BRIDGEVIEW, Illinois: Vancouver Whitecaps FC (1W-1L-0D) have their first win of 2015.
After falling to Toronto FC in their season opener, Whitecaps FC bounced back with a 1-0 road win over Chicago Fire (0W-2L-0D) Saturday afternoon at Toyota Park.
Budweiser Man of the Match Octavio Rivero scored the game’s only goal in the 86th minute, his second in as many games, to lead the ‘Caps to their first-ever win in Chicago. Rivero’s goal was Vancouver’s first at Toyota Park – they had been held off the scoresheet in three previous visits.
Goalkeeper David Ousted also came up big in the win, making four saves to earn the clean sheet.
Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson made one change to his starting lineup after last weekend’s season-opening defeat. Sam Adekugbe, a 20-year-old Canadian who came through the club’s Residency program, replaced Jordan Harvey at left back to make his third professional start.
There were some concerns about the weather heading into Saturday’s match, which was Chicago’s home opener, but it turned out being a beautiful afternoon for soccer.
And the visiting ‘Caps got off to a bright start, controlling possession and creating from the counter. Once again,Kekuta Manneh looked particularly dangerous, though Rivero and Pedro Morales were also very involved. In fact, Morales had Vancouver’s best two chances of the half.
In the 10th minute, the Chilean sent his left-footed effort over the goal from the centre of the box after a nice combination with Manneh. And just before half, Morales got in behind after receiving a perfect Rivero throughball but curled his attempt inches wide.
To their credit, Chicago responded well after a slow start. Striker Quincy Amarikwa caused all sorts of problems on the counter and the Fire forced Ousted into making three big saves before the break – all from dangerous positions inside the area.
Despite quality chances at both ends, the halftime whistle sounded with matters scoreless – but not before Mauro Rosales left the match with a right ankle sprain. The 34-year-old Argentine, who took a hard tackle from Lovel Palmer, was replaced by Nicolas Mezquida.
And the Uruguayan, making his first appearance of the season, nearly broke the deadlock just after the hour-mark. After receiving a lovely throughball from Manneh, Mezquida took a touch inside the box and went for goal but Jon Busch made a diving save to keep things level.
Mezquida came close again in the 71st minute. This time, he broke into the box after some fantastic build-up only to get disrupted just enough for Busch to cut down the angle.
Minutes later, Mezquida played a throughball to Rivero, who got in behind but was also forced into a rushed attempt.
It was all Vancouver in the second half and they were rewarded in the 86th minute when Rivero scored the eventual winner. The Young Designated Player finished off a heads-up pass from Steven Beitashour, who showed great poise to find Rivero at the penalty spot after a cleared Morales cross.
Rivero’s late winner capped off a positive road performance from the Blue and White, who outshot the Fire by an 18-13 margin.
The’Caps will return east next Saturday for a meeting with expansion side Orlando City SC. Kickoff is set for 4:30 p.m. PT at the Citrus Bowl (TSN1 and TSN 1410 radio).
Budweiser Man of the Match: Octavio Rivero
Referee: Fotis Bazakos
86′ – VAN – Octavio Rivero (Steven Beitashour)
Shots: Chicago 13 – Vancouver 18
Shots on Goal: Chicago 4 – Vancouver 6
Saves: Chicago 5 – Vancouver 4
Fouls: Chicago 11 – Vancouver 24
Offsides: Chicago 0 – Vancouver 3
Corners: Chicago 5 – Vancouver 2
4′ – CHI – Matt Polster
22′ – VAN – Kendall Waston
66′ – VAN – Pedro Morales
76′ – VAN – Nicolas Mezquida
82′ – VAN – Octavio Rivero
90′ + 6′ – CHI – Kennedy Igboananike
18.Jon Busch; 6.Eric Gehrig, 20.Jeff Larentowicz, 4.Adailton, 5.Lovel Palmer; 2.Matt Polster (77.Kennedy Igboananike 59′); 26.Michael Stephens (7.Alex82′), 10.Shaun Maloney, 19.Harry Shipp, 3.Joevin Jones; 24.Quincy Amarikwa (23.Guly 76′)
Substitutes not used
1.Alec Kann, 8.Matt Watson, 16.Greg Cochrane, 21.Chris Ritter
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
1.David Ousted; 33.Steven Beitashour, 4.Kendall Waston, 44.Pa-Modou Kah, 3.Sam Adekugbe; 15.Matías Laba, 31.Russell Teibert; 7.Mauro Rosales (9.Nicolas Mezquida 45′ + 2′), 77.Pedro Morales (28.Gershon Koffie 88′), 23.Kekuta Manneh (11.Darren Mattocks 82′); 29.Octavio Rivero
Substitutes not used
70.Paolo Tornaghi, 2.Jordan Harvey, 18.Diego Rodríguez, 19.Erik Hurtado