Report and Reaction: Derby day delight for Whitecaps and they get back to winning ways against Sounders

Report and Reaction: Derby day delight for Whitecaps and they get back to winning ways against Sounders

Vancouver Whitecaps finally returned home after a three game spell on the road and the home cooking certainly agreed with them as they turned in an assured performance to see off Seattle Sounders 2-0 at BC Place on Saturday evening.

It was a fairly even first half, with the deadlock finally broken a minute before the break when Pedro Vite poked the ball home. A Stefan Frei own goal double the Whitecaps lead two minutes before the hour mark, and there was no looking back for Vancouver after that as they comfortably saw out the match and could easily have added one or two more to their tally.

Vanni Sartini made five changes to the Vancouver starting line-up from the side that went down to defeat in Dallas on Wednesday, opting for a 3-4-2-1 for the first time this season.

Seattle started the fastest and on the front foot, with Yeimar directing a header wide right three minutes in.

Both sides were enjoying possession but not really threatening too much in the final third, but the Whitecaps finally got a decent look on goal in the 27th minute when Sebastian Berhalter played a near one-two with Gauld and the Scot flashed a fierce shot just past the left post.

It was a choppy first half, broken up by a number of fouls, with neither side in the ascendancy, and it looked set to head into half time all square and scoreless until a moment of tenacity from Vite broke the deadlock in the 44th minute.

Vite brought the ball down in the box and it looked like it had got away from him but a split second of hesitation between Sounders defender Alex Roldan and goalkeeper Frei allowed the Ecuadorian to put pressure on them and poke the ball home from a few yards out.

It was the first shot on target for either side and ultimately what separated the teams at the break.

Seattle again started the half the strongest, but again without testing Yohei Takaoka.

Matthias Laborda and Gauld came close to doubling the Whitecaps’ lead in the 57th minute but moments later they got their second when Frei fumbled a Gauld shot and the ball squirmed under his body and over the line. Officially an own goal by the keeper and not Gauld’s first of the season, but he was happy nonetheless!

Berhalter should have made it three in the 73rd minute when Gauld set him up but his shot was lacking power and Frei made the easy save.

There were a few more half chances for the Whitecaps to add to their tally but in the end they had to settle for just the two from a very calm and assured performance and a well deserved victory on the overall balance of play.

The result was just what the Whitecaps needed after a pair of league defeats in Portland and Dallas in the past week. With points away from home, especially from wins, becoming harder and harder to come by, the ‘Caps need to make the most of these home games and this win over Seattle will go a long way to return any confidence that may have been knocked the past couple of games, but most importantly keeps them above the playoff line.

They still need to find a way to win on the road in MLS play, as they approach a full year without such a victory, but that can wait till another day as next up is a Canadian Championship semi-final in Langford on Wednesday against CPL side Pacific FC.

FINAL SCORE: Vancouver Whitecaps 2 – 0 Seattle Sounders

ATT: 19,108

44’ – VAN – Pedro Vite
58’ – VAN – Stefan Frei (own goal)

Possession: VAN 44.9% – SEA 55.1%
Shots: VAN 17 – SEA 8
Shots on Goal: VAN 5 – SEA 1
Saves: VAN 1 – SEA 4
Fouls: VAN 16 – SEA 11
Offsides: VAN 0 – SEA 2
Corners: VAN 6 – SEA 9

VANCOUVER: Yohei Takaoka; Javain Brown, Mathías Laborda, Tristan Blackmon; Ali Ahmed (Alessandro Schöpf 64’), Sebastian Berhalter, Andrés Cubas (Karifa Yao 90’+1’), Luís Martins; Ryan Gauld (Simon Becher 83’), Pedro Vite (Julian Gressel 64’); Brian White (Sergio Córdova 83’) [Substitutes not used: Thomas Hasal, Déiber Caicedo, Ryan Raposo, Russell Teibert]

SEATTLE: Stefan Frei; Alex Roldan (Reed Baker-Whiting 64’), Yeimar, Xavier Arreaga, Nouhou Tolo (Cody Baker 46′); Joshua Atencio (João Paulo 80’), Albert Rusnák; Jordan Morris (Héber 64’), Nicolás Lodeiro, Léo Chú (Dylan Teves 46′); Fredy Montero [Substitutes not used:
Stefan Cleveland, Jackson Ragen, Paul Rothrock]




On the win:

“As you said it, fantastic performance, fantastic victory. We smashed the best team in the western conference,with LAFC. It reminded us how good we are when we are doing the things we are supposed to do. I think the two goals is even generous for them, because we could have had even more. I’m very happy because we played really, really, really well.”

On the starting formation moving to three at the back:

“We changed the system this game mainly because we didn’t have [Alessandro] Schöpf and Julian [Gressel] starting. Without them playing as a number eight, we wanted to have like maybe more security at the back and Sebastian [Berhalter] when we defend this is more of a double six with Andrés [Cubas]. I chose the system because it was putting the players there more like being myself and servicing the players rather than the service of the team this time. We knew that we had these two possibilities. Sometimes we play the back three, sometimes we play the back four. It was the first time that we started [with it], we’ve actually finished with the back three in a lot of games. Then at the end we actually made the switch to the back four in the second half when Julian [Gressel] and Alessandro [Schöpf] came in. We played very well even with that system. So I think the performance was really good and by everyone. It’s really hard to single out someone, maybe Luís Martins was like Paulo Maldini today, he was very good. Everyone played very well.”


On the win:

“I think it’s come at a good time. After two bad results and not great performances, it’s come at a good time. So we can take a lot of positives from the performance both defensively and attacking wise. The boys will be confident moving forward.”

On facing Pacific FC in the Canadian Championship on Wednesday:

“Well whoever was here in 2021 knows it’s going to be a really tough game, with bad memories of that game that we want to put right. It’s a tight pitch against a team that are going to be really up for it. I think they’ve started the CPL really well. So they’re going to be confident coming into it as well. But it’s again a game we’re going to have to be at our best if we want to beat them. They came out flying against us a couple of years ago and they got the better of us for the full 90 minutes. So we know what to expect. We’re going to have to make sure we don’t make the same errors that we made a couple of years ago.”

Authored by: Michael McColl

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