After suffering from lack of offensive output for the past few weeks the deadly Vancouver offense started to show signs of its former self. The Whitecaps looked like a team desperate for points and were deserving of their 2-0 victory over the reigning MLS champions. However, Vancouver was not firing on all cylinders and should have really turned the screw on a Sporting KC team that was not at their best on the night.
Vancouver jumped out to an early lead when Pedro Morales hit a high pass cross field to a streaking Fernandez. Sporting defender Igor Juliao intercepted the cross but headed the ball into his own net. The Whitecaps pushed hard to add to their tally and were rewarded when a turnover in mid-field fell to Pedro Morales. He jumped over a challenge and played in Mattocks who calmly placed the ball past the KC goalkeeper.
The ‘Caps had several other chances and had a strong case for a penalty kick at the end of the first half when Fernandez was tackled from behind.
The second half was fairly even as Sporting pressed for a goal. Late in the second half Salgado looked to be pulled down in the box and Vancouver was awarded a spot kick. Mattocks fired but the shot was saved by Jon Kempin. Sporting had several decent chances but Vancouver goalie David Ousted earned his wage as he stopped every shot directed at him.
Vancouver badly needed this win and good on the players for turning up ready to play. They took their foot off the gas in the second half and missed chances could have hurt them if not for the own goal by SKC. But beating Sporting KC is a great achievement.
Vancouver has moved up to 5th in the west with a game in hand over the Rapids, the Timbers, and FC Dallas who are Vancouver’s biggest competitors for a playoff spot. Now the Whitecaps will have to turn this win into momentum as they head on their California road trip before returning home to face the Portland Timbers at the end of the month.
As we barrel towards the conclusion of the 2014 regular season the Whitecaps are still very much in the playoff hunt. Last year the Portland Timbers managed to draw most of their games before ending the season with a series of victories as they vaulted up the standings and into the playoffs. Vancouver fans are hoping for a similar storyline this season.
(image courtesy of Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)