Whitecaps at Sporting KC Dominated 3-0 Thanks To A Brace From Alan Pulido
The Vancouver Whitecaps at Sporting KC were outplayed in every aspect of the game Sunday as they fell 3-0. Daniel Salloi opened the scoring before Alan Pulido would score one from the penalty spot and one in the second half. It was the second straight loss for Vancouver who was thoroughly outplayed.
Both teams would make lineup changes coming off 1-0 losses. For team lineups, news, and notes check out the Whitecaps at Sporting KC preview. The rain held off, and the match would get underway just after 11:00 am PST. Let's see how the match played out between Whitecaps at Sporting KC.
Sporting KC Dominated The Whitecaps In The First Half
Sporting KC would kick things off and attack quickly down the right side. A cross-in was too long and the Whitecaps were able to clear back to half. Salloi would get the first shot on net in the 2nd minute. It was deflected by Ranko Veselinovic and was easy save for Maxime Crepeau. The 6,500 fans were very noticeable as Sporting KC worked it around the pitch. The first foul of the match would go against the Whitecaps in the 4th minute. Vancouver looked shaky to start and wasn't able to get on the ball.
Graham Zusi would send in a dangerous cross that Gadi Kinda would get a head-on. It was sent up over the net and out for a goal kick as we hit the 6th minute. Sporting KC would win the ball back and try and counter down the left side. Jake Nerwinksi would come up with his second tackle of the match to stop the attack. Things would get a bit rough as Alan Kelly would have to bring out his whistle. The first bit of life by the Whitecaps was in the 9th minute.
Dajome would try and turn and run past Ilie Sanchez, he would drag him down and be shown a yellow card. It would also set up a free-kick for Vancouver. It was taken short and Deiber Caicedo would send it into the box. It was knocked down to Derek Cornelius who would bounce it off the ground. Cavallini would get his head on it but it was straight at Tim Melia. The Whitecaps would get a spell of possession as the game went into the 12th minute. Sporting would try and counter but Alan Pulido was met by a wall of defenders as he got into the box.
Gadi Kinda would show his great footwork with a nice step over to get around Nerwinksi in the 14th minute. The chip into the box was to no one and would run out the other side. A handball by Caicedo would give Sporting KC a free kick in the 15th minute. Busio would swing it in but Pulido's header was off target. A mistake by Vancouver almost ended up in the back of their net. Cristian Gutierrez played Khiry Shelton wrong and he was able to get on the end of a long cross. Crepeau made the choice to come out of his net and Shelton was able to chip it up over but into the side net.
The attack would continue from Sporting KC in the 18th minute. They would win a corner but it would be cleared by the Whitecaps and they would release the pressure. Luis Martins had a chance in the box to give Sporting KC the lead but his chance was sent over the net to his disgust. As we hit the 20th-minute mark it was all Sporting KC. Maxime Crepeau had to make an amazing save in the 21st minute. Martins would cross in a great ball and Espinoza would run onto it. His shot was for the far corner by Crepeau dove out and kept the game scoreless.
The Whitecaps would slow things down after Janio Bikel was fouled by Kinda. But Nerwinksi would foul KC shortly after to give the ball right back. Vancouver was playing very deep and gave up another corner in the 25th minute. Busio would play the ball in and Crepeau would have to come off his line to punch it away. Vancouver would clear the second chance before they were fouled. KC was pressing very high and making it hard for the Whitecaps to break upfield. Like most of the first half Sporting would control it again and this time it was Salloi with the great chance.
Graham Zusi would send it to the back post and Salloi had a great chance but volleyed it wide of the net. Minutes later he would get his goal as he walked through the Whitecaps defense and beat Crepeau on the far side in the 28th minute. Things would go from bad to worse in the 31st minute as Sporting KC would draw a penalty. Ryan Raposo would come in from behind and Alan Kelly pointed right to the spot. Alan Pulido would step up and calmly send it into the net to make it 2-0 in the 32nd minute.
Vancouver was able to calm things down as Sporting KC almost let them play the ball around. Gadi Kinda would receive a yellow yard in the 36th minute for a hard foul on Alexandre. For someone hesitant to use his subs Marc Dos Santos would bring on Michael Baldisimo for Ryan Raposo in the 36th minute. It was obvious the coach was not happy with his young Canadians play. Vancouver would start to see more of the ball as he moved into the 38th minute. They couldn't find any space around the net as Sporting KC would win it back.
Vancouver would get a chance to counterattack in the 40th minute. Deiber Caicedo would walk into the middle and sky a shot 20 feet over the net. It summed up the Whitecaps first half. Dajome would almost get Vancouver on the board after a great pass to send him down the wing. He got in deep but was able to get a shot away that was blocked off the line by Sporting KC. It would rattle around at the feet of Cavallini before the home side would clear it from danger. Vancouver would start to show some life as we got into the final 5 minutes.
A great pass by Caio Alexandre to find Cavallini but for the second week in a row, his feet failed him. He wasn't able to get a shot away despite the great chance. Sporting KC would end the final minutes of the half like the first 39 minutes. They would win 2 corners to try and add to their lead. Vancouver was able to clear and limp through the one minute of added time to get to the half down 2-0 to Sporting KC.
2nd Half Went From Bad To Worse For The Whitecaps At Sporting KC
No changes at halftime for either squad as Vancouver got things underway in the second half. It was Sporting KC that had a low block as the Whitecaps worked it around the back. Vancouver turned the ball over and Alan Pulido was able to find Shelton with a nice pass, he had all kinds of space but missed his shot and Crepeau was able to dive on the ball and get things started quickly. The Whitecaps were gifted a great chance when Ilie played the ball right to Dajome in the box. He was wide open and needed to do much better as he sent it well over the net in the 49th minute.
In the 51st minute, Sporting KC would win a free-kick right outside the box. Alan Pulido was hauled down by Janio Bikel and after a quick check of an earlier foul by VAR, we would get back underway. Luis Martins would send it right into the wall and off Cavallini before Vancouver was able to clear it out for a throw. Sporting would force Crepeau to make another big save. A cross into the back of the box by Kinda and Zusi was wide open for a volley. Crepeau was able to kick it out and keep it 2-0.
Derek Cornelius would show a bit of his frustration in the 55th minute with a hard foul against Espinoza. Sporting would get a free kick and after the first chance was cleared the ball was sent back into the box. How it stayed out of the net in the next sequence I have no idea. Sporting KC had 3 chances to get it on net but it was blocked by Nerwinksi and off Pulido before Crepeau had to make another great save and dive on the ball. It was all for not as minutes later they would make it 3-0.
Alan Pulido was able to walk into the box and send a perfect shot under Ranko and into the corner of the net. Crepeau had no chance and in the 58th minute, it looked like the game was out of reach for the Whitecaps. Marc Dos Santos would sub on the kids in the 61st minute. Jake Nerwinksi and Alexandre would make way for Kamron Habibullah and Javain Brown. It was Brown's MLS debut after being taken by the Whitecaps in this year's super draft. Brown and Habibullah would make an impact for Vancouver. Some nice work down the right side would win their first corner for the Whitecaps at Sporting KC.
Gutierrez would whip the ball in but Javain Brown couldn't get his header on target in the 64th minute. Zusi would beat Gutierrez down the right side but his cut into the box was cleared away by Veselinovic. Peter Vermes would make his first chance in the 67th minute replacing Gadi Kinda with Remi Walker. Kinda had a strong game for Sporting with 1 assist and causing havoc down the left. They would continue to attack with a 3-0 lead. They would win a corner in the 68th minute but it was cleared away. The second chance would get headed wide off the net and roll out for a goal kick.
Crepeau would continue to be busy as he had to dive out and grab across in the 70th minute. Vancouver tried to attack quickly but a ball for Caicedo would run long to Tim Melia. His name hasn't been mentioned much today and Peter Vermes would be happy about that. Pulido was looking for the hat trick as he was given a great chance on the ball from Zusi. He would want the chance back as his header was weak and bounced in front of Crepeau. Captain Espinoza would get a yellow card for a foul in the 72nd minute.
Sporting was looking for more goals and Baldisimo had to come back and make a nice defensive play. SKC would make their second change of the match bringing on Jaylin Lindsey for Graham Zusi in the 75th minute. The Whitecaps would try and get a chance but they were not having any luck breaking the home teams backline. Sporting would win it back and hold possession, they waited for their chance and would win a corner in the 78th minute. It was sent in long but Cornelius headed it out for another corner.
Vancouver would make its final changes in the 80th minute. Ranko Veselinovic and Dajome would make way for Theo Bair and Erik Godoy. Both players were making their first appearances of the season for the Whitecaps. It was all Sporting KC as they worked down the left side and found Pulido in the middle. He would set up Busio who let a shot go from a distance but was over the net. We would hit the 83rd minute with the score still 3-0 for Sporting KC. Michael Baldisimo would do some good work for Vancouver to win the win in the middle of the pitch. He was able to find Gutierrez who would win a corner.
The ball would bounce to the outside of the box and Baldisimo would drive it back in. It would fall to Cavallini but his shot was weak and right at Tim Melia. Sporting would hold the ball and work it around the back as the time ticked away. Busio would eventually take a shot from distance but it was right into the back of the Vancouver player. Walter would test Crepeau with a long strike right on the turf but he was equal to the task to keep it just 3-0. Peter Vermes would make his final changes in the 88th minute.
Captain Roger Espinoza and Alan Pulido would let the youngsters finish the match. Cameron Duke and Wilson Harris would play out the remaining 2 minutes plus stoppage time. Cornelius would foul Shelton right outside the box as the Whitecaps had no answer for KC except to foul. Busio would send it off the head of Bikel and Gutierrez was able to clear. The 4th official would signal 3 added minutes but the game couldn't end fast enough for the Whitecaps as Sporting KC would continue to attack. The final whistle would blow on a disappointing performance from the away squad.
Post Game Thoughts and Media
Marc Dos Santos didn't mix words postgame with how he felt about his team's performance. "Overall, we played a team that was better than us tonight and the team that deserves the three points, and now we have to react and get out of this game, learn from this game and not throw away everything we did until this game, and try to see what we could do now to get to a next step in games like that."
Marc would go on to talk about the start by Sporting KC. "I think that in the moment that the pressure in the front wasn't well done. They had Martins getting very wide and high. And when that happens, it created a two-v-one in the right side because we weren't able to press right away, and that didn't allow Jake to release higher so Jake had to be caught in two-v-one situations."
It was once again a game full of missed chances for Vancouver, Marc was asked about that post-game and his thoughts on what the team needs to do better to finish chances. "I didn't really see the play of Cava when it comes to his right foot, I didn't see that play yet, the game just ended right now. We need to create more opportunities, it's an area of the game that we're struggling with, and we have to find solutions inside the roster."
Ranko Veselinovic spoke on the match and on playing in front of fans again. "The result says everything. They were better in every segment of the game today – in defence, in pressure, in offence. They deserved their three points."
"Well for me personally I like to play [in front of fans]. I enjoyed it really even in Minnesota, and here are more fans. I really enjoy to play with fans, we miss them a lot. It would be better if we have our domestic fans you know who are cheering for us. I mean it's nice for the game but definitely when you play against 10,000 people against you, it's easier for the opponents because they have the wind in their back, but that's normal. I hope later in the season we will have fans with us."
Keeper Maxime Crepeau had a good day despite the 3-0 score. He made 3 big saves and couldn't be faulted for any of the goals. He also spoke to the media, but since it was so short I was able to tweet out the entire thing. See below.
The Unnamed Moments Of The Match Whitecaps at Sporting KC
It was a tough game to watch for Whitecaps fans as the team fell 3-0 to Sporting KC. There weren't too many positives to take from the Whitecaps end except for a great performance in net from Crepeau. Let's get to The Unnamed Moments Of The Match presented by The Sports Talk Line Network.
The Unnamed Goal Of The Match
Alan Pulido led the way with an 8.4 Who Scored rating with 1 successful dribble and an 89 percent pass rate. His brace put the game out the reach for the Whitecaps and is The Unnamed Goal Of The Match.
The Unnamed Media Moment Of The Match
When people accuse the media of wanting the team to lose or trying to have a bias I always laugh. Let me show you what happens when we get to speak with the Keeper after the match. This was the entire media as I was the only one
brave stupid enough to ask a question...
No need for more than two moments after a match like today!
Sports Talk Line And The Vancouver Whitecaps
The Whitecaps at Sporting KC did not go the way Vancouver wanted. They will head back home before finishing up their 3 game road trip against the Houston Dynamo on Saturday, May 22nd. make sure to follow me on Twitter @JoshuaGriffith0 for the latest news and updates ahead of the Caps match next week.
Stay tuned to the Sports Talk Line website this week as I have a special article coming out. Find out what player brought his cat down to Utah with him and what this furry companion means to him. Not just cat news though as I will have you covered for this week's media before the team heads back on the road.
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