was Adnan again driving play. After his attempted pass to Montero was intercepted, the ball fell back to Adnan who blasted one off his left-foot but an incredible save by Cincinnati keeper Przemyslaw Tyton would keep the game tied at one.
With the two sides trading chances in the second half, it seemed like it was only a matter of time until one team would find the net, and in the 84th minute, it would be the ‘Caps that would finally break through to find the glory.
On a great play by 'Caps midfielder Russell Teibert, the Canadian international chased down a ball from Adnan at the touch line and played a cutback to an open Felipe Martins, who would find the back of the net for his first goal of the season, which would prove to be the game-winner.
Whitecaps FC now turn their sights towards Saturday, August 10 when they pay a visit to their Cascadia rivals, Portland Timbers. Whitecaps FC sit tied for first place alongside Seattle Sounders, with only one game remaining in Cascadia Cup competition left for the ‘Caps. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. PT, on TSN and TSN 1040.
WFC Man of the Match: Inbeom Hwang
Referee: Rosendo Mendoza
6’ – CIN – Allan Cruz (Darren Mattocks, Mathieu Deplagne)
41’ – VAN – Inbeom Hwang
84’ – VAN – Felipe Martins (Russell Teibert, Ali Adnan)
Possession: CIN 58.5% – VAN 41.5%
Shots: CIN 20 – VAN 11
Shots on Goal: CIN 3 – VAN 5
Saves: CIN 3 – VAN 2
Fouls: CIN 9 – VAN 12
Offsides: CIN 3 – VAN 0
Corners: CIN 5 – VAN 4
90’+2 – CIN – Leonardo Bertone
22.Przemyslaw Tyton; 32.Justin Hoyte, 23.Maikel van der Werff, 2.Kendall Waston, 17.Mathieu Deplagne; 15.Allan Cruz (24.Frankie Amaya 68’), 33.Caleb Stanko (6.Leonardo Bertone 63’), 45.Emmanuel Ledesma (31.Kekuta Manneh 72’), 8.Victor Ulloa, 7.Roland Lamah; 11.Darren Mattocks
Substitutes not used
13.Jimmy Hague, 14.Nick Hagglund, 81.Rashawn Dally, 92.Alvas Powell
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
16.Maxime Crépeau; 28.Jake Nerwinski, 22.Érik Godoy, 13.Derek Cornelius, 53.Ali Adnan; 8.Felipe Martins (15.Andy Rose 86’), 4.Inbeom Hwang, 31.Russell Teibert; 50.Theo Bair (23.Scott Sutter 75’), 12.Fredy Montero ©; 9.Joaquin Ardaiz (46.Brett Levis 67’)
Substitutes not used
18.Zac MacMath, 6.Jon Erice, 55.Michael Baldisimo, 94.Victor “PC” Giro