SAINT PAUL, MN – Vancouver Whitecaps FC suffered their first road defeat of the season, falling 1-0 to Minnesota United FC at Allianz Field on Wednesday evening.
The winner came in the form of a Ramón Ábila header in the second half, the only goal in a match that saw a total of 28 shots, including nine on target.
After some early pressure from the Loons in midfield, Deiber Caicedo took advantage of a turnover from MNUFC fullback Chase Gasper, rounded goalkeeper Tyler Miller, and brilliantly picked out ‘Caps leading goalscorer Cristian Dájome in the box but the Colombian couldn’t keep his effort below the bar.
The ‘Caps would get the next two big chances of the game in the 23rd minute as Russell Teibert whipped in two pinpoint crosses two minutes apart into Lucas Cavallini, who put his first effort narrowly wide and forced a big save out of Miller with the second.
Those two chances put the Blue and White into a really good offensive rhythm, forcing two more saves from Miller off a stinging Bruno Gaspar shot and a low Cavallini free kick. Gaspar made his first MLS start on the evening.
Despite the strong play from the ‘Caps, both sides went into the break deadlocked at 0-0.
At halftime, the ‘Caps were forced to make a change as Andy Rose came out of the match with a groin injury, with Derek Cornelius replacing him at centre back.
Right out of the gate in the 47th minute, Maxime Crepeau came up with a huge save off Minnesota playmaker Emanuel Reynoso from close range to keep the match scoreless.
In the 56th minute, it was the ‘Caps turn to try to break the deadlock as Dájome drove towards goal after being sent through by Caio Alexandre and curling a shot to the far post but Miller once again denied the ‘Caps from taking the lead.
Dájome had another great chance in the 63rd minute after some neat combination play from Alexandre, Caicedo, and Gaspar, but Miller parried the Colombian’s shot out for a corner.
The deadlock would finally be broken in the 72nd minute as Ábila headed home a Robin Lod cross for his first MLS goal to give the Loons the 1-0 lead.
‘Caps sub Jake Nerwinski had a great chance to tie the game late off another set piece but he put his volley wide of the target, as the Blue and White dropped to an even record with a 2W-2L-1D record.
Next on the ‘Caps road trip is a visit to Sporting Kansas City on Sunday, May 16 for a daytime clash at Children’s Mercy Park. Catch the game live on TSN1/4, and AM730. Kickoff is at 11 a.m. PT.
GE Appliances VWFC Player of Quality: Déiber Caicedo
Referee: Jon Freemon
72’ – MIN – Ramón Ábila (Robin Lod, Osvaldo Alonso)
Possession: MIN 54.4% – VAN 45.6%
Shots: MIN 16 – VAN 12
Shots on Goal: MIN 4 – VAN 5
Saves: MIN 5 – VAN 3
Fouls: MIN 19 – VAN 18
Offsides: MIN 1 – VAN 0
Corners: MIN 4 – VAN 7
29’ – MIN – Michael Boxall
31’ – VAN – Bruno Gaspar
58’ – VAN – Caio Alexandre
74’ – MIN – Ramón Ábila
76’ – VAN – Derek Cornelius
90’+4’ – MIN – Osvaldo Alonso
Minnesota United FC
1.Tyler Miller; 19.Romain Métanire, 15.Michael Boxall ©, 22.Jukka Raitala, 77.Chase Gasper; 20.Wil Trapp, 6.Osvaldo Alonso; 31.Hassani Dotson, 8.Jan Gregus (9.Ramón Ábila 65’), 10.Emanuel Reynoso (5.Jacori Hayes 86’); 17.Robin Lod
Substitutes not used
97.Dayne St. Clair, 13.Ethan Finlay, 14.Brent Kallman, 24.Justin McMaster, 26.D.J. Taylor, 27.Foster Langsdorf, 29.Patrick Weah
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
16.Maxime Crépeau; 6.Bruno Gaspar (28.Jake Nerwinski 73’), 4.Ranko Veselinović, 15.Andy Rose (13.Derek Cornelius HT), 3.Cristián Gutiérrez; 7.Déiber Caicedo, 19.Janio Bikel (27.Ryan Raposo 86’), 8.Caio Alexandre, 31.Russell Teibert © (17.Leonard Owusu 77’); 11.Cristian Dájome, 9.Lucas Cavallini
Substitutes not used
1.Thomas Hasal, 12.Evan Newton, 14.Theo Bair, 30.Kamron Habibullah, 55.Michael Baldisimo