VANCOUVER: Star duo Carlos Vela and Diego Rossi sparked Los Angeles Football Club (3W-2L-0D) to a 2-0 victory over Vancouver Whitecaps FC (3W-3L-1D) on Friday evening, snapping the ‘Caps home undefeated streak at BC Place at 11 matches.
Vela and Rossi each scored in the second half, solving a ‘Caps defence that previously had not allowed a goal at home for 159 minutes, a shutout span that began in their March 4 season opener.
Whitecaps FC, who were without star forward Kei Kamara due to injury, suffered consecutive losses for the first time in 40 matches, dating back to March 2017.
Despite the result, the ‘Caps maintain their top-two ranking in the conference, with a date against West leader Sporting Kansas City looming next Friday evening at Children’s Mercy Park. Kickoff is at 6 p.m. PT live on TSN2 and TSN Radio 1040.
The first half was a scoreless stalemate, despite the two sides combining for 13 shots in the opening frame.
Alphonso Davies, who entered the match with a league-high 30 dribbles completed, continued his strong form with nifty forays both along the flank and up the middle for the ‘Caps. On the other end, Kendall Waston, making his 100th MLS start, formed a rock in the middle along with José Aja to snuff out LAFC chances early. Stefan Marinovic was steady in net to begin the match as well, punching out a 39th minute attempt from Mark-Anthony Kaye.
LAFC broke the deadlock just before the hour-mark with Vela’s superb effort. Upon receiving a feed from Marco Ureña along the right side of the box, the Mexican international curved in a wonder goal into the top left corner of the ‘Caps net.
Vela’s partner on the opposite wing provided the insurance goal in the 70th minute. Rossi pounced on a rebound off an initially blocked shot that the ‘Caps could not control and clear out of danger. The Uruguayan Designated Player’s short putback snuck through traffic and rolled into the Vancouver net to double the LAFC advantage to 2-0.
The ‘Caps did not go down without a fight as the match drew to a chippy end. Substitute Nicolás Mezquida forced LAFC goalkeeper Tyler Miller to make a save in added time, but the visitors held on for the win.
After the ‘Caps road trip to Kansas City next week, they return home on Friday, April 27 to host Real Salt Lake at BC Place. Visit whitecapsfc.com for ticket information.
ADDITIONAL NOTES: The teams observed a moment of silence pre-match to remember those lost in the recent tragedy involving the Humboldt Broncos. Players wore armbands honouring all those affected by the tragedy… LAFC defender Jordan Harvey, the ‘Caps all-time leader in MLS appearances, was presented with a gift from the club, and was given an ovation when he was subbed out of the match… Felipe made his 200th MLS regular season appearance and Cristian Techera made his 100th appearance in a WFC uniform, across all competitions.
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 for a running total of $1,300.
Budweiser Man of the Match: José Aja
Referee: Robert Sibiga
59′ – LFC – Carlos Vela (Marco Ureña)
70′ – LFC – Diego Rossi (Marco Ureña)
Possession: VAN 48.7% – LFC 51.3%
Shots: VAN 8 – LFC 16
Shots on Goal: VAN 3 – LFC 3
Saves: VAN 1 – LFC 3
Fouls: VAN 10 – LFC 10
Offsides: VAN 4 – LFC 1
Corners: VAN 3 – LFC 6
62′ – VAN – Jake Nerwinski
78′ – LFC – Mark-Anthony Kaye
89′ – VAN – Cristian Techera
90’+1′ – LFC – Carlos Vela
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
1.Stefan Marinovic; 28.Jake Nerwinski, 4.Kendall Waston ©, 18.José Aja, 17.Marcel de Jong (20.Brek Shea 71′); 31.Russell Teibert (29.Yordy Reyna 65′); 13.Cristian Techera, 6.Efrain Juárez, 8.Felipe, 67.Alphonso Davies; 19.Erik Hurtado (11.Nicolás Mezquida 78′)
Substitutes not used
12.Brian Rowe, 7.Bernie Ibini, 22.Aaron Maund, 66.Aly Ghazal
Los Angeles Football Club
1.Tyler Miller; 5.Dejan Jaković, 23.Laurent Ciman ©, 25.Walker Zimmerman; 3.Steven Beitashour, 33.Benny Feilhaber, 14.Mark-Anthony Kaye, 2.Jordan Harvey (20.Eduard Atuesta 86′); 9.Diego Rossi (7.Latif Blessing 75′), 21.Marco Ureña (4.Omar Gaber 81′), 10.Carlos Vela
Substitutes not used
24.Charlie Lyon, 11.Aaron Kovar, 27.Tristan Blackmon, 50.Rodrigo Pacheco