That’s right! The Whitecaps vs Minnesota United played to a 2-2 draw Saturday night. It was a game of lasts, as it was the last day of July, the last “Home Match” at Rio Tinto, and the last time the Whitecaps would be without their DP number 10 Ryan Gauld. It was also a game of lates as a late first-half goal by the Loons would tie things up before an even later second-half goal by the Caps to tie it up once again.
Cristian Dajome scored both goals for Vancouver. He now leads the team with 8 goals and 2 assists in 16 matches. For Minnesota, Ethan Finlay and Robin Lod would tally goals. It was another game where Vancouver would feel like they deserved more. Marc Dos Santos spoke about it after the match.
“When you look at the two games between us and Minnesota, we definitely deserve the point. But we feel again that we could have had a little bit more.” Let’s see why MDS felt this way.
Whitecaps Jump Out To A Lead Before A Late Loons Goal
The Whitecaps would make 2 changes to the 4-3-3 lineup from last week’s 2-2 draw to LAFC. Jake Nerwinski would come on at RB for Javain Brown. Caio Alexandre was out due to yellow card accumulation so Russell Teibert would slot back into the lineup. Maxime Crepeau and Lucas Cavallini were left out of the 20 for rest.
Head Coach Adrian Heath would make one swap from their own 2-2 draw with LAFC. He would bring on D.J. Taylor at LB for Chase Gaspar in a 4-2-3-1.
Vancouver would kick things off but a poor giveaway early would almost lead to an Emanuel Reynoso counter. Minnesota would win a throw and find Reynoso, he whipped it nicely into the box and Robin Lod was left unmarked. He was able to get a free header but it was straight at Hasal. Vancouver would work to get back possession and work it around looking for space inside. Dajome would find Nerwinski running down the right and the ball would eventually be crossed in by Nerwinski, It was too far for Caicedo and out for a goal kick.
The ball and match rolled into the 5th minute as both teams tried to get an idea of what their opponent wanted to do. Dajome would win a free kick in the 6th minute after getting pushed down by Jacori Hayes. He would snap a lace on one of his cleats a take a bit to fix it. Break your shoelace every match is what I say. Cristian Gutierrez would swing it into the box but Brent Kallman and Minnesota were able to clear it with a nice header.
Vancouver would press right back on the attack with their big men up and Caicedo would win a corner. It was right to Dajome at the back post but his shot was blocked and cleared. Michael Baldisimo would take a foul on Reynoso, who was everywhere this match. Minnesota would give it right back to the Whitecaps and as we neared the 10-minute mark Vancouver was looking like the more dangerous team. The Whitecap’s first decent chance would come thanks to some nice work from Gutierrez and Dajome. A nice hard-cut ball and Dajome would one-touch it to Brian White but he was just offside.
Minnesota would take things over and some nice passing down the right side would almost lead to a great chance. A nice one-touch pass from Lod would find Reynoso, he would thread a pass to send in Finlay but he was offside. The touch was heavy anyways and the ball would run to Hasal. The Whitecaps would get the next chance as things went back and forth. Dajome would find Nerwinski on a nice overlap and he cut it back perfectly to Janio Bikel running into the box. Bikel sent his shot well over the net and threw his hands up in disgust. It was a poor attempt and things would remain 0-0 into the 16th minute.
Brain White would win Vancouver a deep throw in the 18th minute after some scrambly play from both teams. Nerwinski would immediately give up the foul and the Loons had it right back. Things would continue like this for several minutes with the teams trading the ball and not getting any good looks. In the 21st minute Baldisimo would pick out Dajome with a great switch and he had lots of space down the right side. The ball would get crossed into the box and eventually bounce around to Teibert. He would send a shot well over the net not even testing Tyler Miller.
Minnesota would counter off the play and win a free-kick. Reynoso would deliver a nice ball and Hasal wasn’t able to grab it and it would go out for a corner. Another great ball off the corner by Reynoso and Kallman got a free header but wasted it and put it far wide of the net. Vancouver was looking good on the rush but it was leaving them open to the Loons counter-attack. Twice Janio Bikel had to break things up, first with a header away and then with a foul to slow things down. It didn’t slow things down for the Whitecaps vs Minnesota United as they continued the attack before Reynoso would send a shot wide.
Vancouver would settle down a bit as we hit the 30-minute mark and control things more. After Vancouver would give the ball away Baldy would be late to a challenge on Finlay and be shown a yellow card in the 34th minute. The ball wouldn’t stay with Minnesota for long as a bouncing ball was played back to Hasal by Godoy. It was cleared upfield and would bounce around for both teams before falling to Russell Teibert. He made an amazing
back FORWARD pass to spring Dajome past the backline. Dajome stayed onside and would snipe a great shot into the far corner of the net past Miller for the 1-0 lead in the 36th minute.
The Whitecaps would continue on the attack looking for a quick second goal. The ball would fall to Gutierrez in the middle of the park with no defenders in sight. He walked in but struck a poor effort on the net. It could have been a shot? It could have been a pass? It was not on target. With the lead Vancouver started to play more timidly and let Minnesota control the ball and dictate play. While the Caps lines were holding nice shape they had decided to try and end the first half in the 43rd minute. Vancouver would almost double their lead in the 44th minute after a Dajome cross was inches away from connecting with White.
Vancouver was holding onto a late first-half lead but the Loons had other ideas. A great pass to find Ethan Finlay and he made no mistake in his finish. Emanual Reynoso was the person who found him if that was some kind of surprise to anyone? A late yellow card to Romain Metanire and the half would end all even at one goal each.
Not As Exciting But The Same Results In The 2nd Half
Adrian Heath would make the only change at halftime bringing on Adrien Hunou to replace Hayes. Minnesota would get the first real chance after winning a free kick in the 46th minute. Janio Bikel who was playing very physically for the Whitecaps would get a little too Physical on Hassani Dotson. The ball was sent into the box but Erik Godoy was there to head it away. The Whitecaps would take control of the things and Bikel would try and spring Dajome on a long run. He was taken down for a free-kick and a yellow card to Taylor.
Gutierrez would send the delivery to the back post but Minnesota would clear the initial danger and then back past halfway. Vancouver was looking for that second goal as the first half got underway. Dajome was sprung down the right side on a great pass from Bikel. Dajome would cut it back into the box but it was deflected out for a corner. The Whitecaps would end up winning two straight corners but the service was poor into the box. The Second corner would eventually run out to Dajome but his show was way off target.
Minnesota would try and break the Caps down in the 52nd minute after winning a throw. They would try and work it down the left side with Finlay but Jake Nerwinski would hold strong and win a free-kick to relieve the pressure. The message at halftime for Adrian Heath’s team was obviously, attack! They would continue to do that as we moved into the 54th minute, Finlay would walk in and have a go from distance, but it was well wide as he tried to find the brace. With the Loons holding onto the ball more to start the second half the counter was more open for the Whitecaps.
Ranko Veselinovic would make a strong tackle and win the ball back. He was fouled but referee Lukasz Szpala would allow play to continue. Ranko would find Dajome down the right side and then take off for a run. With numbers going the other way Wil Trapp would haul down Dajome and be shown a yellow card for his efforts in the 55th minute. It was a smart foul by the veteran as Dajome would have been off to the races.
It was Vancouver’s turn to attack as Deiber Caicedo would put in some nice work down the right side. He would send in a cross but it went over both White and Dajome. Dajome was able to chase it down and send in a low cross that Tyler Miller had trouble with and went out for a corner. Gutierrez would deliver a decent ball into the box that Godoy was able to head back into danger but Minnesota was waiting and cleared. The match moved past the 58th minute and Caicedo and Dajome were getting a lot of space down the wings. The runs and switches were nice but the final ball was lacking for Whitecaps vs Minnesota United.
Marc Dos Santos would go to his bench for the first time in the 62nd minute bringing on Patrick Metcalfe for Baldisimo. The pace of the match would slow down as neither team wanted to make the first mistake as it could cost a point. Minnesota would get bold first and try down the right side with Metanire but was forced back to try down the left side. The switch of play was long and out of touch for a Whitecaps throw. As we moved past the 65th minute Vancouver would work for that opening in the Minnesota backline. Caicedo and Teibert would try and make something happen but lost the ball and the Loons would counter quickly.
The long ball down the left side to Taylor was long to the relief of the Caps. Shortly after Dotson and Bikel would get tangled up at midfield and Minnesota would be awarded the free-kick. Despite the pace slowing down the physicality was picking up. Minnesota would win another free-kick and Reynoso would deliver in a beautiful ball. Hunou would get a head on it and Thomas Hasal could only turn and watch it bounce right off the post in the 69th minute. Vancouver would get to take a breath as they cleared it back to the Loons side of the pitch.
The timidness would creep in once again as the teams would exchange poor long balls for turnovers. Hunou would try and dribble to the danger but he was met with a hard shoulder from Erik Godoy. Szpala would award a free-kick to Minnesota and Reynoso would whip it in with pace. It would deflect to the back post but Finlay couldn’t get a boot on it and it would go out for a goal kick. Shortly after Patrick Metcalfe would show some nice play to win Vancouver a free-kick of their own. They would give it right back to the Loons and they would make the Whitecaps pay.
Janio Bikel would turn it over to Will Trapp and Minnesota would rush quickly. Trapp was able to find Robin Lod who was in a 2 vs 1 against Erik Godoy. Lod was able to walk around the Argentinean and fire it far post past the diving Hasal. After scoring the opening goal, the Whitecaps vs Minnesota United looked to be in trouble down 2-1 in the 75th minute. Minnesota would almost score a 3rd after the reset, but after a non-call on Janio Bikel, the cross by Reynoso was just out of the reach of Lod’s outstretched leg.
Marc Dos Santos would make his second set of changes as the clock ticked away from the 79th to 80th minute. He would bring in Tosaint Ricketts for Brian White up top, Ryan Raposo for Russell Teibert, and Javain Brown for Nerwinski. The Whitecaps were clearly chasing the match. Minnesota would win one more of their 11 corners but Szpala would call a foul in the box against the away team. As the match moved into the final 10 minutes Vancouver seemed to wake up to the fact they were down 2-1.
Javain Brown would try and make an immediate impact as he would send a cross into the box. It was headed right to Ryan Raposo and he would try and curl it to the far post but It deflected out for a Caps corner. Caicedo would stand over the ball and deliver an outswinger but Dajome wasn’t able to get a good header on it as he was off balance. With 7 minutes plus the added time, the urgency seemed to be there for the Whitecaps. Brown and Gutierrez would play catch across the net at the touchline before Brown would fire a shot that Miller had to be sharp to stop.
Minnesota was able to go into time-wasting mode as we neared the 85th minute after winning a corner. Reynoso would send it out the back of touch for a goal kick in what was rare poor service in the match from him. After Minnesota would quickly win it back Tosaint Ricketts would take a cheap foul in the 86th minute tugging down Taylor. More time would tick off the clock… The frustration seemed to be mounting as Bikel was shown a Yellow in the 87th minute. More time would tick off the clock… Another foul on Bikel, and you guessed it. Tick, Tick, Tick.
Reynoso would almost score the 3rd goal for Minnesota but his volley would go wide and Vancouver still had hope. The 4th official would signal 3 added minutes and Adrian Heath would make his last sub. Reynoso was brilliant but would be replaced by Gregus to close out the match. Vancouver was trying to get something dangerous going but the away team had fixed their shape in the 2nd half. In the 2nd minute of added time, Vancouver would get the break they needed.
The ball would be played into the box by Brown and Dajome would just beat out Ethan Finlay to the ball. Referee Szpala would instantly point to the spot, he would put his hand to his ear but get nothing clear and obvious from VAR. Dajome would step up and calmly slot it past Miller. Vancouver had their point! Theo Bair would come on to replace Dajome after the goal to waste what added minutes were left from VAR. It couldn’t have come sooner but the final whistle blew and the Whitecaps remained unbeaten in 4 matches.
Post Match Thoughts And Media Whitecaps vs Minnesota United
It was another match that ended in a 2-2 draw for the Whitecaps vs Minnesota United. Say what you want about the late penalty call but both teams felt like they should have won this match. Whitecaps head coach Marc Dos Santos spoke about his team’s efforts after the match.
“In the majority of the first half, I think our energy, our counter-press, our moments to step up were good. Then we scored the first goal. We had a very good chance to score the second one, with a play that involves Guti, Teibert, and Brian. Very, very close. We don’t score the second one and then in a play that broke in, we didn’t challenge well in the midfield. We weren’t hard in that 50/50. They got the ball between our center-backs and 1v1, so I think that goal destabilized the team a little bit at the half.”
“When we came back to the second half, there was a wind blowing very hard against us, so sometimes it was very hard for us to get out of pressure. And if you see even the balls that Thomas played long, they would stop in the air and Minnesota started to press us in our half. We didn’t have the ability through possession on the ground to get out of pressure and to get in behind them. But it was still a very chippy type of game.” Marc would get into the play of his team in the second half.
“The second half, very uncomfortable type. And then when they got the goal through a mistake from us, from a guy that has been enormous for the team. He’s been giant, he’s been a guy that helped the team a lot. He has a moment that he’s disappointed, and it gives a transition, and a guy like Lod is not going to miss there. But then we tried to push, we make some changes to push the game, we made some changes to become a little bit hectic. We knew we would open a lot of spaces; we knew it was a high risk and high reward type of last 15 minutes, or last 10 minutes”
Marc would also speak on the play of Cristian Dajome who had two goals in the draw. “Cristian is a huge family guy, always with his wife and kids. He spent a huge portion of last season without his family here. From January to the end of August, just waiting on the visa and paperwork and with COVID, they were not allowed to fly. It was hard for him but he was pushing. If you go back to last year, he showed very interesting signs. Very, very interesting signs.”
“But now that he’s settling in and he understands what we’re about, and what we want to do, you see slowly Cristian getting more and more ready to play how we want to play, and to understand his role in the team. And he does it to the tee. What I’m happy with him, is he doesn’t get rewarded with goals just because of the quality he has, it’s also the work rate that he puts in and how he helps the team without the ball, and how he’s committed with the team.”
“He’s a great teammate and he’s rewarded for that. I just think you’re seeing a Cristian that’s adapted right now to the club, and to everything that we’re doing.” Cristian would speak with the media next about his late injury. “Just a little bit of pain. I started feeling the pain on the foul right before the penalty. When Finlay fell on top of me, all of his weight fell onto my leg and that’s where all the pain came from but I felt good enough to take the penalty anyways. It’s just a slight thing.”
He also spoke about returning to play home matches in Vancouver, “I’m super happy. My family is also super happy to go back to Vancouver and play in front of the fans. I think it’s going to help the team a lot to have the fans behind us. It’s a plus for the team too. And it’s important because we’re actually going to be hosting [a] game and it’s going to feel like we’re actually hosting a game. Over the last couple of months we’ve been playing in so many different cities in different atmospheres, but now it’s going to feel like home.”
Russell Teibert also spoke about returning home, “We all know what the fans can do especially last week against LAFC, seeing all the fans in Black and Gold. We did that here tonight without fans but when we go back, it’s going to be such a boost for us to be playing in front of fans again. They’re definitely going to help make this team better.”
The Unnamed Moments Of The Match
The Whitecaps vs Minnesota United played to a 2-2 draw but it once again gave us lots of entertainment both on and off the pitch. Check out my Unnamed Moments Of The Match Sponsored by (Your Company Here). As we check out the Whitecaps dunk attempt, Rusty with a forward pass, and your post-match reactions on Twitter.
The Unnamed Flex Of The Match
This doesn’t really need words…especially after a Whitecaps vs Minnesota United 2-2 draw. Whatever I laughed and it was awesome!
The Unnamed Goal Of The Match
How about that Russell Teibert! I know Dajome scored the goal but did you see the forward pass from Rusty? I know he gets a lot of scrutiny in the Vancouver market, but he has had a solid year and gets his first assist since the last match in the 2020 season. “O Captain! My Captain!”
Russell Teibert on the goal, “It’s a passage of play we’ve been working on in training this week. It went from (Michael Baldisimo) to me, back to Baldi to Brian (White). (Cristian Dájome) made a great run while Brian got it back to me and I put it in for Dájo. It came off and it was a great goal from us”
The Unnamed Tweets Of The Match
I couldn’t go a match without getting everyone’s reaction’s to the Whitecaps vs Minnesota United 2-2 draw…
Sports Talk Line And The Vancouver Whitecaps
The Vancouver Whitecaps vs Minnesota United FC played to a 2-2 draw on Saturday night. Cristian Dajome is making his case for MLS All-Star, the team is returning home and Ryan Gauld is finally signed. This could all equal great things for the Whitecaps as they get set to head into the second half of their season.
Minnesota remains in the middle of the pack while Vancouver needs to start picking up more than 1 point to get out of the MLS Western Conference Basement. The Whitecaps will be road warriors 3 more times before finally getting to return home to BC Place. It will start Sunday August 8th at LA Galaxy.
Make sure to follow me on Twitter @JoshuaGriffith0 for the latest news and notes about your Vancouver Whitecaps. Be sure to check out Sports Talk Line for all your other sports needs!