The undefeated Whitecaps were handed their first loss of the season by the Colorado Rapids and it was a tough pill to swallow for all 21,000 in attendance. The home team took the lead in the 2nd half only to go down to 10 men and soon after concede 2 goals.
The first half was sluggish from both teams as neither created many chances. Darren Mattocks has had a strong start to his season even though at kickoff he was yet to score a goal. In the 14th minute it looked as if his luck had finally changed as he slotted the ball past Rapid goalkeeper Clint Irwin. But unfortunately the offside flag was up. Vancouver came out strong in the second half but they still lacked that killer instinct they had at home against New York and Houston. Mattocks finally got his first goal of the season in the 67th minute as Miller played him in all alone against Irwin and Mattocks powered his shot into the net. Once play had restarted the ‘Caps had a brilliant chance to go up 2-0 but Irwin made a stunning save on Pedro Morales.
The game changed drastically in the 77th minute when Matias Laba was given his second yellow of the game. Laba was fouled and when the call wasn’t made he picked up the ball in frustration. While I can certainly agree with his anger at the missed call, he has been playing in MLS long enough to realize that sometimes calls don’t go your way. Laba left the pitch and Colorado took advantage. Jose Mari scored goal of the week in the 79th minute and added a second in the 81st. Ousted and Vancouver’s defense were helpless. In the dying minutes the Whitecaps put Colorado under intense pressure as they had several dangerous free-kicks. David Ousted got much love from the home crowd as he ran up the pitch numerous times in the hope of getting his head on the receiving end of a free-kick. But the late valiant effort to tie the game was not enough as Carl Robinson and the ‘Caps suffered their first loss.
While the ref made several questionable calls it was really the ‘Caps who defeated themselves. They lacked offensive cohesion and the save Irwin made on Morales really shouldn’t have been made because Morales had the entire net at his mercy. A disappointing result for the Whitecaps which we can only hope doesn’t come back to haunt them at the end of the season.
(image courtesy of Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)