Shots count for nothing in football, only goals. A fact we all know and Vancouver Whitecaps had this reiterated the hard way on Saturday night in their 2-1 top of the table loss to Rochester Rhinos.
The Caps outshot their NY opponents 23 to 4. Yes, you read that correctly! Their downfall coming in the shape of Rhinos keeper Scott Vallow who played a blinder and pulled off a number of spectacular saves to keep the Caps strikeforce at bay.
Add to this a shocking missed penalty by the equally shocking Ansu Toure and you have the night in a nutshell.
It was another off key and at times lacklustre display by Vancouver. There were moments in the second half where, despite being two goals down, the players showed no urgency and were just knocking the ball about as if they were out on a Sunday afternoon stroll a day early.
This is what you would expect from a Rochester side who had lost a game in Portland two days earlier, not the rested Caps. The Rhinos though just had to go through the motions and do just enough to take home the three points.
There are still a number of Vancouver players who are either underperforming or who clearly don’t have what it takes to make it at this level. The next few weeks will be very telling in this regard.
It was a little lacklustre off the pitch too. I just wasn’t in the mood for the game tonight. I put that partly down to the fact that I still feel the League campaign is just foreplay for the real thing in September and October and also the fact that I’m not a fan of 7pm kick offs. A nice Saturday afternoon kick off would do just nice. Not going to happen of course, but maybe some time.
Vancouver are facing two must win games in the Canadian Championship if they are to keep their Champions League aspirations alive.
Going on this display, if the teams don’t find their finishing touch soon, then they won’t be packing flip flops and sunglasses this winter.