Whitecaps vs Sporting KC Hold On For The 1-0 Victory Despite A Streaky Ending
The Whitecaps vs Sporting KC was able to hold on for an important 1-0 victory despite a bit of a streaky ending to the match. No, literally there was a streaker that delayed the end of the match and made Vancouver fans wait almost 9 minutes for the final whistle.
Saturday night was a special moment for Ryan Raposo. He got his first MLS to start at BC Place and was able to find out in time that his mom was able to fly in from Hamilton to watch him. He did not disappoint on the right side and linked up with Lucas Cavallini for the 73rd-minute goal. Let’s see how things went down in the Cap’s first win of the season.
News, Notes, and Lineups For Whitecaps Vs Sporting KC
Vanni Sartini and the Vancouver Whitecaps would make 4 changes to the squad that fell 4-1 against LAFC. Thomas Hasal would take his usual spot between the sticks with the same backline of Jake Nerwinksi, Ranko Veselinovic, and Tristan Blackmon from left to right. Ryan Raposo would get his first start at BC Place for Vancouver in the midfield of Sebastian Berhalter, Russell Teibert, and Javain Brown, who is back from international duty.
Ryan Gauld checked back in after missing the last match with Deiber Caicedo and Brian White playing in a striker role. Vanni had lots of attacking options to choose from off the bench with Lucas Cavallini and Cristian Dajome.
Peter Vermes and Sporting KC would go with their normal 4-3-3 formation. Tim Melia would start in the net with Ben Sweat, Andreu Fontas, Nicolas Isimat-Mirin, and Graham Zusi from left to right. Felipe Hernandez, Remi Walter, and Oriol Russell would start in the midfield. Khiry Shelton, Daniel Salloi, and Johnny Russell started up top for Sporting KC.
Whitecaps Press Sporting KC But Neither Team Can Find The Back Of The Net In The 1st Half
Sporting KC would kick things off in the first half but was quickly forced into a turnover from the press of Vancouver. The two sides would trade possession as they worked out their legs in the early part of the match. Sporting KC looked to get the first chance of the match in the 4th minute but Jake Nerwinski was able to step in front of the pass and stop any threat SKC had. Ryan Gauld would win the first free-kick of the match after being bulldozed over by Rosell.
A quick foul by the home side and Sporting KC would try and race down the left side. A great pass from Sweat to try and spring Shelton in the 7th minute but a great defensive play from Veselinovic was able to foil the attempt. The match moved into the 8th minute with SKC controlling possession and the Whitecaps picking their spots to press. They would win back the ball and a nice move from Gauld almost set up a great chance but the ball was lashed out of touch for a throw.
The pressure from Vancouver would continue as Gauld and White would play give and go in the 10th minute. The pass from White was great but the first touch from Gauld was a bit heavy and the ball would run to Tim Melia. It was sporting KC’s turn to work the ball around at the back and wait for their opportunity to attack. They didn’t choose the right moment and would turn the ball over.
The first shot attempt would come in the 14th minute after the Whitecaps turned the ball over to SKC. Khiry Shelton would walk into the middle and fire a shot from a distance that would go wide of the net. Sporting KC would stay on the attack and float a cross into the box but it was right to Hasal. The match was opening up as Vancouver was able to rush down the right side. A cutback from Caicedo was picked out by the SKC defender.
The Caps would stay on the front foot as the match moved past the 17th minute. Some nice work to get into dangerous passing positions but the final pass just wasn’t quite there. The score remained 0-0 with Vancouver looking like the far more dangerous squad. 2 crosses into the box were just off target and Tim Melia was able to come off his line and smother the ball to slow things down for the visiting side. It was quickly turned over by Sporting KC as the Whitecaps were dictating the pace.
A very hard foul in the 22nd minute on Sebastian Berhalter would slow down the match. He was plowed over by Felipe Hernandez. Referee Fotis Bazakos had a quick look at it but determined it was accidental contact and didn’t pull out his yellow card. Things would restart with the Caps attacking once again down the left-hand side. A cross into the box was headed away before a cross into Ryan Gauld was flicked just wide of the net.
The match would slow down a bit as we moved into the 26th minute with the score tied 0-0. A turnover by Vancouver and Sporting tried to break back quickly the other way but Javain Brown was quick to track down his man. Sebastian Berhalter would try and float it into Brian White but the striker wasn’t able to get a full head on it and it would go out for a goal kick. Sporting KC would get a chance to hold the ball but they played an errant pass instead and Vancouver would take back over.
Vancouver would almost score on the counterattack as Caicedo would try and cross it into the box for White. It was a great ball but Melia was there a split second ahead of White and dove on the ball. The teams would trade the ball as the match moved into the 35th minute. It was Vancouver once again on the attack but Caicedo would once again send his cross in too close to Tim Melia. The SKC Keeper was able to grab it once more and send SKC back up the field.
The physicality would pick up as the half closed out. Russell Teibert would be shown a yellow card in the 38th minute after hauling down Hernandez. The free-kick was taken short but the training ground play wasn’t successful and the ball would go out for a goal kick. Caicedo would get another great chance down the right side but sent in a half cross, half shot that was right to Melia. It was disappointing with several Caps waiting in the box for the service.
Things would tick into the final minutes of the first half. Vancouver was doing a great job of dictating play against Sporting KC. A bad turnover would almost lead to a chance for the away side but the shot from Zusi was blocked by Raposo. KC would try the other side but the floated cross was over everyone’s head. Sebastian Berhalter would pick up a yellow card in the 45th minute before the 4th official would signal 1 minute of added time as the Caps looked for a late chance. It was all for not as Fotis Bazakos would blow the whistle on the 1st half.
Ryan Comes To The Rescue In The 2nd Half But He Wasn’t Gauld
The only substitution of the half would go to Peter Vermes who would replace Rosell for Roger Espinoza. Vancouver would kick things off to start the second half by attacking the north end of the stadium. Vancouver would get the first chance in the 47th minute as Ryan Gauld would flick a nice header that Melia had to be sharp to save. Sporting KC would come right back but send a shot wide of the net.
The Whitecaps were looking to break the deadlock early as they had a great chance in the 49th minute. The Ball would come out wide to Ryan Gauld, He would play it into White who would dummy it for Caicedo. His shot was blocked and SKC was able to clear downfield. Through 50 minutes the build-up was looking dangerous but the final product was still lacking.
Sporting KC would get their best chance of the match in the 52nd minute was Salloi would walk into the top of the box and fire a shot on Hasal. The Caps keeper was able to dive out to his left and make the first big save of the match. The Caps would try and counter with Gauld down the left side, he would try and play an early ball in but it was defended well by SKC and cleared.
The match moved past the 55th minute with the score still 0-0. Sporting KC would work it down the right side and then switch it back before a cross was cleared out of the box. Sporting would stay pressing and Hasal was forced to come off his line and clear the ball out of touch. Vancouver would make their first substitution of the match bringing on Lucas Cavallini to replace Brian White in the 58th minute.
Sporting KC would win their first corner of the match shortly after in the 59th minute. It was whipped into the box but the header was well wide of the net and Hasal was able to slow things down with a goal kick. The visiting side would win a free kick and Lucas Cavallini decided to stand in front of the ball and get shown a yellow card for his efforts. A quick turnover and the Caps were back on the attack.
They would win a corner kick and Raposo would play a nice ball into the box. It was cleared but the second phase was floated in perfectly to Brown. He headed it back down into the box but there were no white shirts there for Vancouver. The ball would come to Veselinovic after Blackmon did a nice job of keeping it in the SKC half. His chip would find Cavallini but his header was straight into the chest of Melia. Gauld would win a foul in the 63rd minute and the Caps could once again bring players forward for a set-piece.
Raposo and Berhalter would both stand over the ball. Raposo would float it in and it was popped right up in the air. Melia was able to out-jump several Whitecaps and SKC was able to take back possession. A great chance for the away side as the 65th minute came to a close. Ben Sweat was able to cross the ball right to Espinoza but he wasn’t able to get all of the shot and it bounced to Hasal. Vancouver didn’t look as dominant in the second half as they did throughout the first.
Russell Teibert would get a chance from distance but would send it wide. Vanni Sartini would make 2 more changes in the 69th minute. Sebastian Berhalter and Ryan Gauld would be replaced by Michael Baldimiso Pedro Vite. The Whitecaps would go right back on the attack and Caicedo would find Baldimiso at the top of the box. His shot was blocked and cleared out of touch by Sporting KC. The Whitecaps would continue to try and work down the right side with Caicedo but his crosses were just off target.
Vancouver would open the scoring in the 73rd minute. Ryan Raposo and Lucas Cavallini were able to get on the end of a floating ball by Baldisimo. Cava was able to deflect it to Raposo who poked it past Tim Melia for his first-ever MLS goal and the 1-0 Whitecap lead.
The excitement level ramped up as the Whitecaps vs Sporting KC had several chances to double their lead. After winning the ball back Cavallini would make a nice dribble past his defender down the left side. He would cross in a great ball to Caicedo but he fanned on his kick. He would get another chance shortly after but his shot from a tight angle would go off the side netting.
Sporting KC would try and get even with some substitutions of their own. Johnny Russell would be replaced by Marinos Tzionis while Cam Duke would come on for Hernandez in the 77th minute. After a quick foul by Baldisimo Vanni Sartini would make changes of his own in the 78th Minute. Tosaint Ricketts would replace Deiber Caicedo while Marcus Godinho would replace the goal scorer, Ryan Raposo, to a very nice ovation.
The Play would resume and SKC would win a corner kick after Teibert was forced to clear it out of touch. A pass Toasint had to wait for was stolen by Fontas who was able to play give and go before letting it run out off of the Caps captain. Espinoza was able to get on the end of the cross into the box but he put it well wide from a tough position. Peter Vermes would make his final change bringing on Nikola Vujnovic for Khiry Shelton in the 80th minute.
Vancouver would try and press a bit higher with fresh legs to make it difficult for Sporting KC to tie the match. Sporting KC would work the ball around the touchline waiting for an opportunity. in the 82nd minute, Tzionis would find some space in the middle of the pitch and test Hasal. It was played well defensively so Tzionis only had the chest of Hasal to shoot at. SKC would stay on the attack as Zusi looked to cross a ball in early but it was headed clear.
After the teams would trade the ball back and forth Sporting KC would come in with another chance. Tzionis, who was everywhere on the pitch since coming on, would walk into the box but a strong defensive play from Baldisimo would win it back for the Whitecaps. Cavallini was able to do some nice work to waste more time for Vancouver as he was fouled by Ben Sweat. Cava would get a chance on the counterattack to put the game out of reach but his shot was well wide of the target.
The final minutes of the 2nd half would wind down with Sporting KC pressing for the tieing goal. They would win a corner kick in the 90th minute after a shot from Salloi was blocked minutes earlier. The ball was whipped into the near post but Veselinovic was tight to the woodwork and was able to head the ball away. The 4th official would signal an added 3 minutes but we were in for an interesting finish. First, Tristan Blackmon and Espinoza collided in the box and Blackmon was down. Second, Well, this…
A half streak decided to delay things even more for the Whitecaps fans. He casually ran around the field, hoped the barrier, and ran into the concourse. Where he was most likely met by security, a hefty fine, and a night in jail. When things finally did continue Veselinovic and Blackmon would knock heads and Florian Jungwirth would have to come on for Blackmon who was bleeding and needed treatment.
The play finally resumed and after several more tense minutes Referee Bazakos would blow the final whistle and the Whitecaps vs Sporting KC were able to hold on 1-0. It was the second clean sheet of the year for Thomas Hasal and the duo of White and Gauld seemed to pick up where they left off last season despite not getting on the score sheet. Marcus Godinho has also shown a yellow card in the 4th minute of added time aside from the excitement for a hard foul on Tzionis.
Post Match Thoughts And Media
Vanni Sartini spoke after the match about the team’s victory, what it meant for the team, and how they need to make BC Place a fortress as they move forward in the season.
“Feels very good, very good for the win for sure but also for the performance. We’ve been clearly the better team on the pitch, better with all the chances, we always played in their half. Even at the end of the last 10 minutes they were throwing these balls, but we haven’t faced, I would say, too much. That’s a very good starting point for our season. Here at BC Place of course it was the second game, not the first one, but after the break and everything, we know that we need to win as many games as we can here because the games away are hard. So yeah, that’s a good engine to go into the week for Portland next week.”
The Whitecaps head coach also spoke about the goal by Ryan Raposo. He was very praising of the young player and the work he puts in day in and day out in training. He also spoke very highly about the versatility of Ryan and how he is able to play multiple positions for the Whitecaps.
“I had two to three conversations with [Ryan] during the preseason because, especially with the system he always played as a classic winger, in a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1. He was feeling a little bit left out, and I told him ‘You need to work a lot because, probably, you’re not going to start at the beginning, but you’re so versatile’. He can play wingback, he can play striker, he can play number 10. He is always going to be in the 20 and there will be chances for him. He worked a lot, he deserved the start and I’m very happy that he scored. So yeah, I’m very happy for him.”
Ryan spoke next about what the goal meant to him and how important it was to have his mom at the match. Also, check out the full media availability with Ryan Raposo if you missed it Saturday night.
“Crazy, I found out yesterday that I was going to be starting and texted my mom. She was on night shifts at the hospital. I messaged her late, she replied and actually booked the flight from Toronto, she had to drive to Toronto an hour then she flew to Abbotsford and I drove to Abbotsford to pick her up. It meant the world to me that she was there. As soon as I hit the back of the net, I pointed towards her section. She was in that general section so I knew she was there watching. I can only imagine what she was going through, probably crazy and in tears.”
Captain Russell Teibert was last to speak and talked at length about the victory, “It’s a great feeling, winning is a contagious feeling. This group is such a good group. We’ve played well so far this season, but this was by far our best performance from the first minute to the 90th. Whatever we played today, those last three minutes felt like about seven or eight but this was a good performance for us. A performance that we can build on, a character-building performance.”
“Look, we got true real warriors on this team. You see guys coming in the locker room, blood everywhere. You look at Tristan his head was cut and he’s got back up and he gave the fans a salute. You talk about guys like Ryan Raposo, who’s been around for a little bit now and he takes this opportunity and it takes a real warrior and I don’t necessarily mean that in a physical sense, but in a mental sense, because when you don’t start all the time when you don’t get a ton of opportunities when you’re able to take a chance when it comes that takes a real warrior to do that.”
He would continue, “I think we talk about the physical battles almost every week and we calculate duels won, but what we don’t calculate is the mental side of things. That’s something that you can’t quantify is somebody’s mentality and this group’s got strong mentality.”.
The Unnamed Moments Of The Match
It was a great win for the Vancouver Whitecaps vs Sporting KC Saturday night at BC Place. It also had a little bit of everything so let’s check out “The Unnamed Moments Of The Match”
The Unnamed Picture Of The Night
They say a picture is worth 1000 words but when Ryan Raposo scored his first MLS goal it might have been worth a lot more! Russell Teibert was quick to grab a photographer’s camera and be sure to capture the moment up close for the young Canadian.
Man Streaker Of The Match
I give him a 6/10 for the streaking attempt. The only reason he got above 5 was that he so casually ran around and then jumped off. This is a friendly reminder to fans of any sport to please not throw anything on the pitch and stay off it!
Sports Talk Line And The Vancouver Whitecaps
The Vancouver Whitecaps pick up their first win of the 2022 season and a valuable 3 points. It might just be 5 matches in but it is never good to fall too far out of the playoff race at any point in the year. The win keeps Vancouver within 4 points of the pack in the MLS Western Conference. Things won’t get any easier next week as Vancouver will host their Cascadia Rivals the Portland Timbers Saturday, April 9th at BC Place.
For even more coverage of the Vancouver Whitecaps make sure to check out the 90 + Podcast. Me and Ben Righetti will break down the Whitecaps vs Sporting KC 1-0 victory early in the week. Then closer to the match, we will be joined by someone to break down the match ahead from a Timber’s perspective.
Follow me on Twitter @JoshuaGriffith0 for the latest news and notes about your Vancouver Whitecaps. Be sure to check out everyone on the Sports Talk Line Network for even more coverage of all your favorite sports.
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