Is it going to be the case of always expect the unexpected with Vancouver Whitecaps this season?
We certainly didn’t see this one coming, especially after falling 2-1 behind, but the ‘Caps showed a fighting spirit and some exciting, attacking play that’s solely been missing from home games so far this season to come away with a 4-2 victory over LA Galaxy on Saturday night. Their first win of the new MLS season.
Matias Laba was the unlikely two-goal goalscoring hero, even grabbing a career first goal with his head. Who knew he had this in his locker and only needed a decent midfield partner to be in there alongside of him to bring it out?!
Laba grabbed the last two goals after Cristian Techera had given the ‘Caps a first half lead before being pegged back and going in at half time 2-1 down. Super sub Fredy Montero tied things up at two apiece, in what was an enjoyable game on the whole. LA’s control of a chunk of it midway through not so much, but the ‘Caps were well worthy of their three points by the end.
With a trip to the dreadful looking Real Salt Lake next week, the ‘Caps spell of five of their next six matches on the road may not be quite so daunting or season damaging after all. Onwards and upwards. Let’s hope there’s more of the same to come.
AFTN photographer Tom Ewasiuk was there to capture all the action before, during and after the game. 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].
A hero enters
Your winning Whitecaps starting XI
Early ‘Caps pressure sees the ‘Bug’, Cristian Techera, looking like the player from 2015
Buzzing throughout, Techera pounced on the first of several mistakes from LA keeper Clement Diop
Showing a composed head to fire Vancouver into a 19th minute lead
The ‘Caps first home goal of the new season at the third attempt
And the ‘Caps should have had a chance to double their lead when Alphonso Davies was clipped in the box by Jelle van Damme, but no penalty was awarded
But with the ‘Caps looking comfortable, up stepped LA DP Romaine Alessandrini to change the game, crashing a fierce 26th minute shot off the near post
Then off David Ousted’s head and over the line
Worse was to come four minutes later when the Frenchman drilled home the go ahead goal for LA after some nice build up play
Was this going to be another bad night at the home office for Vancouver?
Was starting to look that way when Jordan Harvey went down in the box and again, no penalty was given
Then as half time approached, the adventure that was Diop came rushing out of his box, injuring Erik Hurtado and leaving his goal open, but Techera couldn’t make it pay
With LA wasting some chances to put the game away, the ‘Caps came storming back and Techera forced Diop into a save
But the rebound came to half time sub Fredy Montero who fired home from close range to make it 2-2 in the 66th minute
Then just over a minute later Matias Laba dispossessed LA on the kick off, setting up a move that ended with him drilling home from just outside the box to give Vancouver the lead once again
Oh the joy!
Christian Bolanos nearly made it four for Vancouver but Ashley Cole got back for a fantastic goalline clearance
But not to be denied, Laba popped up again to head home another rebound from a Diop save with three minutes remaining to secure the 4-2 victory
And send the ‘Caps fans into raptures and home happy
All that was left was for new addition Tony Tchani does his first Humba with Curva Collective
You can see all of Tom’s photos from the game HERE and in our full Flickr slideshow below: