Another week, another away win. It’s all getting so predictable!
Vancouver Whitecaps rolled, well bussed, into Massachusetts to take on a New England Revolution side unbeaten at home in their last 17 regular season games.
And just as they did at LA three weeks ago, the ‘Caps smashed that record and set a couple of their own with a hard fought 2-1 victory over a Revolution side that played the final 61 minutes a man down after Andrew Farrell saw red.
The win gives Vancouver a MLS club record sixth away win of the season and made it three consecutive road victories for the first time in their Major League Soccer era.
They made it hard for themselves and had David Ousted to thank, yet again. for keeping them on level terms in the opening exchanges and even after going two goals to the good, the depleted side made hard going of it despite their numerical advantage, allowing New England to give themselves a lifeline with six minutes of the match remaining.
Those struggles against ten men with be one of the disappointing aspects of the game for Carl Robinson, along with the continuing plights of missed chances (you can almost take that for granted every game though). The ‘Caps created 12 goalscoring opportunities, had half of them on target and came away with two goals and a hit post.
Still, a win’s a win, so who cares?! And at least one Canadian team got the job done against an England today.
REPORT (by Steve Pandher):
Despite missing three of their top players, Vancouver Whitecaps continued their winning ways on the road beating New England Revolution 2-1 at a wet Gillette Stadium.
Two first half goals by Cristian Techera and Octavio Rivero led the way before a late goal from Teal Bunbury gave the Revolution some hope, but the ‘Caps held on to make it three straight away victories.
Carl Robinson was faced with a somewhat depleted squad with Kendall Waston and Gershon Koffie suspended, and Pedro Morales nursing a calf injury. Tim Parker came into the middle of the defence for his first pro start in his natural position, Honduran Deybi Flores came in to partner Matias Laba in the two man defensive shield and Mauro Rosales returned from food poisoning to undertake the number 10 role.
After close to ten minutes of feeling out the play the Revolution created their first chance when Charlie Davies sent in Bunbury down the right channel forcing David Ousted into closing down the angle and denying the chance. About a minute later Ousted came up big again when London Woodberry sent in a blast from outside the box forcing the keeper into a diving stop.
They were to be more game-changing moments from the Dane as, somewhat against the run of play, the Whitecaps finally worked the ball up the field and converted on their first chance when Techera scored his second of the season. The play started after Steven Beitashour sent Mauro Rosales down the right side and after taking a couple of touches the winger sent in a cross into the box. It was headed down by Woodberry to a teammate but Techera intercepted and poked the ball past Bobby Shuttleworth.
It didn’t take long for the visitors to double their lead when Rivero converted a penalty after Techera was fouled in the box. Techera had received the through ball from Jordan Harvey but was turned around after getting a slight tug from Andrew Ferrell which earned the defender a sending off as well.
At first glance it looked harsh, but replays showed that referee Allen Chapman had made the right call and Farrell admitted after the game (see below) that he had made some slight contact.
With the Revolution going down a man the Whitecaps were able to kill the remainder of the first half, leaving few opportunities for the home side and they took a two goal advantage into the break.
Vancouver tried for the killer strike in the first minute of the second half but Kekuta Manneh missed the net after being sent in on the keeper. Only seconds later Deybi Flores had the ball come to him outside the box and his attempt forced Shuttleworth into a save.
The Revs started showing some signs of life after the hour mark when Bunbury’s curling shot from inside the box just missed the top corner. Soon after the Whitecaps came close to extending their lead again when Kekuta Manneh sent in a curling shot that hit the inside of the right post.
Another turnover by the ‘Caps saw the ball come to Lee Nguyen who directed a rocket right to Ousted who was able to catch it. The Dane had to come up big again off a corner when Kelyn Rowe’s header forced Ousted to dive to his left to deny the chance.
With ten minutes to go, Ousted came up with a double save first denying the initial blast by Tierney which he spilled into Rowe, who was denied by the Danish keeper from in close.
New England’s persistence finally paid off in the 84th minute when Bunbury brought the Revolution within one of the ‘Caps. A Chris Tierney free kick was sent into the box and was headed down to Bunbury who blasted a shot through the wickets of the keeper.
Moments after the restart there were a couple of chances for the Caps to restore their lead as Darren Mattocks’ effort was headed off the line and then Erik Hurtado’s shot from the right was sent over the bar.
That was just a brief respite for the visitors and the Revs continued to attempt to even the score when Juan Agudelo was free in the box but his attempt was denied by the diving Ousted. With a couple minutes to go Agudelo had another chance off a set piece but he was unable to keep his header under the bar.
That would turn out to be the final opportunity for the Revolution and Vancouver were able to finish the match to the end, earning the third straight win on the road, which is a first for the club in MLS. In addition they have now their sixth win on the road this season, which is the most for them since joining MLS.
Their tenth win of the year, which was not achieved until late last season, has put them in sole position of the Western Conference for the time being. They will look to continue their dominance on the road next Saturday when they will play the last of their five straight matches away from home next week in the altitude of struggling Colorado.
FINAL SCORE: New England Revolution 1 – 2 Vancouver Whitecaps
NEW ENGLAND: Bobby Shuttleworth; London Woodberry (Kevin Alston 46), Andrew Farrell, Jose Goncalves, Chris Tierney; Scott Caldwell, Daigo Kobayashi (Kelyn Rowe 62), Teal Bunbury, Lee Nguyen (Juan Agudelo 77), Diego Fagundez; Charlie Davies [Subs Not Used: Brad Knighton, Steve Neumann, Sean Okoli, Jeremy Hall]
VANCOUVER: David Ousted; Steven Beitashour, Tim Parker, Pa Modou Kah, Jordan Harvey; Matias Laba, Deybi Flores, Cristian Techera, Mauro Rosales (Nicolas Mezquida 83), Kekuta Manneh (Darren Mattocks 74), Octavio Rivero (Erik Hurtado 79) [Subs Not Used: Paolo Tornaghi, Diego Rodriguez, Russell Teibert, Kianz Froese]
Thoughts on the game:
“It’s always nice to get three points in any game, especially away from home in a very difficult place as New England we know is going to be. I’m proud of the guys in there today because we had a couple of key players missing but other players stepped into the line-up and produced a battling, strong, disciplined performance which helped us get over the line.”
On scoring the goals in the first half:
“Something we’ve lacked at certain times this year is being able to get our noses in front, we’ve played very well without scoring and then we’ve given up goals. We know that if we score the first goal we’re a different team because we’ve got very quick attacking transition players so it was nice to get the first goal, it was a good move, and when we went two nil up you might think it’s comfortable, it’s the worst lead in football, two nil, people say it for a reason, and it is, and it was very uncomfortable for me. Good team, they’re always going to put you under pressure and they did that, they got their goal and deserved their goal, it was a bit scrappy from our point of view but we just couldn’t get the third goal we had numerous chances for the third goal and we just made it probably too close and more interesting than we needed to but we’ll learn.”
On how the team was able to hold out despite New England make the score 2-1:
“When you play with 10 men you’ve got nothing to lose. You play a little bit gung ho and you put balls in the box, they’re a very good team. They’re well coached by Jay (Heaps) and they put balls in the box. They got strong, powerful forwards, and Charlie (Davies), Agu (Agudelo) coming on, obviously Teal (Bunbury) we knew they were going to be pretty direct, especially when they went down to 10, and that’s what they did and credit to them, I’ll give them a lot of credit today because they’re a good team. They’re in a tricky patch at the moment but they’ll be fine.”
On how his team broke New England’s home unbeaten streak:
“I haven’t got the magic formula for you, I wish I did, and if I did I probably wouldn’t tell you anyway. I challenged the boys in there. We went to New York and we knew it was a difficult game, they’re a good team, they play high pressure but coming in here after getting a good result in New York I challenged them not to drop their guard because sometimes in this league if you get one or two good results, you tend to relax and any team can beat any team on its day as we all know in this league. I asked them for an extra effort, I knew we’d get tired, they played three games in a week and again credit to them they didn’t look tired at the end with 10 men, my guys did a little bit but it’s probably expected because as I said we played three games now away from home and we managed to pick up some positive results.”
On goalkeeper David Ousted’s performance:
“Not bad. He was outstanding. He’s been outstanding all season. He comes up with big saves at right times and that’s what we pay him for. It’s important he does that and he did do that I think he’ll be disappointed with the goal that went through his legs but he makes six or seven top saves which he did and then he lets one, I can give him that one.”
On how his team pulled out the win:
“Effort. Effort was fantastic today. We put the effort in. It was a long week for us, coming from New York and staying there the whole week and then coming here. The boys were exhausted, but we fought through. At the end, the results a win, so it was great.”
On his personal effort tonight:
“I feel great. I thank my teammates and the coaching staff for the help they’ve been giving me. Without my teammates and coaching staff, that wouldn’t happen. I just need to keep going, do what I do best. Just listen to the coaching staff and take my chances.”
On staying on the east coast for the week:
“Yeah, I thought you always want to be at camp. It brings people together. You spend the whole week together, hanging out in New York and New Jersey. I felt it played a big factor in the road games. We just got to keep it going. Take the home games the same like we do in away games and hopefully we get some results.”
On breaking New England’s home winning streak:
“Coming in to this game we the boys we thought we were a good team and we’ve been saying that all year. That we are a good team and we have quality players. It’s just a matter of time for everything to come together or us. We have that belief that we have a good team so now we just need to show people that we are a good team. Right now it’s our moment and we’re just going to try and keep that winning streak going.”
On his chemistry with Cristian Techera and Octavio Rivero:
“Yeah, great players. I love playing with them. They have eye for goals and passes. Cristian and Octavio, combining with them it’s just a great – they see the game differently and to have Mauro (Rosales) behind. So it’s the quality they have in the team it’s great, not just them two but the whole attacking force.”
On staying on the road between beating the New York Red Bulls and the New England Revolution:
“(It’s been) fantastic. It’s been a long 10 days road trip. It’s been tough but we got away with six points which is fantastic.”
On what changed after the opening 15 minutes that lead to Vancouver taking the lead:
“I think we sat back a little bit in the beginning and, like you said, the Revs came out and pressured us and got some good chances. We weathered the storm and then got into our play and then made a terrific first goal and that changed the game.”
On how Vancouver has managed to lead the league with six road victories:
“I think our mentality is really good coming away from home. I think everybody knows their job. We know that it takes a lot of hard work winning in tough places like this and Red Bull and then in LA, so it’s down to knowing our jobs and a lot of hard work.”
On what kind of confidence it gives the team to break both New England’s and LA’s home unbeaten streaks:
“(It gives us) huge confidence. We had that all year and then we believe in ourselves. That said, we’re not resting on our laurels. We know that this is only the beginning. We’re only halfway through and we need to keep stepping it up, keep raising the bar and trying to perform even better if we want to go to where we want to be.”
On the key to his success so far this season:
“Again, a lot of hard work. I worked hard in the off season, working on both physical stuff and technique and so far it’s been paying off for me. I’m trying to raise the bar, I’m trying to keep performing at the highest level possible and so far it’s been good.”
On whether he has relished taking on a leadership role with the team in the absence of some key players:
“Yeah, I definitely have. I’m trying to be a leader even with those guys in there but even more when they’re not there. We need guys to step up and take leadership and luckily we’ve got a lot of guys who wants to do this in the team.”
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
On how the team started the game:
“I thought we did well. I thought we were trying to score goals and trying to play well and creating space and opportunities. Unfortunately we didn’t capitalize on Teal’s (Bunbury) or London’s (Woodberry) [chances], and credit their goalkeeper, he made a good save – two good saves – and obviously we’re disappointed by that first goal.”
On the talk at half time:
“One by one, play by play. You can’t look too far ahead, you just to get a goal back and a play back and not to give too much away but you know we shifted formations into, well we didn’t really we just kind of altered what we were doing a little bit and had a good possession and found good spots and just tried to limit the counter attack. It was more tactical at halftime and then the emotional, motivational side was just to really be smart.”
On Teal Bunbury’s performance:
“Yeah Teal did a good a great job, I thought he was good both halves and because we had to move him back for a little bit to kind of figure our shape out after the red card. I thought he did a really good job and pressed high and hard. I felt a little bad for Teal, I thought he was working so hard and getting zero reward.”
On having a full week before the club’s next game:
“Not very good, only because it’s been a really tough week and games, moments in each game where there’s some positives and some negatives, clearly negatives and these are the times you’ve got to stick to what your process is and we need to adjust and make some moves because we have some players that are going to be out or a player that is going to be out, but moving forward use the second half, we were down a man and I thought we really created a lot of good chances and use that as a moment to say okay it wasn’t all that bad, half by half, first half didn’t go our way, second half was a lot better from us so, do we go forward with that mentality, that’s the key.”
On learning from previous difficult stretches:
“It’s always easier said than down, but its hard work, it’s not pointing fingers, and that is what I’m most proud of is our guys in that locker room, no one pointed a finger. You’re going to be upset, you’re going to feel hard done, but at the same time we came out and no one pointed a finger and that second half was step one in continuing to work hard to get out of it. I’ve been around a long time and been through a lot of seasons where you’re going to have things not go your way, there’s never been a perfect season that I’ve been a part of and it’s the locker room and the group of guys getting out and not pointing fingers and working harder the next day to help yourself get out of it.”
CANADIAN TRAITOR TEAL BUNBURY
On his team’s slow start in the game:
“I don’t think it was a slow start, really. I think that over the first 20 minutes we were outplaying them, a tough call was made but then we kind of let a goal go in and we were focusing on trying to prevent goals going in from balls being played out wide and those things happen, but I’m just really proud of the guys and what we did in the second half. We just have to focus on the positives at this point. We’re going through a little tough stretch but we have to stick together as a unit and that’s the only way we’re going to get out of this just like last season.”
On how difficult it is to play down a man for that length of time:
“Games like that are really tough. All these guys are looking next to each other in the locker room at halftime and at the end of the game and everybody was just spent. It shows how everybody is working for each other and that’s all you can ask for in situations like this, that you are working for each other and you have pride for yourself and your team and whatever else you believe in and to go out there and show the fans and ourselves what we are made of and that’s what I feel like we did in the second half.”
On if he felt the equalizer was coming after the late goal:
“I really did think we were going to equalize it and maybe win it. We had a lot of opportunities and their keeper had an unbelievable game. He made some big time saves. Maybe we need some lucky bounces here or there and maybe the game is a little different but we have to look forward now and we have some games to really prove what we can do and get out of this little down stretch.”
On what he saw on his goal to make the score 2-1:
“It was a good ball in, Kelyn (Rowe) went up and battled for it and it bounced in front of me. I had some earlier chances that I feel like I should’ve buried but I got a little lucky with that one and just tried to keep it on target.”
On keeping things light outside the locker room:
“Yeah, most definitely. You can’t put your head down and obviously guys are going to be disappointed now, everybody here hates to lose but everybody here wants to work for each other and wants the best for each other and we are going to continue to have banter and we will continue to have fun and enjoy playing because at the end of the day we all love playing this sport and that’s what we have to continue to do. As soon as we start bickering at each other and getting down on each other, that is when things can get even worse.”
On if a week of rest is good following a tough week:
“Yeah, it will be good to recover. We had a lot of games in a short amount of time and we will definitely get our rest and take care of knocks here and there and we will have a big game in Dallas next Saturday.”
On New England’s recent struggles:
“We had two games that we’ve given up an early lead and that’s something that has been bothering the past five, six games, so we wanted to correct that and unfortunately you go down on a cross, which is something we’d harped on not doing. But we still had a lot of play, their goalie made two good saves that could’ve probably changed the game a little bit. And then obviously we get the red card in the 29th minute and put the guys in a hole. And from there I think the guys came in at halftime and said ‘if we lose we’re not gonna give up more goals’. They came out and played. I watched it here in the locker room and they gave it all out there. From Charlie up top to Bobby (Shuttleworth) in goal, and to everybody who came in they played really well. I’m really proud of the guys. They battled even though I put them in a hole.”
On his red card in the 29th minute:
“I think (Techera) kind of got in behind us. He kind of got in front of me so I tried to slow him down a little bit. I watched the replay a couple times and I think I tapped his arm. I didn’t grab it I don’t think but he makes the call and it’s unlucky. But it’s part of the game and it happens. If I didn’t touch him Bobby makes a save and we’re not in that hole. So again it’s tough to put the guys in that type of position.”
More on the foul that he received a red card for:
“Yeah I think I just wanted to kind of slow him down. I wasn’t trying to bring him down in the box or anything, especially because I already had a yellow. So I was just trying to kind of slow him down, trying to make him know that I was there. But like I said it’s unfortunate. It’s part of the game and I think the guys battled well. Being down a man, it didn’t seem like it. They put in a really good performance.”