Don’t leave Vancouver Whitecaps matches early this season seems to be the message the team is setting. Close games, one goal games, are now par for the course, but while it may not be good for fingernails or hair, it does create some great drama right to the very end.
And it’s even better of course when the end result is a positive for the ‘Caps.
Saturday’s match with FC Dallas saw a sleepy start by a tired Vancouver side, before goals from Ali Adnan and Lucas Venuto had them 2-0 up and seemingly coasting at half time.
A crossbar from the Texans let the Whitecaps off the hook, and Venuto should have put the game to bed in the closing minutes, but his wasted opportunity and Dallas taking the ball up the pitch and scoring set up a tense final five minutes. The Whitecaps held on for the 2-1 victory, however, and left BC Place full of pride, passion, and most importantly all three points.
AFTN photographers Tom (@ResidualImage) and Caroline (@FrogPhoto) were there to capture the action before, during and after the game. Here’s their “Story In Pictures”, with a full Flickr slideshow at the end.
Welcome to the house of Dos Santos
The ‘Caps are ready to show their pride
But it’s Dallas that have the first chance 11 minutes in, with a dangerous ball across goal
That just eludes Jacori Hayes’ outstretched leg at the back post
Another close call for the ‘Caps in the 26th minute when Jesus Ferreira’s dipping shot lands on the roof of the net
Four minutes later and a moment of magic from Ali Adnan changes the match as he ghosts through two Dallas defenders
And curls an absolute beauty past Jesse Gonzalez
Right into the postage stamp corner
And there’s more joy nine minutes later when Fredy Montero’s neat backheel sets up Lucas Venuto
Who curls a low one past Jesse Gonzalez into the bottom right corner this time
Get in! 2-0 Vancouver
But the half ends on a slightly concerning note for the Whitecaps as Ali Adnan is forced off with a suspected groin strain
Dallas let Vancouver off the hook again in the 56th minute when Pablo Aranguiz crashes one off the bar when he should have scored
Straight into the arms of Max Crepeau
And you can see what it means to him
Theo Bair made his MLS debut in the 71st minute and was in the thick of the action right away, coming close with an acrobatic effort four minutes later
Then a minute of madness as Lucas Venuto pounces on a weak John Nelson backpass, races in on goal, and rounds the onrushing Jesse Gonzalez
But his touch is too hard
Allowing John Nelson to recover and block his shot
Setting up a Dallas attack that Dominique Badji fires into the onion bag
Setting up a nervy final five minutes, but the ‘Caps hold on for the 2-1 victory
You can see all of Tom and Caroline’s photos from the game HERE and in our full Flickr slideshow below: