Report and Reaction: Bug exterminates all Real hope as Vancouver Whitecaps get back to winning ways

Report and Reaction: Bug exterminates all Real hope as Vancouver Whitecaps get back to winning ways

Two goals in a three minute spell in the first half would prove to be the difference as the Whitecaps came away with a 2-0 victory over Real Salt Lake at BC Place on Wednesday evening.

The opener, in the 34th minute, was credited to Justen Glad as an own goal, but the Caps earned the goal.

Christian Bolanos sent Matias Laba towards the byeline with a deft pass, and the Argentine sent a low cross into the six yard area where Cristian Techera and Masato Kudo pressurised the RSL defence causing the ball to bounce off Glad and into the net.

Less than three minutes later Vancouver would double their lead when off a continuation of a corner. the ball made its way to Techera who rocketed a shot into the top corner to make it 2-0.

The second half saw RSL control most of the play and get a couple of chances but it was the Caps with the best chance to extend their lead when Jeff Attinella was able to stop Kudo’s shot, denying a dream comeback game for the Japanese striker.

While there were some tense moments in the end, including a stoppage time shot that cannoned off the ‘Caps bar, David Ousted earned his fourth clean sheet of the season and the team’s first in MLS since April, a span of 12 games.

With the much needed three points at home, the Whitecaps move to within a point of third placed RSL, in an ever tightening Western Conference. The ‘Caps will return to B.C. Place on Saturday to host the potentially Kakaless Orlando City FC. A further three points from another home game is a must.

FINAL SCORE: Vancouver Whitecaps 2 – 0 Real Salt Lake

ATT: 22,120 (sell out)

VANCOUVER: David Ousted; Jordan Smith, Kendall Waston, Tim Parker, Jordan Harvey; Andrew Jacobson, Matías Laba; Christian Bolaños, Nicolás Mezquida (Pedro Morales 76), Cristian Techera (Marcel de Jong 66); Masato Kudo (Erik Hurtado 71) [Substitutes not used: Paolo Tornaghi, Fraser Aird, Cole Seiler, Ben McKendry]

SALT LAKE:Jeff Attinella; Aaron Maund, Justen Glad, Aaron Maund, Chris Wingert (Boyd Okwuonu 88); Omar Holness, Luke Mulholland (Javier Morales 65), John Stertzer; Olmes Garcia, Yura Movsisyan, Jordan Allen (Juan Manuel Martinez 65) [Substitutes not used: Nick Rimando, Phauel Kavita]

VWFC-RSL-1349

REACTION:

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS

CARL ROBINSON

On if that was the killer performance they needed:

“It’s the performance that pleases me. Second half especially. We took our chances in the first half. Obviously it was an own goal. We challenged them in the second half to show resolve and don’t be soft.”

On Techera’s performance:

“The Bug that we saw last year is still here. He has been carrying a little injury in the last four, five, six weeks. That’s why he hasn’t played or started in many games. But I haven’t shouted it from the rooftops because no one needed to know. When you are carrying a little injury, you don’t play with as much confidence as you possibly can. In the last two games I think he has shown great character by scoring the penalty in the weekend. And today I thought he was excellent for the 60 minutes. So hopefully he’s getting back to where he was last year.”

On keeping a clean sheet:

“It’s nice for me and for them, because they put so much work in and sometimes it gets taken away. I analyzed the goal over the weekend about 15 times and I was gutted for them. Not for me, but for them. I was emotional when I saw the goal because when you put that amount of work and it’s taken away from you, it’s hard to take. I talk about character in this group, and we showed character and resolve. I’m pleased today because we dodged a few bullets, which we needed to do. If we were to have gotten a third goal, it would have made it a lot easier. But we didn’t need it and we kept a clean sheet and good teams keep clean sheets. We did it well last year and we haven’t done it enough this year.”

On Kudo’s return:

“His movement is excellent. I say this all the time, he is finishing in training on a daily basis. He is as good as what we’ve got in the club. I was sad for him because two minutes before I took him off he had a chance that exemplified what he is about. He made a great run and great movement and his legs gave way at the final moment before he took that shot. And that’s why he didn’t hit it as clean. I’ve seen it 99 times out of a 100 he scores that. Great to have him back. Boys and I love him to bits. I think his performance was very professional today.”

On Marcel de Jong’s debut:

“He looked tired. When you’re tired, your mind makes wrong decisions and your legs don’t go with your mind. I think he felt that today. But it was important I got him minutes and he will get more minutes this weekend and with Crystal Palace as well. We are delighted to have him on board. He came here to do a job and he did that today.”

MASATO KUDO (THROUGH INTERPRETER)

On how it felt to get back in the lineup:

“I’m very glad that I was able to get back on the field.”

On if there was any fear to play after the injury:

“Not much. I was very thankful for all the support I received and I was able to play comfortably.”

On what coach said before the game:

“After I substituted out, coach told me that since I had an opportunity to score before I came out, only if I scored there could I have played better.”

On if he was disappointed not to score on his chance:

“I was disappointed. But first of all, I was glad that I was able to get back on the field. Starting with the next game, I would like to continue to focus and as I’m expected to score, I will do my best to score.”

On if wearing a mouth guard is new after the injury:

“I didn’t wear it before, but to prevent a similar accident I have started wearing it.”

NICOLAS MEZQUIDA

Thoughts on the match:

“It was an important win tonight because we tied the last game. It was a good game because we lost two points in the last second in the last game. It was very important tonight, winning to keep our heads up and keep forward for the next game and keep our place in the playoffs.”

On Techera’s goal:

“It was nice seeing him score tonight. I’m happy for him because he made a big shot a couple of games before but nobody talked about him because he didn’t score, but he always works on defence. Tonight he had the chance to show the offence. I’m happy for him for his goal.”

On getting a clean sheet:

“It’s very important because we had a lot of scoring [against us]. It was important for the confidence for the backline and for the team. It’s important to try to keep it the same way.”

DAVID OUSTED

On getting a clean sheet and win at home:

“Very nice, I’m a very happy man today. A 2-0 win, we get a clean sheet, and we get two good goals as well. It was important for this team to show that we can both go and score the goals but we keep the clean sheet as well.”

On defensive shape:

“I thought we did well as a back four, but even more as a team. I thought we got back to what we do well and that’s having everybody work hard and do their defensive duties. I think we did well defending crosses. Yura [Movsisyan] is a big guy in there and he’s good at coming in and finding pockets in there. But we did what we were supposed to do today to make sure he didn’t score.”

On Techera’s goal:

“Unbelievable. What a strike, going almost away from goal and a left leg in the top corner, amazing goal.”

On closing out the game:

“It was important to close it out today, to get the clean sheet. I’d say it’s still a work in progress. I still feel like we can do stuff better, but today was a step in the right direction for what we need to do to keep them away from big chances throughout the 90 minutes. I thought we did well today.”

REAL SALT LAKE

JEFF CASSAR

Thoughts on the performance:

“I’m proud of our performance with this group. I thought we were really well organized, I thought we were disciplined. The last three or four games, we’ve been doing a lot of good things and then paying for our mistakes. I don’t think Jeff [Attinella], our goalkeeper, had to make a lot of saves tonight, and I thought we were pretty dangerous at times against them. But credit to Carl and his team for putting that pressure on us and capitalizing on our mistakes.”

On injuries and another game on Saturday:

“Our injuries are pretty minor, so I don’t think they’re going to be long lasting, which is positive. But obviously when you’re travelling with 16 players, that’s not ideal. But we’ll be fine. Demar should be healthy, Joao should be healthy when we return. We’ll be okay.”

On being disappointed on not getting more shots on target:

“You’re right. Obviously the final ball needs to be better at times. I think it’s again kind of going back to the last three or four games, we’re doing a lot of very good things and then the final product isn’t quite there. We’re just going to continue to put the guys in those situations, look to improve every time when we can, and I have full confidence in our players that the more we get them into those positions, they’ll come though.”

On the tight Western Conference standings and how it will look near the end:

“I think it’s going to look exact how it is right now. There’s not a weak team in the Western Conference. Three points at home are huge. Vancouver picking up three points here is big for them; you can move in the standings. That’s not something that we are really worried about right now. We need to concentrate on ourselves and making sure we’re trying to improve on the areas that we need to and the standings will take care of themselves.”

JORDAN ALLEN

Reaction to the match:

“I think it’s disappointment. I think overall the performance was okay. We came in and did a lot of the things we talked about. They had two minutes that kind of changed the game, and it made it difficult for us to come back from it.”

On having possession and shots at the start of match:

“It’s just one of those days I think. If they don’t have those two minutes maybe it’s a completely different game. Up to that point we felt really good. But goals change games and we saw that today I think.”

On quick turnaround with home game on Saturday:

“That’s the good thing about having all these games back-to-back, we don’t have a lot of time to think about it. Going back home we have a chance to make right what we failed to do today. We’ve just got to be positive for that.”

On positives with a younger group:

“It’s a younger group, but we hold ourselves to a high standard. We’re all professionals, so I don’t even really think about that. I don’t think anyone else in the locker room does either. It’s obviously great experience but we want to get results.”

JEFF ATTINELLA

On controlling the start of the match before going down 2-0:

“Obviously you make your own luck, but just a bit of unluckiness on the first one. We had it cleared, it hits Justen in the stomach which is just unlucky. On the second one, the guy hits it top corner. Just like that we’re down 2-0 when we really felt like we had the game, we were playing the way we wanted to, it was right in our hands. We’ve said moral victories a lot, but it’s time to stop that, we’ve got to start getting results. We know that, and we’ve got a big home game on Saturday so hopefully we can turn it around and get a big three points, because we need them.”

On what he saw on the second goal:

“I saw him lining up for the volley, and then it just kept going up and going to my right. I dove as hard as I could, but the ball ended up pretty close to the top corner. I mean he just hit it really well, he caught it really clean. Anywhere else and I think I’m getting a save on that, but he put it right where he needed to. He’s a good player and that’s what good players do. They got the second one and they were able to close the game out. It just has to be better from us.”

On controlling the opening of the match with a young group:

“As a group, we were happy with the way we played. The two goals were a bit unlucky, but at the end of the day we want to win, we want to get three points every time we play. At least get a result here. I don’t think anybody’s happy at the end of the day. Maybe once we look back on film and see the good things we did, it won’t feel as bad. But at the end of the day we came in here to get a result and we didn’t get it, so we’re a little bit down.”

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Steve Pandher
Authored by: Steve Pandher

AFTN Soccer Show co-host and Senior Writer

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