A new season. A new manager. A new era with a nod to an old one. Everything was set for an exciting start to the 2019 MLS season at BC Place on Saturday. The only thing that was missing in the end was a Vancouver Whitecaps victory.
Hope sprung eternal, as did new Argentine defender Erik Godoy just five minutes in to give the ‘Caps an early lead. But Minnesota hit back with the influential Darwin Quintero pulling the strings, as he first fired home an equalising first half penalty, then assisted on two goals in a four minute second half spell from Francisco Calvo and Romario Ibarra to put the visitors into cruise mode.
Doneil Henry headed home late on but there was no way back and it was an opening day defeat in front of a lower bowl sellout crowd of 27,837.
AFTN photographer Tom Ewasiuk (@ResidualImage) was there to capture the action before, during and after the game. Here’s his “Story In Pictures”, with a full Flickr slideshow at the end.
All change! Your first Whitecaps starting XI of 2019
Is Osvaldo Alonso on the same page as his new Minnesota teammates?!
The Southsiders are ready for 2019 with a retro kit and a retro supporters scarf
And the ‘Caps got off to a fast start in this one with Erik Godoy running in unmarked to put away a perfectly weighted Yordy Reyna free kick in the 5th minute
What a debut for the big Argentine centre back and hopefully the first of many goals in Vancouver colours
But despite looking good in the early going, Vancouver faded and they allowed Minnesota to get back into the match in the 37 minute when Jake Nerwinski clumsily brought down Francisco Calvo in the box and referee Rubiel Vazquez pointed to the spot for a penalty
Which Darwin Quintero dispatched with aplomb
1-1 at the half and Vancouver started the second strong, but Fredy Montero was getting very little support or service upon his return
And Vancouver were punished in the 66th minute when Francisco Calvo both started and finished a quick counter after pouncing on a lazy Lass Bangoura giveaway
And worse was to follow four minutes later when Romario Ibarra’s shot was deflected past Max Crepeau by Erik Godoy
3-1 Minnesota and it was all starting to go wrong in the first game of the MDS era in Vancouver
But there was a brief raising of hopes when PC sent in a beautiful cross onto the head of Doneil Henry
And the Canadian international powerfully headed past Vito Mannone in the Minnesota goal to move Vancouver to within one
His first MLS goal as a Whitecap and it set up an all to play for finish
But there was to be no more goal for the ‘Caps and an opening day 3-2 defeat is what it will now say in the record books. Disappointment all round, as RSL now await
You can see all of Tom’s photos from the game HERE and in our full Flickr slideshow below: