Carl Robinson had called the task facing Vancouver Whitecaps in their CONCACAF Champions League semi-final second leg against Tigres, “mission impossible”. But when Brek Shea fired the Whitecaps into a one goal lead on the night and to within one goal of levelling the tie up on aggregate, you were starting to wonder just who Tom Cruise would be playing in the movie.
Tigres were allowed a lot of possession, but you honestly weren’t fearing them with what they were doing with it, or rather what they weren’t. The second half started and the ‘Caps were very much in the tie. Christian Bolanos nearly tied things up on aggregate, but saw his shot saved.
A missed opportunity? Definitely, but even more than that, it seemed to spark Tigres into life. They knew they had to up a gear and see off these pesky Canadians, and they did just that. Never poke a tiger. You’ll only make it angry. Andre-Pierre Gignac basically killed the tie off with a beautiful curler in the 63rd minute, and when Damian Alvarez added a second with six minutes remaining, the dream was already long gone.
In the end, it was Tigres, Tigres who were left burning bright, in the rainforests of the Vancouver night.
AFTN photographer Tom Ewasiuk was there to capture all the action before, during and after the game. Here’s his “Story In Pictures”, with a full Flickr slideshow at the end.[Also check out Tom’s website www.residualimagephotography.com for more of his photos and work].
The ball of fate!
Lots of Tigres fans in the house
Love this two stick
Caps fans in attendance too, just not as many as we’d hoped
Tigres starting XI
Your Whitecaps starting XI
The game couldn’t have got off to a better start for Vancouver, as Brek Shea fires home a third minute opener
And the keen fisherman celebrates in style
But joy turned to heartbreak for Shea as his knee seems to pop after a challenge two minutes later
And his night was done
It was a first half of tough tackling altogether
Is there another coach in MLS that picks the ball up more than Robbo?!
Jordan Harvey is incredulous about Tigres playacting
While Matias Laba picks up a booking for this one
1-0 to the ‘Caps at half time. Job well done so far but still a lot to do
And the ‘Caps nearly draw level on aggregate but Christian Bolanos sees his shot saved at the near post at the start of the second half
That chance clearly gave Tigres a fright and they stepped up their game, equalising on the night through a fantastic Andre-Pirre Gignac curler into the postage stamp corner
Giving Tigres the tie-killing away goal they were looking for
Tigres were now in complete control and looked capable of adding to their tally at any time
Forcing David Ousted to be at his best
Substitute Kyle Greig tries to get onto a loose ball in the box for the ‘Caps but there’s just too many bodies in the way
As the ‘Caps pushed forward, they’re caught at the back and substitute Damian Alvarez makes it 2-1 on the night and 4-1 on aggregate in the 83rd minute
The Whitecaps brave effort and two year cup run was now officially over
David Ousted is met by a well wisher on the pitch and ends up escorting him off. Not the greatest way to end the run
You can see all of Tom’s photos from the game HERE and in our full Flickr slideshow below: