Rapids/Whitecaps Game Summary
Two years ago, the Colorado Rapids won it all as they hoisted the MLS Cup following a 2-1 decision over FC Dallas. Coming into this season, the Vancouver Whitecaps had also lost their only two matches to date against the Rocky Mountains team.
So, this contest was seen as something of a measuring stick for the ‘Caps to see how far they had come from their inaugural campaign.
The game was a great advertisement for MLS as, despite a scoreless opening half, the play was end to end stuff. Both teams went out to attack and generated a terrific atmosphere inside BC Place.
Vancouver went with an unchanged line-up, keeping Darren Mattocks as a starter at the expense once again of Eric Hassli.
Vancouver had slightly the better of the possession, but was stunned by the dismissal of Mattocks early in the second half following two yellow cards issued within a 3 minute span.
His first infraction was supposedly for diving (though he appeared to have simply fallen over while off balance in the Colorado penalty area), then he received another caution for a poor tackle from behind.
However, Vancouver pulled it out of the fire when Sebastien Le Toux got on the end of a sublime Davide Chiumiento long pass over the defence to dispatch a fine volley into the bottom left of the Colorado goal.
The Vancouver defence then managed to close ranks to hold off the Rapids and earned another 3 point cushion in the standings over their conference rivals.
It was a game of two halves at Bell Pitch with an equally barn burning run between both teams in the first period, and a siege mentality for Vancouver in the second as they played a man down. However, the one consistent element for Vancouver throughout was the sterling play of goalkeeper Joe Cannon, who controlled his area with his aggressive approach.
Le Toux c’est Le Man
With Darren Mattocks out, the front line was reduced to just two forwards and it would have required a special goal for Vancouver to pull it out of the fire. Thankfully, Sebastien Le Toux was in the mood on this day and he kept putting himself into effective positions, including a near miss just before his winner.
Man of the Match
Joe Cannon was absolutely indispensable on this night.
Play of the Match
“One of the better performances of the year. To show the character we showed to keep fighting, to score, and then last ditch defending. A total team effort. Well deserved.” – Jay DeMerit
Video Courtesy Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Youtube