Whitecaps/ Columbus Crew game summary
The Vancouver Whitecaps defence rode their luck early as the Columbus attack flooded into their half over the opening 45 minutes.
Two potential goals for the Crew were called back in the first ten for a foul on Jay DeMerit, and an offside.
Josh Williams, who had been denied the first goal for the foul, was cursing his own poor luck again when his spectacular bicycle kick crashed off the Vancouver crossbar.
Gradually, the Vancouver back four settled down into their now familiar composed selves and started to assert control over the Columbus offence. Joe Cannon was also at his early season best tipping away two powerful shots that managed to breach the defence.
The defence stepped up in another way in the 74th minute when a drifting YP Lee free kick eluded Crew goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum, who had hesitated in a clear misjudgement of the ball’s flight.
Martin Rennie’s team selection stuck to his favoured 4-3-3 set-up. Columbus countered with an interesting 4-1-2-1-2 look that shaped the midfield in a diamond set to protect the centre of the park. The dense nature of the diamond clogged the park for the Vancouver forwards, but also served to blunt the Columbus attack, once the ‘Caps defence finally got to grips with the unusual formation.
Joe Cannon was in fine form yet again, managing to keep his team in the match until they settled down.
The team struggled early on once more, but they worked to regain their composure by sticking to their checks ever tighter. Jay DeMerit may be the captain, but the imposing YP Lee’s impressive weekly performances are the strength of this unit lately. His goal was icing on the cake for his excellent two weeks of form in late April.
Matt Watson, Gershon Koffie, and Jun Marques Davidson retained their assignments and looked solid as their familiarity with one another increases.
Man of the Match
YP Lee is proving the value of his experience as the ex-Korean national team captain, as his leadership skills were made manifest on both ends of the pitch.<
Play of the Match
Lee’s tricky free kick allowed the Whitecaps to steal this match against the unfortunate Columbus Crew.
Quote Of The Week
“It is an ugly win but good teams win ugly,” he said. “Thankfully we’ve had a couple of those performances this year where we’ve battled for 90-plus minutes and balls have bounced our way on set pieces.” – Jay DeMerit
Video courtesy Whitecaps FC