Vancouver Whitecaps Win 1-0 Over Portland Timbers In Exciting Season Opener
The Vancouver Whitecaps win 1-0 over Portland Timbers in an exciting season opener. Vancouver was able to control things in the first half to a 0-0 tie. Cavallini continued on his hot pace in the preseason with a 49th Minute header past Steve Clark. Maxime Crepeau was strong in the net making 2 key saves.
All of this without Ali Adnan, Leonard Owusu, Derek Cornelius, Erik Godoy, Caio Alexandre, and Bruno Gaspar. It was a strong performance by the Whitecaps as every player bought into the system.
This marks the first time head coach Marc Dos Santos has won his season-opening match. For the match preview and lineups check out right here. It was a great result for Vancouver who will look to secure as many points as possible early in the season.
Whitecaps Start Strong But Portland Finds Their Legs In The 1st Half
The Vancouver Whitecaps kicked things off at Rio Tinto Stadium against the Portland Timbers. Vancouver got an early chance when Cristian Dajome would drive down the left side and cross it into the box. Portland was able to clear the danger but it was clear the Whitecaps would not be sitting back. Vancouver would control play for the early minutes of the match before it looked like the Timbers would open the scoring.
A ball in behind Andy Rose and Ranko Veselinovic right to Felipe Mora. He was able to head it back down to Yimmi Chara who made a move past Rose and fired it into the top left corner. Lucky for Vancouver Mora was slightly offside and the flag was up. Vancouver would get the first shot on target in the 11th minute on the counter-attack. Dajome would streak down the right side and find Caicedo who let it go from a distance. It was an easy save for Steve Clark as things remained scoreless.
Portland would start to get their legs as the first half would go on. Valeri was given a nice layoff but sent it wide of the target. Vancouver was keeping a solid backline to make things though for the Timbers. The first yellow card of the game and season would go to Ranko for a toe stomp on Mora in the 20th minute. Things got scrambly for both teams before Vancouver would win the first corner in the 27th minute. Janio Bikel did some nice work to win back the ball before finding Cavallini. He found Caicedo down the wing but the cross for Dajome was deflected out by the TImbers.
Michael Baldisimo would step up for set-piece duty and deliver a ball into Cavallini. His head bounced back to Teibert whose shot was deflected out for another corner. Portland was able to clear and Bikel was forced to take a foul to stop the counter. Vancouver would win the ball back and get their 3rd corner of the match after another nice Caicedo run. He looked for the early low cross and it was cleared out. The Whitecaps would waste the corner as the Timber easily cleared.
After controlling play for the next couple of minutes Portland would get the next chance. Diego Valeri was sent in on a great pass from Larrys Mabiala. Andy Rose was able to get a foot on the cross and it bounced off the crossbar and away from danger in the 35th minute. Portland would continue to attack late in the first half. Darion Asprilla would let go of a shot from a distance that Maxime Crepeau was forced to parry up and over the net in the 38th minute. Portland would whip the cross in and Asprilla got a free header but flicked it wide.
Despite the pressure by the Timbers, Vancouver would hold on till halftime scoreless. Crepeau was called upon again in added time. The Timbers Diego Valeri would set up over a free-kick and deliver a nice ball to the back post. Yimmi Chara would get his head on it and float it towards the top of the net. Crepeau was able to get a hand on it and send it out before Asprilla would send it high on the bicycle kick attempt. Allen Chapman would blow the whistle, and the first half would end 0-0 with Vancouver having 64% possession. Something fans were not quite used to.
Cavallini Strikes For Vancouver In The 2nd Half
Neither coach would make any substitutions at halftime and Vancouver would earn an early free-kick. Lucas Cavallini was fouled by Claudio Bravo, and Gutierrez would deliver the ball in. Portland was able to clear it but only as far as Teibert. After his initial lob was blocked, he found Andy Rose on the second attempt. Rose was able to bring it down and beat his man before sending it rolling slowly off the post. Cavallini forced keeper Steve Clark to force it out for a Whitecaps corner.
Cristian Guttierez would deliver a beautiful ball to the back post, and an unmarked Cavallini would make no mistake. He would head it past the Timbers keeper, and the Whitecaps had a 1-0 lead early in the 2nd half. Vancouver would sit back and play some poor long balls that didn't work. Steve Clark and Dajome would get tangled up going for the ball but both appeared to be okay. The Timbers would start to take over possession numbers and trying to force Vancouver into mistakes. Andy Rose was put in a bad position but was able to clear it off a Timbers player for the goal kick in the 56th minute.
Portland was looking for the equalizer in the 60th minute as Asprilla would cross it in. Crepeau dove off his line and was able to punch it out of danger for Vancouver. It was the Whitecaps turn to attack after a nice touch from Nerwinski but Bikel choose to switch play in the box. Teibert won a corner but there a chance by Bikel to find Caicedo down the right side. The unsung corner was sent past everyone and out the other side for a goal kick. Portland would try and work in but a nice block by Gutierrez would force a throw.
Crepeau would be forced off his line once again in the 62nd minute and punch it right to Josecarlos Van Rankin. He played it off for Chara in the box but an indecisive pass would lead to Vancouver clearing the danger. It was a wasted opportunity for Portland. Vancouver would pick up the physical play and Baldisimo would be shown a yellow card in the 64th minute for a hard challenge on Eryk Williamson. Things would go back and forth for both sides before Dario Zupric would pick up a Yellow card for a foul on Cavallini in the 68th minute.
Giovanni Savarese would make the first subs in the 71st minute for Portland. Brining on Christhian Parades and Marvin Loria on for Williamson and Asprilla. Vancouver would go on the attack thanks to a free-kick won by Cavallini but Portland countered quickly off the clearance and forced Crepeau to run out of the box and clear it out of touch. Vancouver would increase the press and Steve Clark came up limping after having to clear things from Cava. Jeff Attinella would be brought on to replace him in the 78th minute.
Portland would get a corner in the 79th minute but the ball was played long by Valeri. The Whitecaps looked to seal things in the 82nd minute from another set-piece. Baldisimo would deliver it in and the ball would bounce off Andy Rose right to Dajome. He would find the back of the net but VAR would intervene. Jake Nerwinski was deemed to be in an offside position despite not having interfered with the goal. The score was still 1-0 and Portland would make their final substitutions.
In a final effort, Ismaila Jome and Bill Tuiloma would replace Bravo and Valeri. The captain was visibly frustrated coming off the pitch for the Timbers. The Whitecaps were doing all they could to stop the Timbers attack but gave up a late free-kick in a dangerous spot. It was sent well over the net and Vancouver could see all 3 points. It wasn't without another big save from Maxime Crepeau to secure the win as he would come up clutch.
The 4th official would indicate 5 minutes of added time and Marc Dos Santos would try and waste some of it with 2 late substitutions. Ryan Raposo and Patrick Metcalfe would replace Caicedo and Dajome. Portland would get one more late attempt but it wasn't enough and the whistle would blow. The Vancouver Whitecaps win 1-0 over Portland Timbers to start the season.
Vancouver Whitecaps Win 1-0 Over Portland Timbers: Post Game Thoughts and Media
Marc Dos Santos spoke postgame about the identity the team played with as the Vancouver Whitecaps win 1-0 over Portland Timbers in the season opener.
“That’s what I’m very pleased with. Regardless of who’s on the field, we have to have an identity and have to have a way to go about things. I don't think that defensively we struggled until more or less the 60th Minute. There was normal plays there in there but after the 60th minute, there are plays where we were a little bit stretched. Portland was able to play in between our lines. Our lines from the back four to the forward started to get stretched and our block wasn't as compact as we needed to be, but you know I have to evaluate tomorrow how we felt physically also."
"With a first real game, I have to evaluate why at the minute 60-65 we started to struggle. But like you said, at the same time we looked always in moments that we could have been dangerous in some counter-attack situations because of the profile of the players we have, and that's the direction we want to go as a club.” MDS would go on to talk about the Cavallini goal and praise his staff on the set-piece.
"But, you know the highlight of the goal for me is our staff. When I mean our staff, our analysts – Luke [Summers], Drew [Foster], Phil [Dos Santos]. All the guys that work hours and hours on set play situations. They're very dedicated on those moments and they spend a lot of time, so that goal was very well worked, and it was trained, and it was a good play. So it's important for the team. It's important for our work every day, and it's important for Cava.”
Jake Nerwinski spoke about the MLS Pundits never giving this team a chance.
"So you know what, we come out today, we beat the team where all these guys are saying they’re going to be the MLS champion, going to be the Western Conference champion. We come out, we play really well, we play really strong, we get a shutout. And you know we could have had two goals. I think it just shows how strong this group is, and how strong it can be when we have everybody here. So it's something that, yeah, it's in the back of our heads a little bit, but we just need to make sure that we're doing what we need to do on the field, from the training pitch.”
Keeper Maxime Crepeau talked about the mood of the team after the Vancouver Whitecaps win 1-0 over Portland Timbers.
“The group is really tight. We know the reality of this group, this organization, and everyone is committed to work hard, to commit, to show up every day and put the hours, put the effort. Then it shows up on the weekend. Talking with the media, I said we're going to be a team that is difficult to beat because we commit, we commit to work together. And even if whatever happens on the field, if there's moments that we don't have the ball that we have to ball, whatever happens, we're tight, we're together. And so that's the result of it tonight.”
The Unnamed Moments Of The Match
The 2021 Whitecaps Season is back underway with a 1-0 win over the Portland Timbers. As usual, I have lots of great moments to choose from for my Unnamed Moments of the Match, presented by "Advertise with my here". Lucas Cavallini takes 2 out of the 3 spots tonight. Thanks to his second-half goal and gem of a quote in media availability.
Unnamed Goal Of The Match
If you are any good at math, this one should be easy. The Vancouver Whitecaps win 1-0 over Portland Timbers thanks to a beautiful header from Lucas Cavallini.
He also proceeded to ninja kick the microphone to which he was asked about post match. "What Microphone?"
Unnamed Media Moment Of The Match
It was evident Lucas was in good spirits post-match. He spoke for only a couple of minutes but did deliver this absolute gem of a quote. That had to be on purpose right Cava?
Unnamed Moment Of The Match: The Supporters
Head Coach Marc Dos Santos went out of his way in media availability to ask himself a question. "I'll ask myself, Hey Marc do you have an opening statement? I really want this win so the Vancouver fans and everybody that is home not being able to be at a stadium, not being able to be with us. When you play Portland and you win you could only remember all the fans in Vancouver and that one is for them."
We could hear the supporters loud and proud on the broadcast and see it on Twitter.
The Sports Talk Line Network and The Vancouver Whitecaps
The Sports Talk Line Network will have you covered all Vancouver Whitecaps season. After an exciting 1-0 win over The Portland Timbers, this year could see the team take the next step. Make sure to check out the Sports Talk Line website for the latest news and articles about the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Follow me on Twitter @JoshuaGriffith0 for post-game, during the game, and pre-game commentary, and be sure to subscribe to the Sports Talk Line YouTube Channel for the latest Videos and one-on-one interviews with the team and coaching staff.
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