So this is what it feels like, when
doves cry the Whitecaps score. We were starting to forget.
An own goal, a Jordan Harvey strike from a corner, a nice finish from Kekuta Manneh and a phenomenal goalkeeping display from David Ousted secured Vancouver’s first win, and goals, in four matches.
3-0 over the MLS leaders ain’t too shabby, but I’m not sure how many people will actually have left the match with a feeling that the ‘Caps goalscoring issues are over.
Still, baby steps, and in the words of Carl Robinson, we’ll take the three points and move on.
Here’s our match report and full postgame reaction from both locker rooms.
REPORT (by Steve Pandher):
The Whitecaps ended their three game winless and 372 minute goalless streaks with a 3-0 victory over league leading FC Dallas. After a Maynor Figueroa own goal gave Vancouver the lead in the first half, the ‘Caps got goals from Jordan Harvey and Kekuta Manneh, the latter being their first that a Whitecaps players has scored from open play this season.
However it was a different story to start the match, with the visitors controlling the majority of play and chances, either missing them by the slightest of margins or being robbed by the outstanding play of David Ousted who earned the cleansheet with another ‘man of the match’ performance.
Five minutes after Ousted’s first big save of the night, a stunning acrobatic tip over of a looping Maxi Urruti effort, the Whitecaps got on the board when Manneh sent in the ball from the left side of the box which Chris Seitz punched out. (Un)fortunately it was sent right into the path of a retreating Figueroa who had the ball come off his chest into the net giving the ‘Caps the lead into the half.
Minutes after the restart, Dallas came close to drawing even but Ousted came up huge with a reflex save from a shot by Michael Barrios from just inside the six yard area.
After another big stop by Ousted after the hour mark, the home side doubled their lead in the 63rd minute when Jordan Harvey collected the ball from a corner and fired it past defenders and the keeper to get his second of the season.
Vancouver would put the match to bed 15 minutes later when Manneh would be sent in alone by second half sub Blas Perez’s first touch of the match. The winger beat the charging Seitz to the ball and slipped it past him for his first of the season.
The Whitecaps will have little time to savour the victory as they return to B.C Place on Wednesday to face Sporting Kansas City, but it will do wonders for their confidence and self belief moving forward in a stretch of four home matches in a five game spell.
FINAL SCORE: Vancouver Whitecaps 3 – 0 FC Dallas
ATT: 22,120 (sell out)
VANCOUVER: David Ousted; Fraser Aird, Kendall Waston, Tim Parker, Jordan Harvey; Matias Laba, Andrew Jacobson, Cristian Techera (Christian Bolanos 80), Nicolas Mezquida (Russell Teibert 88), Kekuta Manneh; Octavio Rivero (Blas Perez 77) [Subs Not Used: Paolo Tornaghi, Sam Adekugbe, Pa-Modou Kah, Masato Kudo]
DALLAS: Chris Seitz; Atiba Harris, Zach Loyd, Walker Zimmerman, Maynor Figueroa; Michael Barrios (Kellyn Acosta 74), Victor Ulloa (Mauro Díaz 71), Carlos Gruezo, Fabian Castillo; Maximiliano Urruti, Tesho Akindele [Subs Not Used: Jesse Gonzalez, Ryan Hollingshead, Juan Esteban Ortiz, Carlos Lizarazo, Mauro Rosales]
On tonight’s match:
“We scored one goal from open play today, so I’m delighted. We win a game of football. I say this and don’t make a big thing of it. It’s about winning games and I know that, I understand that. We won the game today with a little bit of luck, which we haven’t had in one or two weeks. A good set piece goal and then a fantastic Blas Perez touch and Kekuta Manneh on the run. It’s nice, we’ll take it, but we’ll move on. It’s three points, we’ll move on, we’ve got a big game on Wednesday.”
On the team’s improvement:
“It doesn’t help and make it easier, when you’re not scoring as many goals as you’d like, but you go through ruts, as a group of players, as a club. Sometimes it goes against you and doesn’t go your way, but you focus on performance. We did that last week. We were well below our standard at DC United and I was the first to admit that and take responsibility for that. Last week, we were a lot better. I think we should have gotten something out of the game and we didn’t. Again, no excuses. Today, we rode our luck a little bit, but they’re a good team. They’ve got good players, but today we showed that we are.”
On David Ousted’s crucial performance:
“You know, I think his job is to keep the ball out of the net. So, he did what he’s paid for. He did his job very well today. As did Kendall [Waston] and Tim [Parker], and the two fullbacks. We’re playing against three or four top players in the league today. But, the one save is phenomenal. I’ll let him talk about it because I’m sure he’ll be up here or whatever. So, excellent save, but he did his job, which is good.”
On the difference for Kekuta Manneh and Cristian Techera tonight:
“A little bit of confidence, I think we’re getting up to the levels that we know we can play. They both probably should have scored at certain times. Kekuta gets his goal. Cristian, if the dink goes in, the little lob, then everyone is raving about it. You know, we haven’t scored as many goals as we’d like and I keep getting reminded of that. We’ve got to just keep going, the wide players, the forward players, they’ve just got to keep going and the goals will come.”
On whether he was happy that it was Kekuta Manneh who got the goal at the end:
“To be fair, I don’t really care who scores from open play. Individually, I think they all want to score, which is good. I think the two or three times that we made the wrong decisions at the wrong time, it was because they want the goal. For him, I think his confidence will grow from that in an important week for us. The other guys should be proud of their work rate as well. Cristian Techera, obviously Octavio Rivero and Nicolas Mezquida as well. I thought he put in a very, very strong performance.”
Thoughts on Matias Laba’s performance:
“Matias is a top player, we know that. I think sometimes, when he doesn’t play to the level that we used to see in him, everyone sort of jumps on the bandwagon with him. Players don’t go out there to play poorly, they go out there to give their effort and try their very best. And sometimes it’s your day, other times it isn’t. I’m happy with the group of players I have in there on a daily basis.”
On whether we saw glimpses of last season in tonight’s performance:
“Yeah, maybe. I’ll have to see it again. I’m pleased from today because Dallas are a good team. They come into our place, they’ve scored a lot of goals. I kept getting reminded of that this week that they are the highest scoring team and deservedly so. I’m pleased that we kept a clean sheet and that’s why I said I’ll take one goal and a clean sheet. Houston came into town a couple of weeks ago, when we were missing a couple players and we kept them quiet as well. So we can do it, we just got to do it more consistently than we have in the first seven or eight games.”
On whether we should expect to see Pedro Morales soon:
“I think there’s a good chance, yeah. Pedro wanted to play today. I thought the guys who played in Salt Lake played very, very well, without any luck. So there is a chance, yeah. Obviously, there will be some new faces on the team on Wednesday. We have a busy week ahead of us. It’ll give us confidence, the three points, but we’ll just chalk it down and move on to the next one. Hopefully, you, we, me will get to see him on Wednesday.”
On the importance of tonight’s win:
“We had a few bad results in the running and we got together and met, and we decided that we need to change things around if we want to have a good season. That happens to teams, they go through bad runs but then they turn things around. We felt like this was our chance, FC Dallas is a good team but they’re going to let us play and if we get chances, we’ll take them. I thought we did that today and this is very exciting, we needed that win.”
On the attack breaking through tonight:
“For us, we just kept believing. We were creating chances, and if we were not creating chances, we’d be worried but we created a lot, it felt like. The week before that, we knew that it was just going to be a matter of time before we start putting them away. It finally happened today, I’m really excited, and hopefully we can continue that with the game on Wednesday.”
On his performance tonight:
“I thought I played well today. There were times today that I had to step up and make that save. I’m happy with my performance today.”
On how the team responded:
“I’ve said in the past few weeks that we were just going through a rough patch and that’s when the leaders of this team step up. It’s when the veterans of this team take responsibility and I think they have. You see a lot of guys step on the pitch tonight wanting to take responsibility and take the ball. The young guys wanted the ball as well, and that’s what it takes. MLS is such a long season that you’ll go through some rough patches, and that’s when the leadership steps up. We got a great locker room. We got everything we need in there to be a successful team but once in a while, it takes the leaders of this team to step up a little bit more.”
On his health status after taking a fall in the second half:
“I took a little bit of a knock but I didn’t think it was that bad. I’ll visit with the medical staff in the next couple of days but I know I should be fine.”
On tonight’s match:
“Disappointed. It was one of those nights where we have what we wanted, we created chances. I thought the team looked good, but we were not fine in the last third. We didn’t finalize it in the first half. One of our mistakes and they took it – I would say that in that play that was an accident when the ball hit and it went in. But that’s the game, we have to accept it – it has happened to us before when we don’t create as many options and we’re sharp and effective. Tonight, Vancouver was very effective and I have to recognize that. Especially in the last 15 minutes of the first half when they scored and in the last 15 minutes of the second half when there was the space and they just started taking advantage of that.”
On not playing Mauro Rosales in his return to Vancouver:
“I considered all those emotional parts of the game, but at the time of the game we have to see just what the unit is that is needed and Mauro is a very important player that we have used and we will use for sure. I think tonight I decided just to keep him there.”
On putting Mauro Diaz in after missing four games:
“I’m glad to see him finally in the game. Still, we get shortened days of training for him so unfortunately we couldn’t play him the whole time and I wanted to keep our plan with him and have him at 100 per cent. But Mauro came and he looked very good so I’m happy to have him back on the team in full form. We look forward to seeing him in the next month.”
On missing Matt Hedges in a game like this:
“I mean it would be easy to say that after the disappointment like that defensively. It is normal in the game, when you lose that way that you start to see the pieces that are missing. But we trust in the guys that we want and unfortunately today we were not sharp, especially in the last 20 minutes.”
On what they need to work on for the next two road games:
“This group has been recognized and I have and people have seen it, that this is a group that has a lot of character. We have a group of players that will bounce back, we have proven that. So when we’re looking forward for the next games, it’s just to get points. It’s not an easy journey in this league. You see how competitive it is in this league, and especially in the conference games. We obviously want to win all the games that we compete in. But today we are going with empty pockets and next week we prepare for New York to get points there.”
On tonight’s match:
“I think our locker room is a little disappointed right now. I thought, especially in the first half, we had many chances that if we put away, the game is a little bit different. I don’t think we’re happy about the way the goals went in – a little soft and another set piece goal that we’ve conceded. Overall, pretty disappointed.”
On their defensive performance:
“They got a few chances, but at the same time I think we definitely put our mark on the game with our chances. I think if one of them went in, like I said, it makes it a little different. Not thrilled with the goals we gave up. I feel like we kind of beat ourselves, but that’s the game sometimes.”
On not maximizing on chances:
“Credit to Ousted, he had a good night, saved some point blank shots. We had some that just narrowly missed. So we’ll get back to the drawing board. I mean we’re not too concerned – we feel pretty good about the performance we put in.”
On tonight’s match:
“We’re leaving with a sour taste. We feel like especially in the first half we created a lot of chances and we just need to be able to tuck them away.”
On not finding the back of the net:
“I think their keeper made some great saves. We were just unlucky tonight not to be able to put a few away. One miss happened on defence and it cost us a goal – the own goal.”
On their defence:
“I think in the first half that goal was just unlucky. In the second half, we lost a bit of the organization in the back and in the midfield and it cost us two more mistakes and two more goals.”