Whitecaps vs Minnesota United FC would hold on for a 2-1 win. A lucky own goal in the first half would give Vancouver the lead. Brian White would score his 12th goal of the season in the second half. After a late push from the Loons to get one back the Whitecaps would move once again into a playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Vancouver controlled most of the match and never really in trouble. Ryan Gauld had a strong game and besides one mistake the back line was strong defensively.
Lineup News And Notes
Another mid-week matchup for Interim Head Coach Vanni Sartini but he would limit the changes from the squad that had a draw 1-1 against the San Jose Earthquakes. Just 2 changes to the lineup in the usual 3-4-1-2 formation Wednesday night. Maxime Crepeau would start between the sticks with Jake Nerwinksi, Ranko Veselinovic, and Florian Jungwirth in front of him from left to right.
Leonard Owusu and Russell Teibert would start in the midfield with Javain Brown on the left side and Bruno Gaspar on the right flank. Ryan Gauld would take his usual spot in a playmaking role. Cristian Dajome would move from flank to up top with Brian White. Vanni Sartini would leave himself lots of dangerous options off the bench.
Minnesota United FC
Adrian Heath would make just one change to the side that drew 1-1 with LAFC. Tyler Miller would start in the net behind a 4-2-3-1 formation. Hassani Dotson, Bakaye Dibassy, Michael Boxall, and Romain Metanire would start at the back four from left to right. Osvaldo Alonso and Will Trapp would interchange in the holding and attacking roles for the Loons. Franco Frangapane, Emanuel Reynoso, and Robin Lod would play in a high midfield position. Adrien Hunou would be the lone strike for Minnesota United FC.
A Sloppy 1st Half End In A 1-0 Whitecaps vs Minnesota United FC Lead
The Whitecaps would kick things off to start the first half and look long down the right side for Gaspar. It would run out for a goal kick and Miller would send it right back into Vancouver possession. Brian White would try and spring Dajome but he was a step offside in the 3rd minute. The first foul of the match would go to captain Russell Teibert. He would give up a set-piece and Minnesota was able to bring up the men from the back. Reynoso would send it in and it was flicked out for the first corner of the match.
It was sent into the near post and Dajome headed it away for a second corner. This time Maxime Crepeau came off his line to punch it away and the counter was on. Ryan Gauld would do get on the end of a nice pass and force a strong tackle. It was out for a throw and after the ball came back into the box it was headed right to Owusu. He would fire a shot from the top of the box that was deflected for the Cap’s first corner. It was over everyone’s head and both teams were running but not connecting passes. It was just 9 minutes in but both teams were playing like it was decision day.
The first chance for the Loons would come after Crepeau was hesitant off his line. Fragapane would get on the end of it and find Reynoso at the top of the box. His shot was well over the net and didn’t trouble Crepeau. The Whitecaps were on the defensive as Minnesota would win a free-kick 10 yards outside the right corner of the box. Reynoso would cross it in and after Vancouver was able to clear the first attempt, a shot from Fragapane was right into the arms of the Caps keeper.
Vancouver would settle things down and try and work it past the high line of Minnesota United. They were almost able to move down the left side but a tackle on Dajome was waved up by Referee Nima Saghafi. Things would open up for both teams as the match moved past the 15th minute. Nerwinksi would take a foul instead of getting beat down the left side. The free-kick was gobbled up again by Crepeau and Vancouver could break. It would get floated across the box to Brown but his header was into the side netting.
With the score 0-0, it wasn’t for a lack of chances. Robin Lod would get a great setup at the top of the box from Reynoso but would sky it over the net. It was back and forth action as the match neared the 20th minute. Minnesota would win a corner down the left side when Brown wasn’t able to deal with *. A bad delivery and Vancouver was able to clear and work down the pitch looking for a switch of play. They would get it but Brown, who was playing the right now, would get too physical on Hunou.
Vancouver would win a goal kick and just send it right back to Minnesota United FC in the 23rd minute. It wasn’t the most exciting game as neither team wanted to make the mistake that ended with removing the ball from the back of their net. A nice chip into the box from the Loons would come out to Trapp but his shot was blocked by Florian Jungwirth before being cleared down the pitch. Thins would remain wide open and Reynoso was set up nicely by Fragapane. his shot would run past the far post and out for a goal-kick.
Any time the Whitecaps were able to get a glimpse of possession they were troubled by the Minnesota United press. Gaspar looked to take a shot and went down on the pitch but referee Saghafi was having none of it. Vancouver would eventually win a 30th-minute free-kick after a Reynoso shot was blocked by Jungwirth. The home side would look to get on the attack but the shape of the Loons was causing them problems. Brown would win a free-kick after being taken down by Metanire in the 31st minute. The Caps would get their best look of the match before turning it over once again.
Owusu would show his frustration with a foul on Dotson, he was lucky to not see a yellow card. After regaining possession the Whitecaps would try and go over the top to Gauld. He would win a throw but it was played all the way back to Crepeau. A nice switch by Osusu to find Gaspar and Vancouver had some space. Brown would get a chance to cross the ball into the box but it was blocked out for a throw. The attacking play seemed to spark the fans in the Southside. It was wasted and the teams would get back into trading turnovers. The match would move past the 37th minute with the teams deadlocked 0-0.
The ball was cleared downfield by Minnesota United and Florian Jungwirth would get his foot high on Hunou. He was shown a yellow card and the Loons would get another free-kick chance. Jungwirth would momentarily make amends and head it out for a throw. The second chance was cleared by Dajome before Reynoso sent another shot over the net. The Whitecaps would be called for another foul in the 40th minute. It was cleared but only out for a corner. The ball was sent in nicely and Crepeau was able to dive back and grab the ball.
Some nice work by Owusu in the middle of the pitch and the Whitecaps would win a free kick. It was stolen by Minnesota and they would look to counter quickly. Vancouver was sound defensively and able to get back. After some nice work by Dajome to win it back, Brian White would win a foul on Boxall. The last couple of minutes would tick away with neither side looking dangerous.
Right on cue, a ball over the top from Russell Teibert looking for White would bounce off his chest. Miller would make the initial save before the ball would come off Boxall and into the net for the OG. It was deflating for the visiting side but that’s how the half would end.
Brian White Seals The Deal For The Whitecaps In The 2nd Half
No changes for either coach to start the 2nd half as Minnesota would kick things off. An early chance for Ryan Gauld but Dibassy was a step ahead and cleared it for a corner. The ball was cleared back to Gauld and would eventually find Dajome. He was looking for White at the back post but it was just headed away by Dotson for another corner. Ranko would rise up and head the delivery but he was off balance and it went right up in the air and out for a goal-kick. Minnesota would come back on the attack and almost equalized in the 49th minute.
A nice cut back from the left side but Hunou’s shot was blocked and cleared. Vancouver would take over and Bruno Gaspar would try and find Gauld on the cross. It was too close to Miller and he was able to jump over Gauld and grab it. The back and forth play from the 1st half would continue into the 2nd half. The teams would trade turnovers once again as we moved past the 53rd minute. Dajome would try his luck down the left side but his cross was poor.
The loons would counter quickly and after some nice passing Reynoso would get a shot from distance. Crepeau would take no chances with it as it bounced off the BC Place pitch. Vancouver would hold things and work it around the back waiting for their chance. Gauld was sent in but was against two defenders so turned back and switched play. Bruno Gaspar and Dajome would try the right side but Dajome had his shot blocked and Minnesota could relieve the pressure. Vancouver would continue to lead as the match moved into the 57th minute.
Minnesota was trying to force the issue after winning a corner kick. It was sent high to the back of the box once again and cleared. Things would get a bit chippy between Owusu and Reynoso and that would give Gauld some time and space to move in on the net. He would unleash a shot from distance but got under it. It would go well over the net for a goal-kick. A quick turnover from the visiting side and White would try his luck down the other side. It was a bit long but Vancouver would win it back once again.
Vancouver controlled things and Gauld and Brown worked down the left side. The cut in from Brown was cleared. Things would pick up as both teams were fighting for a playoff spot. Reynoso was lucky to not get a yellow card for a hard foul on Nerwinksi in the 61st minute. Minnesota would almost tie things up at one when Hanou would be sent in on a nice run. He would beat Crepeau through the wickets but it would ring off the post and the Whitecaps were able to clear the danger and take a breath.
They weren’t able to breathe for long as Ryan Gauld would head right back the other way. He would find Brian White who made no mistake beating a lunging Miller. Another match and another goal for Brian White who gave Vancouver the 2-0 lead at the 63rd-minute mark. It was a beautiful run and an even nicer finish from White.
Minnesota was feeling the pressure in the match, and their season was down two goals. they would work down the left side but across it was cleared away by Brown and out for a throw. Vanni Sartini would go to his bench in the 68th minute bringing on Deiber Caicedo for Dajome. The Whitecaps would go right back to work up 2-0. They were poor with their passes but the Loons were happy to give it right back. Finally, the away side would get some pressure as we moved into the 70h minute. Vancouver’s form was too good and everything was either to the outside or from the top of the box.
Reynoso would try his luck from distance but it would roll on the ground into the arms of Crepeau. Minnesota would try to attack but they were getting far too many players forward. Gauld would try and take advantage of finding Caicedo down the left side. Some nice passing but White couldn’t get the final ball down. Minnesota would head back in on the attack and Robin Lod would win a corner. Before they took the corner they would head to their bench.
Adrian Heath would go make a line change in the 72nd minute. Fanendo Adi, Jan Gregus, and Joseph Rosales would come on to replace Hunou, Trapp, and Alonso. The cross into the box was cleared by Veselinovic and Osusu tried to break out on the counter-attack. He was tracked down from behind and the loons would take back the ball. After Nerwinksi would miss on a sliding tackle, Lod had room to walk in and fire a shot on the net. It was right into the crest of Crepeau and another easy save. After some nice work controlling the ball, it looked like Vancouver would win a corner but Caicedo was called for a foul.
Vanni Sartini would go to his bench in the 76th minute replacing Owusu with Janio Bikel and Gaspar with Cristian Gutierrez. The Loons would move back in but a nice block from Brown forced the ball out for a throw. Heath would make another change as Ethan Finlay would replace Robin Lod in the 77th minute. They would try to float it into the box from the right side but Ranko Veselinovic was there to clear it away. Gauld would steal a pass and try and send Caicedo off to the races but he was forced to slow play and switch things.
A spell of possession before a Minnesota steal. Jungwirth was able to sprawl with a big block and the ball was forced back to midfield. The physicality would pick up as Minnesota could feel their season slowing ticking away. Brown would knock the ball out of touch on Reynoso and get a bit too physical. Shoving would ensue but that was all that came from the skirmish.
After cooler heads would prevail Brown was shown a yellow card in the 83rd minute. The free-kick would be wide of the net to the cheers of the fans. With time running out they could feel all 3 points from their home side. The yellow cards would continue after a hand to the face of Ryan Gauld by Dotson. The Whitecaps would turn things over after play resumed. Metanire would float the ball into the box but Bikel was able to clear to the halfway line.
Vanni Sartini would empty his bench in the 86th minute bringing on Erik Godoy and Lucas Cavallini for Brown and Brian White. Minnesota would control things trying to break the Whitecaps backline. It was a strong defensive performance once again from the Whitecaps who would win the ball back, send it deep, and kill even more time. Minnesota tried to switch play down the left side but it was played well by Vancouver and Cavallini would win a foul on Reynoso.
The frustration was mounting as we headed towards 3 minutes of added time. Reynoso would haul down Bikel and Vancouver could regroup. Against the run of play, Minnesota would get one back in the 91st minute. A rare defensive mistake from Jungwirth who cleared the ball right back to Adi after blocking the shot. It was a lucky bounce off the Minnesota sub and went in the back of the net to ruin the shutout.
With the lead just 2-1 Vancouver would feel the urgency and work it down into the Minnesota end. Some nice work from Cavallini would win a corner kick and Vancouver could kill some of the added 3 minutes. Vancouver would do the same down the other side with Nerwinski and win a throw. It was just enough for Nima Saghafi to blow the final whistle on a Whitecaps vs Minnesota United FC 2-1 victory.
Post Match Thoughts And Media
Interim Head Coach Vanni Sartini gave his thoughts on the match after a Whitecaps vs Minnesota United 2-1 victory.
“Very good, especially the second half. I was very happy on the defensive performance on the first half, but I wasn’t happy on how we were playing with the ball. In the second half, we did much better and we did the thing that we tried during the two trainings to beat this team and it was fantastic. I think with the performance of the second half, we basically deserved the win. And we scored a second goal guys, the second goal should be SportsCentre number one of the collective goals, it’s a top goal. So it’s beautiful. We did very well.”
Vanni was excited after the final whistle and he spoke about his celebration.
“I was very happy, and emotional for me is the normal state of my mind. So that’s how I live and when you see people come in and [be] so happy, we need to amp up the fans because it’s not our win, it’s not just a win for the team but the win of everyone, the win of the fans, the win of the city, the win of everyone who loves the Whitecaps. So if someone comes and gives love to us, we need to give the love back.”
“Celebrating with them is the, I would say, is the highlight of the day to be honest. So it came natural to me to go in there and thank them for their support because again, without them it would be much more difficult winning these games.”
Brian White spoke about the team having control of their own destiny in the final two matches and his belief in the squad.
“I think there’s a real big belief in this group. Obviously, we’ve had a good run of games recently and I think everyone’s kind of bought into Vanni’s tactics, his message, and we’ve all come together to try to achieve that goal of making the playoffs in this late push here so credit to all the guys that come out every day to training and every game to really push and I think you’re seeing the product on the field.”
Ranko Veselinovic was looking sharp with his haircut and spoke about how nice it was playing in front of the BC Place crowd. It wasn’t all good as I wanted him to elaborate on the team not having a very good 1st half defensively.
“Well, we had a little bit [of] problems. They pressed us really good. Let’s be honest, they’re a really good team with great players, especially up top, and they have good defenders also. They went high on us, pressed in our half. We struggled to distribute the ball to our offence, and it’s a little bit shaky if I can say like that. But in defence, we were good, they didn’t have any chances, that’s good. And then we get a goal in the end of the first half that picked us up a little bit.”
The Unnamed Moments Of The Match
The first time this season there were no restrictions for fans and the atmosphere was lively. We had an OG, a Brian White goal, and a late Minnesota goal. Also a very happy Vanni Sartini during media. here are “The Unnamed Moments Of The Match” From the Whitecaps at Minnesota United FC.
The Unnamed Total Package Of The Match
Always expect Couch Ultras to show up. Just like Brian White!
The Unnamed Media Moment Of The Match
Bill Fricking Murray man! I knew I liked this Vanni Sartini guy but dropped Groundhog Day references and mentioned how cool it would be to have Bill Murray on the team. I had important questions to ask after this!
The Unnamed Sarita Patel Cam Of The Night
Sarita Patel took over at the beginning of this season in a social media role for the Vancouver Whitecaps. Just like the play of the team on the pitch she has continued to improve her game every single week. Case in point all of these amazing goal videos!
Sports Talk Line And The Vancouver Whitecaps
The Vancouver Whitecaps took a big step towards a playoff birth in the MLS Western Conference. The win moves them up to 5th place and allows them to control their own destiny in the final two matches of the season. The next match is a big one on the road against the LA Galaxy who sit just one point back with 46 points.