PORTLAND, OR – Vancouver Whitecaps FC claimed a crucial win over Los Angeles Football Club 2-1 in a dominant performance over the current Supporters’ Shield holders Wednesday evening at Providence Park.
With their second consecutive win, the 'Caps vault up to eighth place in the Western Conference and above the playoff line, as the club's confidence and momentum continue to grow.
The 'Caps have now won two of their three home matches at Providence Park, with their only defeat coming against Portland Timbers who were playing as the visiting side on that occasion. Four of the five matches remaining on the 'Caps regular season schedule will be at Providence Park.
Whitecaps FC did not hesitate to start the match fast as the squad pressured LAFC early and often, spending a decent amount of time in the visitors’ half.
Coupling spot-on passing and confident play with a high-pressing attack and constant pressure allowed the 'Caps to breakthrough in the 30th minute.
Starting with a long ball from Janio Bikel to Cristian Dájome down the right side of the pitch, the Colombian was able to take a nifty touch back to find fellow countryman Fredy Montero near the middle of the pitch. After taking possession, Montero sent a perfect through ball into the box to find a streaking Dájome once more where he was able to draw Pablo Sisniega out of goal just enough to send a ball in front of the empty net where Lucas Cavallini tapped in the game's first goal.
While the first half ended 1-0 in favour of the pressing 'Caps, the second half began with more urgency from LAFC. However, a critical second Vancouver goal came again from Cavallini in a similar fashion to the Canadian’s first score. With the ball at his feet on the right of the pitch once more, Dájome found Montero at the edge of the box who was able to cross a lofted ball into the centre to find Cavallini. The striker adjusted his body to drill in an acrobatic goal to elevate the 'Caps lead to 2-0. Cavallini’s goal gave the forward his first brace with Vancouver, and increased his scoring total to five for the season.
While LAFC were able to pull one back the 82nd minute via Eduard Atuesta's penalty kick, their only shot on target, the 'Caps defence was able to get the job done to secure the victory.
Up next for Whitecaps FC is a visit to Southern California when they face LA Galaxy on Sunday. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. PT live on TSN1/4 and TSN Radio 1040. The 'Caps will be without midfielder Janio Bikel, who will have to serve a suspension due to yellow card accumulation.
VWFC Man of the Match: Lucas Cavallini
Referee: Tori Penso
30' – VAN – Lucas Cavallini (Cristian Dájome, Fredy Montero)
59' – VAN – Lucas Cavallini (Fredy Montero, Cristian Dájome)
83' – LAFC – Eduard Atuesta (penalty kick)
Possession: VAN 40.4% – LAFC 59.6%
Shots: VAN 13 – LAFC 12
Shots on Goal: VAN 4 – LAFC 1
Saves: VAN 0 – LAFC 2
Fouls: VAN 17 – LAFC 11
Offsides: VAN 2 – LAFC 2
Corners: VAN 3 – LAFC 4
49' – LAFC – Eddie Segura
83' – VAN – Evan Bush
89' – VAN – Janio Bikel
90'+3' – LAFC – Erik Dueñas
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
30.Evan Bush; 28.Jake Nerwinski, 4.Ranko Veselinović, 22.Érik Godoy, 53.Ali Adnan; 11.Cristian Dájome (55.Michael Baldisimo 88'), 19.Janio Bikel, 17.Leonard Owusu, 31.Russell Teibert © (27.Ryan Raposo 75'); 12.Fredy Montero (87.Tosaint Ricketts 75'), 9. Lucas Cavallini
Substitutes not used
1.Bryan Meredith, 7.David Milinković, 13.Derek Cornelius, 14.Theo Bair, 15.Andy Rose, 32.Patrick Metcalfe
Los Angeles Football Club
23.Pablo Sisniega; 13.Mohamed El-Munir, 5.Dejan Jakovic (18.Erik Dueñas 71'), 4.Eddie Segura, 2.Jordan Harvey; 7.Latif Blessing, 20.Eduard Atuesta ©, 8.Francisco Ginella (19.Bryce Duke 78'); 21.Christian Torres (26.Adrien Pérez HT) , 66.Bradley Wright-Phillips (22.Kwadwo Opoku 71'), 16.Danny Muskovski
Substitutes not used
1.Kenneth Vermeer, 3.Mohamed Traore, 15.Alejandro Guido, 28.Antonio Leone