The Vancouver Whitecaps vs NYCFC battle to bagels in a 0-0 draw Saturday afternoon at BC Place. The Whitecaps come out of their home opener with 1 point despite not scoring for the second straight match. For the team’s lineups and preview check out right here.
Thomas Hasal was strong Saturday and Brian White made his season debut in the second half. Let’s see how the action went down before we hear from the coach and players and get to “The Unnamed Moments Of The Match”
The Only Thing Clicking At 100% In The 1st Half Was The Fans
The Whitecaps would kick off the first half but an early foul to Ranko Veselinovic would slow things down. Vancouver would receive the 2nd-minute free-kick and look long for Lucas Cavallini. A good initial touch but Deiber Caicedo wasn’t able to come away with the header. Vancouver would try and attack down the left side but the ball would run out for a goal kick. some early fouls by NYCFC would stop the match from getting any early flow of play.
The first chance of the match would come in the 6th minute as the ball was played out wide to Cristian Dajome. It looked like he had space but elected to play it back. Ryan Gauld would attempt a shot from distance but it was blocked and NYCFC would take over. Against the run of play, NYCFC would get a great chance. Florian Jungwirth had to make a sliding tackle but the ball was left on a platter for Talles Magno. He walked in and fired a shot looking for the far post. Hasal was able to dive out and keep it scoreless.
New York would take the corner shot and eventually cross it in. It was cleared but only to the top of the box and Hasal had to be sharp to stop the shot from Thiago Andrade. The match moved past the 10th minute as both teams waited cautiously for opportunities. A questionable foul by Cristian Gutierrez in the 13th minute and the fans at BC Place let referee Marcos De Oliveira know how they felt about it. New York would push back in on the attack and win a corner in the 15th minute.
The corner was played to the front of the box and cleared momentarily by the Whitecaps. The second phase was floated into the box and headed off the crossbar by Alexander Callens. NYCFC would keep pressing and win another corner. It was played into the front of the box and flicked in front but Vancouver was able to clear and almost take off on the counter-attack. Caicedo was fed beautifully by Lucas Cavallini but he wasn’t able to run past his defender. He waited and tried a shot instead that was blocked by New York.
The teams would trade fouls as we moved into the 20th minute with the score 0-0. Tayvon Gray would come up labored after the play and needed to be subbed out in the 21st minute. Andres Jasson would come off the bench for the injured Gray. The Whitecaps would get their first real chance of the match as Ryan Gauld would cross in a great ball to Cavallini. He was able to flick it on the net and Sean Johnson had to be sharp diving to his right to keep it out.
New York would come back on the attack and win a corner after some nice passing. Veselinovic didn’t take any chances and cleared it out of touch. The ball was sent into the top of the box and the shot from Valentin Castellanos would go well wide of the net for a goal kick. Great delivery from Hasal to Cavallini and the Canadian was able to turn and make some moves.
A great pass out to Dajome on the wing who was able to cross it back into the box. Cava went for the spectacular kick but the ball would come out to Gutierrez. He floated a shot but it was just off and landed on the net.
A bad turnover from Dajome would almost lead to a chance for NYCFC but Ranko was able to head the cross away from danger. They would continue the pressure and get a shot from distance. It was right into the chest of Hasal and an easy save. The visiting side should have opened the scoring in the 32nd minute after a beautiful layoff for Malte Amundsen. He had time and space but shot it wide of the far post and didn’t even challenge Hasal.
The physicality would pick up as we moved past the 35th minute. Dajome clipped Chanot who was down on the pitch for several minutes to “We have Healthcare” chants from the southside. Cavallini would continue the physical play and haul down Parks. He was shown a yellow card for his effort in the 39th minute. New York would go on the attack and win another corner but it was wasted with a training ground play that was blocked at the top of the box.
The first half would draw to a close with both teams looking to go into the half 0-0. The 4th official would signal 5 added minutes but it didn’t lead to any excitement between the two sides. NYCFC had a chance late but it was defended nicely by the Whitecaps. Marcos De Oliveira would whistle down the first half.
The second half would kick-off as the teams swapped sides. The first chance would go to NYCFC in the 48th minute as Jasson would beat Jungwirth down the right side and cross the ball into the box. It was cleared by the Whitecaps but the visiting side would stay in possession. They would win a free kick in the 48th minute after a foul by Dajome on Jasson. It was floated into the box but the header by Alfredo Morales was wide of the net and a diving Thomas Hasal
The Whitecaps would force pressure of their own after some nice passing down the left side. The ball was crossed in but just a bit too far for Cavallini to get on the end of. The Caps would keep it in the attacking end and win a corner. Gauld would float it into the box but NYCFC was able to head it out of touch. The match would shift to the Whitecaps half as they were forced to defend a free-kick.
Both sides were playing extremely cautious as we moved past the 55th minute. A lot of passing but nothing to show from it for either side. Dajome would go for a run down the left side but his cross into the box looking for Cavallini was smothered up easily by Sean Johnson. Vancouver would win the ball right back after Ryan Gauld was tackled by Morales. The physicality would pick up and both Florian Jungwirth and Castellanos were shown yellow cards in the 62nd minute.
The Whitecaps would make their first change shortly after the corner. Brian White would make his first appearance of the season as he would replace Deiber Caicedo. NYCFC and Ronny Delia would make 3 more changes. Castellanos, Magno, and Keaton Parks were replaced by Gedion Zelalem, Heber and Santiago Rodriguez.
Dajome would get a great chance down the left side but his cross was blocked out for a corner kick. Gutierrez would drive the ball into the near post but the header from Cavallini landed in the 20th row. New York would try and counter but a great challenge from Ranko Veselinovic would block a cross before New York would kick it out of touch for a goal kick. Ryan Gauld would win a free kick in the 70th minute as the match looked for its first goal.
Vancouver would win a corner kick from the play but nothing would come from the set-piece. NYCFC looked to have a breakaway but Moralez was well offside. Vancouver would make their 2nd change of the match as Javain Brown would replace Cavallini in the 72nd minute. The Caps would win a corner but it was once again wasted. The ball would bounce around before a heavy pass from the Caps played it out of touch for a goal kick.
The match would move into the 76th minute with no one wanting to make a mistake. NYCFC would try a cross into the box but Hasal was able to judge it correctly and grab it out of mid-air. A turnover by the Caps and NYCFC was right back on the attack. A pass was tipped out for a corner but the home side wasn’t able to capitalize. The last change of the match for Ronny Delia would be Thiago Martins who would come on in the 79th minute to replace Alfredo Morales.
Pedro Vite and Sebastian Berhalter would come on in the 81st minute to replace Leonard Owusu Cristian Dajome. With 10 minutes left it looked like the Caps would try and muster one final push. Brian White would almost head off to the races but some nice defending forced him to slow up and play it back to Vite. It was cleared out for a deep throw but the Whitecaps turned it right back over. The match moved into the 86th minute with the score remaining 0-0.
NYCFC was given a free-kick and the fans let Referee Oliveira how they felt about the call. The ball was driven short and easily cleared by the Caps. The visiting side would almost open the scoring in the 88th minute but Thomas Hasal showed why he was given a contract extension, with an amazing save. Santiago Rodriguez was shown a yellow card right before the 4th official would signal 3 added minutes.
A mistake-free 180 seconds by both sides would lead to a 0-0 draw to end the match. Lucas Cavallini had a strong game after being very quiet against the Columbus Crew. Florian Jungwirth always provides a little extra punch to the squad, sometimes literally, and Tristan Blackmon rebounded well with Gutierrez on his wing instead of Javain Brown.
Post Match Thoughts And Media VWFC Vs NYCFC
It was the first time post-pandemic the media was able to ask questions face to face. It was a nice change and you could see the difference it made with Vanni Sartini and the players. Vanni was all smiles after the 0-0 draw despite wanting to see a bit more from his team.
“We got our foot on the ball, and that’s the key, try to press, winning the ball because they bring a lot of players up front and try to counterattack. I think we’ve been good a couple of times, winning the ball going inside and then attacking the space. We have to do much more if you want to win games. Today was enough, in order to not lose, but we need to do much more in order to win games. And again, we need to be a little more clean. I think a couple of times we had potential chances, like Déiber had a ball on the side and then he decided to come back. You know, on the side, the little thing that when you have to make the choice to play the simple part we tried to do two more I would say high-risk pass but it wasn’t the right choice. Hopefully, we will work on some of this next week, I think there’s a solid base to try to make quality opportunities if we keep playing like this.”
Thomas Hasal was fantastic in the net and made a couple of big saves early and one spectacular one late. Vanni Sartini spoke about the play of his keeper.
“I think he was very good. I think he made two very good saves one after five minutes and one at the end of the of the game. He also I would say followed the gameplan in terms of build up, tried to play very simple, tried to not overplay, tried to be in charge of the defence. So I’m happy that he got this performance because, of course, he needs to be confident so Thomas was very, very good today.”
Lucas Cavallini was up next and spoke about his play during the match and some of the chances the squad had. Then I asked Lucas about the atmosphere being back in front of the home crowd at BC Place.
“I think we could have finished with a win, no doubt, I got unlucky with my chances but personally I’m feeling good and taking it day-by-day, game-by-game, so a little positive energy for myself. Team wise, much better than last week for sure. We showed a lot of improvement but I think we’re lacking a little bit of intensity, high intensity and just capitalizing on our chances, which it shows, zero goals in our last two games. So I mean, still a long season and you know, we just got to believe in each other. A good group of guys here, everybody gets along well. So I’m happy to be a part of a good team like this.”
Thomas Hasal spoke last and was all smiles but losing his voice. His parents were at BC Place to watch his performance and it clearly helped his confidence. He spoke about building his confidence in his second MLS start this season.
“I think as a goalkeeper in the first part of the season, you want to build off different set pieces, performances in different games, and 100 percent on clean sheets, to get a good home performance. That’s something I can build off and keep going with the rest of the season.”
The Unnamed Moments Of The Match
The Vancouver Whitecaps did everything they could on Saturday afternoon to show their support for Ukraine and everything that is happening there right now. Before the match they had a choir perform the Ukrainian Anthem and encouraged fans to wear blue and yellow.
The Unnamed Save Of The Match
Was there any doubt that this was going to be “The Unnamed Save Of The Match”. Thomas Hasal was sharp early to keep it scoreless and made this spectacular save late to preserve the point.
The Unnamed Media Moment Of The Match
As I mentioned earlier this was the first time media was able to go downstairs and ask face-to-face questions. This is only the 2nd time since February 29th, 2020 that media has had a small sense of normalcy. This is my Unnamed Media Moment Of The Match!
Sports Talk Line And The Vancouver Whitecaps
The Vancouver Whitecaps continue their season Saturday, March 12th when they travel to Houston to take on the Dynamo. After 2 matches, it isn’t the start the team wanted with just 1 point. Vancouver will also look to score their first goal next week.
Make sure to follow Sports Talk Line all season long for all your Whitecaps coverage. Listen to the 90 + podcast as Ben Righetti and myself break down the match that was and look ahead to the next game with a guest to break down the opposing team. Follow me on Twitter @JoshuaGriffith0 for the latest news and updates.