Whitecaps at Timbers with a huge 3-2 comeback victory Wednesday night from Providence Park. Vancouver stormed back from down 2-0 at the half with 3 straight goals and all 3 points. It was a tale of two halves as Yimmi Chara would open the scoring in the 15th minute before Dairon Asprilla would double things in the 42nd minute before the half.
Some tactical changes from Vanni Sartini at the half and the Caps stormed back. First, it was Deiber Caicedo who turned on the jets and fired one past Steve Clark. Next the goal master Brian White would head in the tieing goal. Finally, Cristian Dajome would capitalize on a late penalty kick for the Whitecaps at Timber’s victory.
Lineup News And Notes
Lots of rotation for Vanni Sartini to his midweek squad as he would make 6 changes to his starting lineup from the 2-1 victory over Sporting KC. Lucas Cavallini would get back into the starting lineup after injuries and would play up top with Deiber Caicedo in a 3-4-1-2 formation. Ryan Gauld would start in his regular role with Javain Brown, Janio Bikel, Russell Teibert, and Marcus Godinho at midfield from left to right. It was the first start as a Whitecap for Marcus Godinho.
Cristian Gutierrez would also get back into the lineup at the back with Florian Jungwirth and Jake Nerwinski. Maxime Crepeau would take his usual spot between the sticks for the Whitecaps at Timbers.
Giovanni Sartini would go with the confusing but sometimes effective, line formation (4-2-3-1). Steve Clark would start in net for the Timbers with 2 changes to the squad that fell 2-1 to the LA Galaxy. Jose Carlos Van Rankin, Larrys Mabiala, Dario Zuparic, and Pablo Bonilla would start at the back from right to left. George Fochive would replace Deigo Chara, who was unavailable due to a yellow card accumulation, in the midfield alongside Cristhian Parades.
Yimmi Chara, Sebastian Blanco, and Dairon Asprilla would start in an attacking midfield role with Felipe Mora up top as the lone striker. Let’s see how things went in the first half for the Whitecaps at Timbers.
Timbers Dominate The First Half With A Pair Of Goals
The Whitecaps would kick things off to start the first half and win an early throw. Gutierrez would make an early mistake and Portland was able to win an early 2nd-minute corner. It was cleared from the top of the box before the second phase would roll right to Crepeau. Javain Brown would get the first chance for the visiting squad after a cross would roll out to the left side. He would go for a first-time volley but it was struck poorly and out for a goal-kick.
Portland would drive back down right away and win their 2nd corner of the match in the 5th minute. It was popped up to the edge of the box to Bonilla but his strike was well over the net. Vancouver was able to slow things down after winning a free-kick but they were having a tough time dealing with the Timbers press and would turn it over once again. It was a sloppy start in the rain as both teams tried to get their footing. Almost a mistake from Crepeau as he came off his line to try and keep the ball in play.
It was blown down for a corner kick and Portland would almost open the scoring. The cross in from Chara would get deflected right to Blanco with space in the box. He fired a shot that bounced off the crossbar and the Whitecaps were able to take a breath. After controlling things for several minutes Brown looked to find Cavallini on a run but a nice play from the Timbers would win it back before Bikel was called for a foul on Chara in the 11th minute of play. It was quick-lived and Vancouver would string a series of passes together.
Some work down the right side from Godinho but Cavallini wasn’t able to turn in the box and the Timbers would counter quickly. Chara would work towards the touchline and cut it back into the box but it was deflected away from any green shirts. After the clearance Fochive would win a free-kick after being taken down by Cavallini. Portland would strike down the left side this time and a great pass from Parades to find Chara. He was able to side foot it perfectly past Crepeau for the 1-0 lead in the 15th minute.
Portland would continue pressing the Whitecaps as the Timbers Army serenaded them. They were happy to work it around the back waiting for chances to pick out a long pass. A pass down the right side but Gutierrez was able to draw a foul by Mora in the 19th minute. Vancouver was working to break down the backline but Portland was happy to clear and make Vancouver re-group through the back. The first chance came for the Whitecaps after a nice cut from Gauld to find Caicedo but he couldn’t get a shot away.
After the Timbers would take back control of things they found some space on the left. A cross into the box would bounce around before Van Rankin would take down Gauld in the box. The match moved into the 25th minute with the Whitecaps at Timbers down 1-0 but starting to get into the match. A nice defensive play by Godinho to cut out Mora on the right side before a nice little back heal to get out of pressure. Vancouver was trying to get Cavallini involved but his touch was poor after such a long layoff from game action.
When Portland did regain possession they didn’t waste any time attacking. Chara would square a ball to Asprilla who had way too much room. He got off a dangerous shot that Crepeau had to dive out and save for a corner. The 27th-minute corner was cleared and Cavallini would win another foul. He was able to win fouls at midfield with his back to the pitch but his quality lacked in the final third. Just as I typed this Cavallini busted down the right side and found Godinho who would unleash a shot that was just over in the net.
The physicality would pick up and the referee Guido Gonzales Jr. would be forced to bring out his whistle in the 31st minute. After things settled down the Whitecaps would control and Godinho would look to cross it into the box from the left side. His delivery was short and it was cleared out for a throw. The ball was played around and Bikel would try and find Cavallini over the top. It was too long right into the arms of Clark just as Cavallini was pushing down his defender.
Brown would win Vancouver their first corner in the 35th minute. Gauld would send it to the back of the box and find Brown but his header was over the net. It took 35 minutes but it seemed the Whitecaps at Timbers had finally woken up. Deiber Caicedo would make a good run between 2 Timbers defenders and in a free-kick. Gauld would send it to the back post and it would run to Brown once again. He chipped it back into the box but Vancouver was called for a foul. A quick turn over and once again the caps were sending a cross into the box. Again it was too close to Steve Clark.
The home side was able to control things as we moved past the 39th minute. Florian Jungwirth was there to clear every time the ball got close to the box. Cavallini would win the ball at the half and find a streaking Caicedo. He made a nice move on his defender but his shot was well over the net and didn’t test Clark. A quick counter from Portland but Jungwirth was there once again to clear any danger. Blanco would try to go over the top of Jungwirth but it was an easy cross for Maxime Crepeau to snatch out of the air.
A bad giveaway from Brown and Crepeau couldn’t do anything on the next chance. The ball was squared and Parades would head back towards the Whitecaps goal. Some nice passing and the ball would come to Dairon Asprilla in the box. He was able to roof it over Crepeau and the Timbers doubled their lead in the 42nd minute.
The best chance of the 1st half for the Whitecaps at Timbers would come in the final minutes. Ryan Gauld would chip it back from the touchline and find Cavallini. He did well to bring it down before getting a nice shot that was just wide of the left post. Gauld would win Vancouver a free-kick after beating Parades to the ball. It was delivered in but a wall of green would clear things away. The 4th official would signal 1 added minute as Godinho and Bonilla would collide. Godinho was called for a foul and after a quick restart, the whistle would blow on a disappointing first half for the Whitecaps.
Whitecaps Storm Back With 3 Goals And All 3 Points In The 2nd Half
One change for Vanni Sartini as Cristian Dajome would come on to replace Brown. The Whitecaps would start on the attack as several crosses would eventually lead to a corner. Gauld would deliver it over the box and Blanco was able to clear it halfway. It was brought up quickly again by Vancouver but a cross was too long and right to keeper Clark. Some nice press and after winning back possession Godinho would get a chance to cross it in but skyed it over the net. The Caps would try the left side and Caicedo would win a corner in the 49th minute. It was cleared but Vancouver would stay on the second phase.
It was a promising start to the 2nd half for the Whitecaps at Timbers. Teibert and Godinho would do some nice work down the right side but the delivery from the young Canadian Godinho was poor and Clark stood still and caught it. The first real play in the Whitecaps half would come in the 52nd minute but it was short-lived after Bikel was hauled down by Asprilla. Portland would get another chance on the ball and almost found a third goal. Blanco would float it to the back of the box but Mora was in too tight of an angle and it went off the side netting.
Vancouver would take control again and work it into the Timbers half. A nice switch from Teibert to find Dajome and he was able to draw a foul on Fochive. It was a good spot but about 35 yards out and Cavallini couldn’t get a good shot. In the end, it was wasted but the Whitecaps would take back possession. An errant pass would lead to a counterattack from Portland but the pass over the top was long and Crepeau was able to grab it. The match moved into the 59th minute with the Timbers holding onto the 2-0 lead.
It appeared Cavallini woke up at halftime because he looked like a different player in the 2nd half. Some great body position would win a free kick on Van Rankin. The Cross was good but it would be cleared to the top of the box before the second phase was crossed long from Teibert. Vanni Sartini would make two more changes in the 61st minute. Brian White would come on for Cavallini and Cristian Dajome would replace Brown who had a tough match.
Vancouver was starting to get annoyed as they couldn’t seem to break the Timbers. Caicedo decided to take things into his own hands, or feet. After a pass from Bikel, Caicedo would turn and run past everyone before firing it past Clark. It was a great individual performance and the Whitecaps were within one in the 63rd minute. Portland would make their first change after the goal replacing Blanco with Santiago Moreno.
The pitch had shifted in the second half and the Whitecaps were pressing. It did leave them a bit open at the back to a counter but the back 3 were having none of it. Vancouver would win a throw and look long for Caicedo. It was cleared but only as far as Teibert. Some nice passing and Caicedo would try and cut it back into the box. It was cleared away and the Timbers could relax for another minute. It was only a minute as Gaspar would try his luck down the right side. It was bounced around in the box before Portland countered.
Asprilla would do some great work to win a corner deep in the Vancouver end. Portland was able to play it back to Clark but his delivery long was poor and turned back over. Vancouver would control things once again as the match moved past the 70th minute. Gaspar would cross in a nice ball but White couldn’t get a header on it. It would run out the other side and Gauld would win the Whitecaps another corner. A swinging ball to the top of the box was cleared by Portland.
Vancouver would make another change bringing on Leonard Owusu for Russell Teibert in the 73rd minute. Clark would get his delivery right and the Timbers would win a corner after Gutierrez was forced to block an Asprilla cross. Chara would send in a great ball but Mabiala couldn’t get his header below the crossbar. Giovanni Savarese would go to his bench once again in the 75th minute. Cap killer Deigo Valeri would come on for Chara while Felipe Mora would make way for Jaroslaw Niezgoda.
It was Brian White that would level things for the Whitecaps at Timbers shortly after the substitutions. Bruno Gaspar would race to keep the ball in play at the back touch line and float it into White. He was able to head it past Clark for his 11th goal of the 2021 season. It was great work from Gaspar and an equally nice header from White.
With a new sense of confidence and a 2-2 tie, the Whitecaps at Timbers looked for a 3rd goal. Ryan Gauld set up a nice one-touch but couldn’t connect. It was a nervous feel at Providence Park as the match moved into the 79th minute. Vancouver would control and look for space down the wings. Dajome would win a throw but playthings back to Nerwinski. His pass for Gaspar was let off for Caicedo but Portland would win a throw. Some nice work to steal it back and Djome would get played into the box. Van Rankin would arrive late and Gonzales Jr. would point to the spot. Dajome would step up and fire it past Clark for a 3-2 lead.
The play would restart in the 84th minute and Portland tried to regain the front foot. After some turnovers from both sides, Vancouver was forced to concede a corner kick. It was sent in short and cleared away for a second corner. Dajome would do some nice work defensively to clear before Gauld would get fouled and win a free-kick and the Whitecaps at Timbers could slow things down. Giovanni Savarese would make 2 more changes in the 87th minute bringing on Zack McGraw and Marvin Loria for Van Rankin and Bonilla.
Vancouver would stay on the attack and try and keep the ball away from their net. Gauld would send it in to the box to Gaspar but his shot was well off target. Ryan Gauld would make way in the 88th minute for Ranko Veselinovic in a very defensive change. Portland would control things but there was no room with Vancouver sitting so deep. The Caps would win a throw-in their own end and could milk even more time off the clock. Which they would need to do as the 4th official would signal an additional 7 minutes of stoppage time.
Portland would float it into the box but Jungwirth was able to head the ball away from danger. The Whitecaps would almost counter but Dajome would slow down the play and look to hold possession. A square ball from Owusu was stolen but a foul from Marvin Loria on Gaspar would give it back to the away side. The teams would trade yellow cards after Brian White would take down Parades before he would get one for knocking down Owusu.
The free-kick would go in the way of Portland but Valeri would send it right into Crepeau. The Whitecaps could clear but the flow of the match had stopped as both sides could see the result. The clock ticked away with just two and a half minutes of added time. Portland would almost equalize after the ball would get crossed into the box and fall to Valerie. He fired a shot but it curled away from the far post and Caps fans could breathe a sigh of relief. Maxime Crepeau would remain down and kill as much time as he could before kicking the ball downfield.
Vancouver would win a throw and curl it slowly down the left side. Some nice work by Gaspar and Caicedo would kill more time on the opposite side before the final whistle. A huge comeback from the Whitecaps at Timbers who were down and out 2-0 after the 1st half.
Post Match Thoughts And Media Whitecaps at Timbers
Vanni Sartini was thrilled with the final result but didn’t like the first half of his team. He also spoke about squad rotation and making 6 changes for the midweek match for the Whitecaps at Timbers.
“Well you know it’s beautiful. At the end of the first half, my speech was basically we needed to do a couple of tactical adjustments, that we did perfectly, and I said “we’re going to win. And I didn’t say that just because [I was] trying to, I would say, put them in the right spirit, but because I believed it. Because even in the first half I knew that we weren’t doing the things that we were supposed to do. And, even in that, I think that we were in control of the game in a way passed the first 15 minutes. So, the second half was amazing. Everyone did fantastically.”
Brian White spoke about coming off the bench and scoring a second-half goal to tie things up for the Whitecaps at Timbers.
“I think it started a while back, I think you can tell that we’re a team that doesn’t give up. Especially on the road it’s always going to be tough, and unfortunately, we got two goals [conceded] in the first half, so we knew we had to come in and react. I knew coming off the bench I needed to bring another level of energy and do my best to impact the game. So we’ll fight ‘til the last whistle for every game, every time we’re out on the field. Credit to the guys to hunker down, push forward for three more goals and for the win.”
He also spoke about the team being road warriors this season and if that helped at all and on a push to the playoffs.
“We want to take it day by day, game by game. We knew that coming into this game we’re one point out of a playoff spot so we wanted to get above that line and as far past that line as we can. So we’re looking to get three points every time we’re on the field and I think the team has great belief in that no matter who we go up against, no matter where we’re playing, that we can come out and put in a good performance if we stick to the tactics, stick to the system, and believe in everyone on the field. I think that’s a strong feeling among the group.”
Cristian Dajome was up last with Seb translating for media. He spoke about his goal and the pass from Janio Bikel.
“First of all, I have to say thanks to God for this beautiful victory. I was telling Janio [Bikel] on the plane to give me the ball. I wanted the ball, and then when I looked up I knew what I wanted to do. I was waiting for White to open up the space and the opportunity presented itself for me to just dribble into the space and score a goal.”
The Unnamed Moments Of The Match
A crazy 3-2 comeback victory for the Whitecaps at Timbers on Wednesday night. After fans might have been pulling the plug on the match at halftime, the team sure wasn’t. 3 road goals in the second half Vancouver was able to secure the win. Lots of moments to choose from tonight but some stuck out for “The Unnamed Moments Of The Match”
The Unnamed Goal Of The Match
The Unnamed “What The” Of The Match
Where did they find 7 minutes of added time? Your guess would be as good as mine.
Maxime Crepeau fresh off his duty with the Canadian National team did his best job with the CONCACAF time wasting.
The Unnamed DJ Of The Match
There is always music after a win and tonight it was Brian White. Apparently he is often the DJ with his choice of tunes.
Sports Talk Line And The Vancouver Whitecaps
The Whitecaps at Timbers came up big Wednesday night. They will need to stay on the gas pedal as they take on the San Jose Earthquake on Saturday night. With the win Vancouver moves above Real Salt lake for the 7th and final playoff spot in the MLS Western Conference Standings.
Vanni Sartini was sure to rotate his squad and got big performances from Deiber Caicedo, Dajome and White in the second half to make the difference in the match. Make sure to check out the Sports Talk Line website as we head towards decision day. For the latest news and updates all throughout the week heading up to the match be sure to follow me on Twitter @JoshuaGriffith0.