All the Vancouver talk heading in to this match was about making history, winning their first knockout tie in the competition, and advancing to meet Mexican opposition for the first time in the last four.
The Whitecaps had one foot in the semis thanks to Kekuta Manneh’s away goal in the first leg, and when Alphonso Davies shot the ‘Caps further ahead in the tie just five minutes in, the dreams began, but in the knowledge that a Red Bulls away goal would quickly change everything.
The ‘Caps terrorised the Red Bulls defence in the early going but then sat back and played on the counter, allowing New York to have their chances. They had several but squandered them all, with David Ousted coming up with some crucial stops.
If felt like a New York goal was coming but supersub Fredy Montero killed the tie off with a superb strike ten minutes after coming on in his Vancouver debut and 14 minutes from that.
So, history achieved, but the ambition to make history doesn’t stop there, and the Whitecaps are keen to go even further and become the first MLS side to lift the trophy. They’re massive underdogs against Tigres, but as Carl Robinson said in his postgame presser, he likes to surprise people and prove them wrong. It’s cup football and anything can happen. Can they do it? We’ll find out in a couple of week.
AFTN photographer Tom Ewasiuk was there to capture all the action before, during and after the game on Thursday night. 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].
It’s a whole new ball game when it comes to the CCL (well it’s the same ball as last year, but you know what I mean!)
Beaver patrol – Sever those heads
Your history making Vancouver Whitecaps starting XI
Ready for battle – Wonder what they’re saying
Five minutes in and Alphonso Davies shows great composure in the box
Firing in to give Vancouver a 1-0 lead on the night and 2-1 in the tie
So close now
New York press to get back in the tie but find David Ousted in fine form and the ‘Caps defence much more organised than last season
Shea almost Breking New York hearts with a second but skies it over in the second half
New York come the closest yet to getting their away goal
But it’s players who end up in the net, not the ball, and the lino’s flag goes up in any case
Montero makes it 2-0 on the night, hitting home a crisp strike with his first touch of the game
Sheer joy, both on and off the pitch
Russell Teibert nearly gets his name on the scoresheet
But it was heading towards his own goal and thankfully David Ousted sees it go wide for just a corner
It’s over history makers
You can see all of Tom’s photos from the game HERE and in our full Flickr slideshow below: