The Vancouver Whitecaps opened up their 2016 MLS campaign on Sunday against Canadian rivals, the Montreal Impact.
With a handful of new additions trying to etch their names in Whitecaps folklore, the ‘Caps were hoping to get a win against the Drogba-less Impact. However, in front of the sold out B.C. Place crowd, the ‘Caps fell short, 3-2.
For this match, coach Carl Robinson made a few changes to the usual starting XI ‘Caps fans have gotten accustomed to. Most notably, newcomers Fraser Aird and Christian Bolaños were both given a chance to start. In addition, the team saw 19 year-old Kianz Froese paired up beside Matias Laba in the centre of the park.
After the national anthems and a little fireworks display, the fans got going with a simple choreographed routine. One half shouted “White!” while holding up an accompanying poster, and the other side followed up with “Caps!” shortly after.
With the atmosphere buzzing, stadium-goers didn’t have to wait too long to see the first goal, unfortunately for the ‘Caps, it was the Impact that scored first.
(19th minute – Montreal Impact – Ignacio Piatti)
And, it was the Impact that scored second. After a mix-up between the ‘Caps keeper David Ousted and centre-back Kendall Waston, Montreal striker Oduro was gifted his first of the match. Luckily, right before the first half whistle, leftback Jordan Harvey found the back of the net to bring the Whitecaps closer to equalizing.
The second half almost mirrored the first, with both goals coming near the end of the final whistle.
Montreal scored first at the 88 minute, and then the ‘Caps did so in additional time. The ‘Caps Costa Rican duo linked up for the last play of the game. New boy Christian Bolaños saw his corner drilled into the back of the net, by the big man, Kendall Waston. But it was too little, too late.
Even after forwards Kekuta, Perez and Kudo all come off the bench to try and pitch in, the ‘Caps weren’t able to finish their chances in front of the net. The game ended with the Whitecaps having 21 shots, of which 10 were on target, compared to Montreal’s 11 in total and 5 on target.
With both ‘Caps goals coming from defenders, this teams’ forwards will need to be more efficient in front of the net if they plan on beating Sporting Kansas City on Saturday.
19’ – –Ignacio Piatti
42’ –Montreal Impact – Dominic Oduro
45’ – Vancouver Whitecaps– Jordan Harvey
88’ –Montreal Impact – Ignacio Piatti
90’ + 3’ – Vancouver Whitecaps – Kendall Waston