Report and Reaction: Dominant Whitecaps destroy Montreal in five star performance

Report and Reaction: Dominant Whitecaps destroy Montreal in five star performance

Play the fucking kids, has become somewhat of a supporters trope in Whitecapsland over the years. Saturday night’s comprehensive 5-0 dismantling of CF Montreal at BC Place showed exactly why.

The Whitecaps put on an absolute clinic in the first half, outscoring their visitors by 18 shots to one, with Brian White, Simon Becher, and Ali Ahmed all getting on the scoresheet after Montreal’s Rudy Camacho was sent off for a last man challenge in the 23rd minute.

The’ Caps continued where they left off to start the second with a first MLS goal for Ahmed and a second goal on the night for Becher seeing Vancouver got nap before the hour mark. That may have been it for the scoring but as the final 29 to three shot count illustrated, this was a 90 minute of pure dominance by a rampant Whitecaps side.

The chant going around the Southside was “Becher’s on fire, your defence is terrified”. A very apt one for the night, but so would have been “can we play you every week?”, with Montreal giving Vancouver the confidence booster they badly needed heading into Wednesday night’s CONCACAF Champions League quarter-final with LAFC.

Vanni Sartini made six changes to the side that started last week’s draw in Minnesota, among them Ahmed and Becher getting their first MLS starts and Andres Cubas and Javain Brown returning from international duty.

Vancouver tried to pressure early and Becher flashed a ball across goal but White was unable to get on the end of it at the back post with the goal gaping.

Montreal’s best chance in the opening stages came in the 13th minute when the ball came into Chinonso Offor from the left, but although he got goalside of the last defender, which was subsequently called offside anyway, he couldn’t connect on the cross.

BC boy Joel Waterman was finally able to play at BC Place for Montreal in front of over 200 family and friends, but his heart must have been in hos mouth in the 18th minute when he pulled back Ahmed on the edge of the box as he threatened to break clear. Referee Tim Ford opted for the yellow, but it was a yellow and a half for me, an orange?!

The visitors rode their luck again from the resultant free, with Gressel’s fierce strike crashing off the far post.

The ‘Caps had turned up the intensity and first White and then Pedro Vite were blocked and unable to fire home a scramble in the box.

If Montreal had ridden their luck so far, it came to an end, somewhat, in the 23rd minute when Camacho was shown a straight red card for a tackle to stop Becher on the edge of the box. Camacho had already picked up an earlier yellow, with Vancouver pace and exuberance causing the visiting backline no end of problems.

Referee Ford had also initially pointed to the spot for a penalty, but his decision was correctly reversed on video review.

Up a man, the ‘Caps continued to take the game to their Canadian rivals and Ahmed forced Jonathan Sirois to make a leg save in the 28th minute.

The Whitecaps finally got the breakthrough their play deserved in the 38th minute.

Brown played a lovely ball over the top for Becher to run on to, and with Waterman slipping, the young ‘Caps forward had all the time in the world to centre the ball for a wide open White to sweep the ball home.

Vite fired one over in the 41st minute, as Vancouver looked for what would surely be a killer second.

There’s was still time in the half to get it and it came two minutes later, in another quick passing moving that cut the Montreal defence apart.

Luis Martins played the ball inside for Ahmed, who hit the byeline and cut it back for Becher to direct it home.

The Whitecaps weren’t done yet in the half and they added a third a mere 87 seconds later.

White had a shot from just inside the box, which a full stretch Sirois could only parry away. The rebound fell invitingly for Gressel, who lashed the ball home with glee.

The Whitecaps didn’t take their foot off the gas to start the second half and went straight for the Montreal jugular.

Ahmed made it 4-0 in the 48th minute, with his first MLS goal, finishing under Sirois after being played in by White.

It was five a minute before the hour mark, as Becher struck his second of the game, finishing off a great cross in from Brown with a first time finish past Sirois.

The scoreline allowed Vancouver to make some changes with a view to Wednesday night, with key players like Tristan Blackmon and Gressel coming off early and Ryan Gauld not even needing to come on at all.

Substitute Mathias Laborda nearly made it six in the 19th minute as a dangerous low free kick from fellow sub Sebastian Berhalter eluded everyone, flew across the face of the goal, and the Uruguayan just missed connecting at the far post.

And that was to be that, with the referee not adding much time on and finally putting Montreal out of their misery.

This was the kind of performance that you hoped was coming from the team, and you sensed they were capable off if they could get all their ducks in a row. Tonight, the little quackers were lined up perfectly. Yes, it was against 10 men for over an hour, but the interplay, pressing, and taking off chances is exactly what was needed and I don’t doubt a victory would have been forthcoming no matter how many men they were facing.

Now they need to build on that, starting on Wednesday against LAFC, who were blanked today in a 0-0 draw. The chance to make history is there and if they can play again like they played tonight, you have to fancy them to take a lead into LA for the second leg after a night at BC Place that will not be forgotten for a long time.

FINAL SCORE: Vancouver Whitecaps 5 – 0 CF Montreal

ATT: 16,046

38’ – VAN – Brian White (Simon Becher, Javain Brown)
43’ – VAN – Simon Becher (Ali Ahmed, Luís Martins)
45’ – VAN – Julian Gressel
48’ – VAN – Ali Ahmed
59’ – VAN – Simon Becher (Javain Brown)

Possession: VAN 64.4% – MTL 35.6%
Shots: VAN 29 – MTL 3
Shots on Goal: VAN 9 – MTL 0
Saves: VAN 0 – MTL 4
Fouls: VAN 7 – MTL 9
Offsides: VAN 1 – MTL 1
Corners: VAN 6 – MTL 1

VANCOUVER: Yohei Takaoka; Javain Brown (J.C. Ngando 65), Ranko Veselinović, Tristan Blackmon (Mathías Laborda 46′), Luís Martins; Julian Gressel (Russell Teibert 54’), Andrés Cubas (Sebastian Berhalter 54’), Ali Ahmed; Pedro Vite, Brian White (Déiber Caicedo 65); Simon Becher [Substitutes not used: Thomas Hasal, Cristian Dájome, Ryan Gauld, Ryan Raposo]

MONTREAL: Jonathan Sirois; Joel Waterman, Rudy Camacho, Kamal Miller (Róbert Thorkelsson 55’); Aaron Herrera (Zachary Brault-Guillard 54’), Victor Wanyama (Nathan Saliba 55’), Samuel Piette (Rida Zouhir 10’), Mathieu Choinière; Mason Toye (Gabriele Corbo 27’), Sean Rea, Chinonso Offor
[Substitutes not used: Logan Ketterer, Ilias Iliadis, Ahmed Hamdi, Romell Quioto]




On the win:

“I’m very happy, I think to be honest, the differences between today and the other games is that we scored the goals. I’m going to anticipate your question, nobody says that we won because they were ten men, because it’s not true, we won because we played much better than them, and even if they were 12 we would’ve won so that’s the thing, and I’m very happy.”

On his team’s performance:

“I think that we played much better than them, even in the first 30 minutes. We had all this eagerness to try to have a nice night, after three or four great games where we were playing well but felt ‘meh’ at the end of the game. The thing that I’m very proud it’s that we kept the ball for a lot in the second half and we didn’t concede anything even if we were up in the score, we kept working like in the way that we get so I’m really, really happy.”

On Ahmed and Becher making their first MLS starts:

“They did very well. Ali took a little while to enter in the game, physiologically, because if you fast, he’s doing Ramadan so he was eating right at the beginning of the game in order to get energy to go. And so the first 10-12 minutes was a little off and then actually, that play when he caused the first yellow card, [it] basically put him in the game. Simon did what we expected him to do. Very good in the box, fighting, doing very good things when he had to take less than two touches, being a little bit in confusion when he has to do more than two touches. And yeah, I think he made an assist, a goal… I think we can be satisfied.”


On making his first MLS start alongside Ali Ahmed:

“I think we took a lot of the same steps together, both getting called up at different points last year, we both signed contracts, going to preseason and starting tonight. It’s just really special, especially to have him, somebody so humble, such a hard worker, works so hard every day. I think it’s definitely a special night for both of us.”

On how Whitecaps FC 2 helped with his development:

“It gives opportunity and it gives chances to the players and to the staff to kind of evaluate and I think last year, the both of us grew a lot. To have the first team staff be able to come to all the games and give feedback, pull you up for trainings and then when you’re given an opportunity, you’re more ready to take them when you’re more comfortable. So I think it was a huge year, at least for me, for growth coming out of college to adapt to the professional game, and I think that it was valuable.”


On making his first MLS start alongside Simon Becher and how their chemistry helped make that easier:

“Definitely, for sure. Before the game, I was telling Thomas [Hasal], you know, how much easier it will be for me to have Simon right in front of me because we’ve been playing together for a long time last year, and we had some success last year together. So just having him in front of me helped me a lot, because I know where he is most of the time. I know we have good chemistry together, so it helped for sure. It’s a dream for WFC2 boys.”

On how Whitecaps FC 2 helped with his development:

“I tell people that that season, last year was big for a lot [of us], for me especially. It was big for me because I haven’t been able to get in a structured league for a long time and just to get in a professional league, the professional setup like that and get games every week, week in and week out, definitely helped my development. It definitely, 100 per cent, helped me get ready for the next level, you know, training and getting called up in the first team too. MLS NEXT Pro was a big thing for us, for sure.”



“It is not a game to forget, it is a game to analyze. Despite difficult conditions, we lose our captain after a few minutes and we play with 10 players after 20 minutes, but that’s no excuse. The match was already over, even at halftime being down 3-0, and playing with 10 men. At that point we are starting to think about the next match, but also giving minutes to some players to see if they’re ready and if you can count on them for the next matches.”


“It was a difficult moment losing Sam (Piette), and then we went down to 10 men. But we just gave them the goals. It is always hard to play a man down, but we could have done better. We learned the hard way. We gave them the goals. Twice we turned the ball over and they scored. We’ll learn from this; the mistakes we made on the pitch, losing balls we shouldn’t have lost. We have to be humble, go back to the training ground and work hard. We have to make sure we get better on the road because it’s the only way we will improve as a team.”


“Seeing Sam go down was a blow because you know you’ve lost a good player. After that we got a red card, and it got even worse.”

Authored by: Michael McColl

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.