Drama, heartbreak, joy and a lot more besides. That was the order of the day for Vancouver Whitecaps in their 2-1 win over Chicago Fire on Wednesday night.
If you felt a game against Chicago wasn’t going to be entertaining, then you missed out.
A brace from Blas Perez, the second of which was a spectacular last ditch bicycle kick, got Vancouver the points. Kennedy Igboananike had brought Chicago back into the game and the saves of Matt Lampson looked to have earned the Fire an unlikely point.
But it wasn’t to be and they left empty handed. Tough for them, but we can’t mourn too much.
The other big story of the night was the horror injury to ‘Caps Japanese striker Masato Kudo. We now know he’s going to be out for at least 6 to 8 weeks with a broken jaw, but the likelihood is that it will be longer. A tough one for Kudo and we send him our love and thoughts.
Phew. What a night.
AFTN photographer Tom Ewasiuk was there to capture all the action before, during and after the game and here’s his “Story In Pictures”, with a full Flickr slideshow at the end.[Also check out Tom’s website www.residualimagephotography.com for more of his photos and work].
Not so much
An interesting array of scarves are hung
And talking of which, it’s scarves up for the Southsiders
The ‘Caps started lively and in the 11th minute, Masato Kudo tries to get on the end of a through ball
But a collision with advancing Chicago ‘keeper Matt Lampson leaves him motionless and bloodied on the ground
Leaving his teammates shocked, stunned and concerned for his wellbeing
But thankfully, after a long injury, Kudo is up, alert, aware and off on a cart for further evaluation
The action resumes and Matt Lampson comes up big to deny Nicolas Meqzuida
And Nico can’t believe it
At the other end of the park, David Ousted thwarts Kennedy Igboananike
Before Lampson is at it again to keep out Cristian Techera
But Vancouver finally got the breakthrough in the 36th minute when Christian Bolanos sent a ball across goal towards Blas Perez
And the Panamanian tucks it away for his first MLS goal as a Whitecap
Sparking his famous horned celebration
Lampson is being kept busy as the ‘Caps look for more
Mr Record Breaker himself, Jordan Harvey. The game marked the most appearances by a Whitecap in the MLS era
David Ousted is called into action again as Chicago press for the equaliser
Tim Parker’s first MLS goal surely can’t be too far away. He’s getting so close every game now it feels
But in the 62nd minute, Chicago stun BC Place after some nice footwork by Igboananike sets him up for a shot from the edge of the box
Beating Ousted at his near post and nestling in the net for 1-1
But with time running out, Blas Perez launches himself at the ball with his back to goal
Producing a spectacular bicycle kick
That leaves Lampson helpless
And Perez stunned
Sparking jubilant scenes as the ‘Caps seal a 2-1 victory
And nearly cutting Perez in half with the advertising hoardings and taking out BCSoccerWeb’s Bill Currie!
If you ever wondered what playing and winning for Vancouver means to these players
Blas Perez salutes the fans
And rightly takes home the Man of the Match honours
You can see all of Tom’s photos from the game (Warning: some of the photos from Kudo‘s injury may upset some readers) HERE and in our full Flickr slideshow below: