Whitecaps At LAFC

Whitecaps At LAFC 3-1 Defeat And Crepeau And Marc Dos Santos Get The Last Laugh

The Whitecaps at LAFC 3-1 defeat Sunday night at Banc Of California Stadium. Despite Tristan Blackmon opening in the scoring in the 12th, LA was able to storm back with 3 unanswered goals and Maxime Crepeau shut the door the rest of the match.

Vanni Sartini and company were short-handed with injuries but did control play and have some great chances in the first 20 minutes of the match. Lucas Cavallini once again looked great for Vancouver and Pedro Vite showed some flashes but not capitalizing on early opportunity let LAFC take control.

Lineups, News And Notes

Vanni Sartini would be without Brian White and Ryan Gauld who both remained in Vancouver dealing with injuries. Vancouver would make 3 changes to the squad that fell 2-1 in Houston. Thomas Hasal would start in the net with Jake Nerwinski, Ranko Veselinovic, and Tristan Blackmon from left to right.

VWFC Starting Lineup

Javain Brown and Marcus Godinho would start on the wings with Sebastian Berhalter and Russell Teibert in the middle. Pedro Vite and Cristian Dajome would get the start at center forward with Lucas Cavallini as the lone striker in a 3-4-2-1 formation.

Steven Cherundolo and LAFC would go with a 4-3-3 formation with Maxime Crepeau in net against his former team. At the back, LA would go with Ryan Hollingshead, Mamadou Fall, Jesus Murillo, and Kellyn Acosta from left to right.

LAFC Starting Lineup

In the midfield, LAFC would go with Jose Cifuentes, Illie Sanchez, and Latif Blessing. While up top Brian Rodriguez, Carlos Vela Kwadwo Opoku would be dangerous up top for the home side.

Whitecaps Strike First But LAFC Strike Often In The 1st Half

The Whitecaps would kick things off to start the first half and control things to start the match. LA would press early and force Jake Nerwinski into a turnover and take over. The teams would trade the ball back and forth before Cavallini would take the first foul of the match against Murillo in the 2nd minute. LA would try and attack through the middle after the free-kick.

Vela would find Cifuentes at the top of the box and he would try and find Rodriguez. Blackmon was able to make a nice defensive play and clear the danger. LAFC would continue on the attack but a nice defensive play from Brown would win a throw for Vancouver. The teams would trade possession for the next couple of minutes before the Caps would take over once again.

Some nice passing down the left side from Cavallini, Dajome, and Brown would lead to the first corner of the match in the 6th minute. It was taken nicely from Berhalter but Crepeau was able to come off his line and grab the ball. Vancouver was looking like the much better team as play moved into the 10th minute. Godinho would make a nice run down the right side and win a free-kick for the Whitecaps.

Tristan Blackmon Opens The Scoring For The VWFC In The 1st Half

Vancouver would take the free-kick quickly and Berhalter would whip a great ball into the box. Cavallini was able to get on the end of it but his header went off the post but rebounded right to Tristan Blackmon. He made no mistake to slide and put it into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead in the 12th minute. It was a great training ground play for the Caps and Cava was unlucky to hit the post.

LAFC would restart things and slow things down with the caps dropping their backline. They would almost equalize in the 16th minute off a great cross from Vela but Hasal was able to punch the header over the bar for a corner kick. LAFC would deliver it in but it was Vancouver who was off to the races. Dajome was able to get free and had Cavallini wide open on his left but elected to shoot instead of passing it to a wide-open Cavallini. His shot was saved and LAFC was able to clear.

Maxime Crepeau Comes Up Big Against His Former Squad

Veselinovic would be shown a yellow card in the 20th minute after getting his hands up high on Rodriguez. It was sent down the right side to Rodriguez but his cross was blocked by Javain Brown. The Whitecaps were unable to clear and would foul LAFC and give them another free-kick in a dangerous spot. This time Vancouver was fouled as the ball came into the box.

Hasal would clear it long in the 26th minute to Cavallini who would win the Whitecaps a free-kick of their own. It was sent to the back post but no one could knock it back into danger and it ran out for a goal kick. Some nice passing from Blessing to find Acosta down the right side on a run. LAFC would win a corner and Vela would pick out a target in the 28th minute. Hollingshead would beat Berhalter in the box and head it beautifully past Hasal to tie things 1-1.

LAFC Tie Things 1-1 In The 1st Half

LAFC would stay on the attack after the goal and win the ball back. Vela would get sent in and fire a shot to test Hasal but he was able to make the save and keep it 1-1. Vancouver was getting very little possession in the first half and was looking to attack on the counter but through the first 30 minutes, there were limited opportunities. Cavallini would win a 32nd-minute free-kick after a hard foul from Murillo.

Vancouver would try and restart things but Vela would also cause a foul. He kicked the ball away in frustration and was shown a yellow card in the 33rd minute. Pedro Vite would try and start the counter but his first pass to Cavallini wasn’t the best and LAFC was able to control. LA would win their 3rd corner of the match and take it short in the 37th minute. Vancouver was able to defend it well and clear it out for a throw.

Javain Brown was doing some nice work down the right side to defend Rodriguez and Vela. He could only do so much as Opoku would make some nice moves at the touchline and cross it into the box. The shot from Vela was stopped by Hasal but the ball would come right back to Vela who would make no mistake for a 2-1 lead.

Carlos Vela Gives LAFC The Lead 2-1 In The 1st Half

LAFC would continue to press and win another corner. Veselinovic was forced to clear it to Cifuentes and his touch would roll out. the caps would give up another corner before being able to clear the danger and take a breath in the 41st minute. The caps would get moments of possession but the LAFC press was all over them and forced them into bad passes. Dajome looked to be fouled in the 43rd minute but referee Guido Gonzales Jr. waved him up.

A bad pass from LAFC would lead to a counter-attack chance for the Whitecaps. Dajome would try and find Cavallini on a run into the box but he hauled back Murillo and was called for a foul. Vancouver would regain possession as the half came to a close and Vite would try and cross the ball into danger. It was too close to Crepeau who was able to come off his line and grab the cross out of mid-air. The 4th official would signal 4 added minutes to the half.

Godinho would try his luck down the right side but he wasn’t able to beat his man. The ball would run out for a goal kick and Crepeau would get things going quickly down the right side. LAFC would switch play and look for a gap in the defense. Vela was almost able to pick out a nice run but Blackmon had other ideas and cleared it out of touch. Hasal had to be sharp to end the half as LAFC would continue to pressure.

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VWFC At LAFC 1st Half Action

Hasal would make another save off a cross and the Whitecaps could clear but LAFC controlled play for the remainder of stoppage time. The halftime whistle would go with the Whitecaps conceding the early lead and going into the locker room down 2-1.

LAFC Add To Their Lead In The 2nd Half

LAFC would kick things off in the second half with neither team making any changes. They would start where they left off in the first half and win an early corner. It was sent into the box and Hollingshead would get on the end of it. Hasal had to be sharp to keep the score 2-1 as he was able to dive out and make the save.

The Whitecaps were able to slow things down a bit as the match moved into the 50th minute. Dajome was called for a foul and LA would take over once again. Opoku would beat 2 Caps defenders and get a shot away on Hasal. It was from a tight angle and Hasal was able to get both hands on it and stop the danger. LAFC was just fine with how the match was shaping out, they were able to hold on and limit chances.

Vancouver would get a nice counter-attack opportunity in the 53rd minute but the nice passing from Vite and Cavallini wouldn’t lead to a shot. Cavallini would turn and fire it on goal but it was blocked away and LA could clear. The home side would take over and play it around the back before Russell Teibert would take down Rodriguez. He was shown a yellow card in the 54th minute to no complaints.

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Javain Brown Fights Off The LAFC Defender

The Whitecaps would get a nice chance down the right side but the cross from Godinho was over everyone’s head and out for an LA throw. Teibert would go down on the pitch and need treatment and both teams were able to rest. The play would restart and LAFC would try and score a 3rd goal but they were offside before a foul on Berhalter.

Vanni Sartini would make his first change of the match in the 61st minute bringing on Cristian Gutierrez for Godinho. The physicality would pick up as Pedro Vite was bowled over by Fall. Cavallini would take exception to the tackle and get in the face of Fall but cooler heads would prevail. The free-kick was delivered to the front of the box and LAFC was able to clear and counter. Rodriguez was almost off to the races but a great tackle from Blackmon would win Vancouver back the ball.

The play would remain scrambly as we moved into the 64th minute. Cavallini was fouled and would win a free kick in the attacking half. It was sent over everyone but flicked out by LAFC for a corner kick. Gutierrez would swing the ball into the box but it was too close to Maxime Crepeau who was able to come off his line and grab it. The Whitecaps were starting to show glimpses but LA was very willing to see out the 2-1 result.

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Whitecaps At LAFC

Vancouver would give up a foul in the 66th minute but LA would turn it right back over. The teams would trade possession and the home squad would come back in on the attack. They would work it around from side to side but Vancouver would keep their defensive shape tight. It was short-lived though as LAFC would breakthrough for a 3rd goal.

They would work it down the right side and into the middle of the pitch and Hollingshead would find Vela. He got a great shot off on Hasal but the Caps keeper was able to punch it out for a corner. LA would deliver it into the box and it was initially cleared away. It would come right to Hollingshead and he would volley it into the far corner past Hasal for the 3-1 lead in the 70th minute.

Hollingshead Makes It 3-1 For LAFC In The 2nd Half

Vancouver would restart things down 2 goals and work things down the right side. Javain Brown and Cavallini would link up once again but a pass in deep to the touchline for Teibert was defended well by LAFC. The home side would push back towards the Caps net and bring their backline with them. The match moved into the 74th minute and Vancouver was sitting on their heels defending.

The Whitecaps would make more changes in the 75th minute as Deiber Caicedo would come on for Dajome and Ryan Raposo would replace Jake Nerwinski. Vancouver would control the ball but couldn’t find any space in the LAFC half. The home side was happy to sit in a high backline and maintain their 3-1 lead. Cavallini would try and start an attack but Teibert wasn’t able to get on the end of his pass and LA was able to clear.

LAFC would take over the ball and slowly move it down the pitch. They would win a 78th-minute corner and Vela would play it back. The ball would get worked around and come to Cifuentes at the top of the box. His shot was well over the net and out for a goal kick. Both teams would make changes in the 80th minute as Leonard Owusu would come on to replace Teibert. LAFC would bring on former Whitecap Doneil Henry to replace Carlos Vela.

Vancouver would win a free-kick but it was no trouble for LAFC and Crepeau. The match rolled into the 82nd minute as Vancouver tried to press a bit more. They were able to win the ball back but a bad pass would give it right back to the home squad. The Whitecaps were trying to make the game a bit closer but a cross from the right side was right into the arms of Crepeau.

Whitecaps At LAFC | Sports Talk Line
Whitecaps At LAFC 3-1 Defeat

LA would give it away and Pedro Vite would try and find some space with Brown down the right side. It was slowed up and after switching it to the right the ball into the box was again right to Crepeau. LA would control play before making another change in the 87th minute replacing Cifuentes with Francisco Ginella.

The home side would be able to waste more time down in the Vancouver end as they would win a corner kick. It was cleared but the 2nd phase was shot back in and off a Caps player and out for another corner. A quick VAR check would lead to nothing and the 2nd corner would also lead to nothing for LAFC. Vancouver would try and counter quickly but Raposo was hauled down by Ilie Sánchez who was shown a yellow in the 90th minute.

The 4th official would signal 4 added minutes just as the Whitecaps would win a free-kick. It was played to Javain Brown on the right and he was able to cross it nicely into the box. LAFC was able to clear but only as far as Caicedo. His shot was blocked by Henry and out for a corner as he tried to replicate what Hollingshead did earlier. The corner was sent over the box and eventually cleared out for a goal kick.

LA would control things as the final minutes would tick away. It was another tough result for the Whitecaps who opened the scoring on Sunday night. Vancouver falls to 0-3-1 and remains winless on the season.

Post Match Thoughts And Media

Vanni Sartini never seems to be in bad spirits despite the result of his team. He is always looking at ways to improve the game though. He spoke about the goals scored by both sides after the match.

“It seems crazy to be positive after two defeats in a row and in four games we never won, but I see a lot of progress these games to be honest. We executed the plan like we were trying to do. We had chances, we knew that [when] we came here they are probably the best team in the league to be honest, in terms of talent, in terms of players that they put on the field. And we play a very brave game. We were trying to stay compact, and trying to play direct to attack them in the space, and we did it.”

“The differences in the game has been the great play that Opoku and Vela did the for the second goal, and then the banger that Hollingshead scored. But you know, there’s no shame in losing here because I think a lot of teams are going to lose here and we need to think about us and that’s a building block, resetting the thing, working. We’re going to BC Place for the next two games and with the hunger to make points, to make possibly six points in the next week two home games. That’s what we need to do.”

Then I asked Vanni Sartini about the play of Pedro Vite who was forced to come off under concussion protocol against Houston. He seemed to get more and more into his game as the match went along.

Vanni Sartini Speaks To Media Post Match

Javain Brown spoke next after a bit of a lengthy delay, he gave his thoughts on the match and gave me The Unnamed Sports Show Media Moment of the Match. “I think it was a good game, we played against a good team. I think we did a lot of stuff right, but we also did stuff wrong that we have to look back and go back to the drawing board. Everything is on us. We can’t blame anyone. I think this is a great group, we’re going to get things right.”

Thomas Hasal was last and despite giving up 3 goals he did have a good night in the net. I asked him about what it was like playing against Maxime Crepeau on the other side of the pitch.

“I think we’ve got to look at the games we’ve played, we’ve got to take the positives and we’ve got to work on them and keep building off that. At the same time, we’ve got to take the rest of the game and look what we can do to improve. I think each game we’ve had spells where we’ve played well and we’ve shown what we can do. I think our biggest thing is going to be improving the length of those spells and how can we turn those 30-40 minutes of playing well in a game to 90 minutes because that’s what we need to get a performance and get a result.”

The Unnamed Moments Of The Match

Another tough result for the Vancouver Whitecaps but we did have lots of action Sunday night. Tristan Blackmon scored a big goal against his former side, Thomas Hasal was big in the net and Javain Brown definitely isn’t familiar with the LAFC roster.

The Unnamed Goal Of The Match

There were some beautiful goals from both sides on Sunday night but this one really stood out for me. Mahala was able to walk around 3 Whitecaps players before finding Carlos Vela. He was stopped initially by Hasal but was able to ninja kick in his own rebound for the 2-1 lead. This is “The Unnamed Goal Of The Match”.

The Unnamed Extortion Of The Match

It was a great goal from Hollingshead but I was held hostage here by the LAFC social media account! Well played, well played!

The Unnamed Media Moment Of The Match

Javain Brown either doesn’t know the LAFC roster or has no time for it. He had a great answer for Nathan Durec from Area 51 Sports Network when asked about going up against Opoku. This is “The Unnamed Media Moment Of The Match”.

Sports Talk Line And The Vancouver Whitecaps

The Vancouver Whitecaps At LAFC 3-1 defeat comes at no better time as the Caps can now regroup with the International break. They started the match off strong taking the early 1-0 lead and a chance to go up 2-0 but they weren’t able to take a stranglehold. LAFC was able to come back and hand Vancouver their 3rd loss of the season after just 4 matches.

The only thing Vancouver can feel good about is that 3 of the 4 matches have been on the road and without key players. The Whitecaps will head home and wait for the International break to end before they host Sporting Kansas City on Saturday, April 2nd from BC Place.

Make sure to check out the Sports Talk Line Website for lots more coverage of your Vancouver Whitecaps. Follow me on Twitter @JoshuaGriffith0 for the latest news and updates as the season moves forward. And don’t forget to check out the 90 + Podcast with Ben Righetti and Myself as we break down the Whitecaps every week and look ahead to the next match.

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