It was an eventful night as the Whitecaps fall 3-2 to the Timbers. Silviu Petrescu was a busy man with 3 penalty kicks and several trips to check VAR. After going down 2-0, Cristian Dajome was able to get one back for Vancouver. It was as close as the Whitecaps would get as Portland was always one step ahead.
It was a disappointing loss for Vancouver who remains at 4 points through 6 matches. “I’m Pissed,” said Vanni Sartinin after the match. It was a match the Caps should have won and Vanni knew it. Let’s take a look at how the match went down.
News, Notes, and Lineups For Whitecaps vs Timbers
Vanni Sartini would make 3 changes to the squad that was victorious 1-0 over Sporting KC last weekend. Thomas Hasal would get the start in the net with Cristian Guttierrez, Ranko Veselinovic, and Florian Jungwirth at the back in a 3-4-1-2. Cristian Dajome, Sebastian Berhalter, Russell Teibert, and Ryan Raposo would patrol the midfield. Ryan Gauld would take his normal spot underneath Deiber Caicedo and Brian White. Lucas Cavallini was not available for the match.
For the Portland Timbers, head coach Giovanni Savarese would make 5 changes to the side that fell 3-1 against the LA Galaxy. Aljaz Ivacic would get the start between the sticks with a 4-4-1-1 formation in front of him. Claudio Bravo, Bill Tuiloma, Larrys Mabiala, and Josecarlos Van Rankin would make up the backline from left to right.
Marvin Loria, Cristhian Paredes, Captian Diego Chara, and Dairon Asprilla would roam the midfield. While Yimmi Chara and Jaroslaw Niezgoda would start up top for the Timbers.
Timbers Are Rewarded From The Penalty Spot For A 1-0 Lead In 1st Half
The timbers would kick things off to start the 1st half going towards the north side of the stadium. Vancouver would start the match cautiously just clearing the ball down the field several times. Vancouver would win a throw in the Timber’s end of the park in the 3rd minute. Caicedo would do some nice work and send in a cross but it was cleared easily by Portland. A giveaway from Berhalter almost led to a counterattack for Portland but it was played very well by Veselinovic.
The first chance of the match would come in the 5th minute as a ball was floated into the box. Portland was able to head it to Ivacic who was able to dive on the ball. The first yellow card of the match would come in the 6th minute after Ryan Gauld was tackled hard by Larrys Mabiala. Silviu Petrescu would go straight for his yellow card. Vancouver would stay on the attack and Caicedo played a square ball in the 8th minute but White wasn’t able to get on the end of it.
A handball by Chara in the Timber’s end would give Vancouver a dangerous free-kick opportunity. It was played nicely to the back post but the initial shot was weak and easily cleared. The match moved past the 12th minute still scoreless. It was Portland’s turn to pressure Vancouver. Some nice work from Berhalter would win Vancouver back possession but they clumsily put it out of touch for a Timbers throw. The visiting side would re-group and play it around the back looking for space.
The Whitecaps were able to keep their shape and Florian Jungwirth was able to win Vancouver back the ball as we moved into the 15th minute. Caicedo would once again try and attack down the left side. It looked like he had won a corner kick but a foul was called as he got a bit too aggressive with his defender. Vancouver would win it back quickly and try and spring Brian White but he wasn’t able to outrun his man. The yellow cards would continue for Portland as Van Rankin was shown one in the 18th minute.
Ryan Raposo would do some nice work down the left side but was muscled off the ball and it rolled out for a goal kick. The Timbers would control things as the score remained 0-0 after the 20th minute. Ryan Gauld and Brian White were showing flashes but couldn’t link that final ball. Gauld had a great chance in the 21st minute after a great ball from White. The Scotsman didn’t connect well on his shot and it bounced wide of the net before Portland was able to clear.
Vancouver was looking to set up the counter-attack and Caicedo was almost off to the races but was hauled down. The two sides would trade possession as the clock ticked past the 25th minute. Portland would win a free-kick after a foul by Jungwirth. They would bring bodies forward but Vancouver was able to clear the cross to the front of the box easily and out of touch for a throw. The Timbers would remain on the ball and slow things down once again. The first shot of the match would come in the 28th minute as Chara would get some room at the top of the box. His shot was no problem for Hasal who didn’t even have to move.
Things remained scoreless as the match moved into the 31st minute. Chara would once again try his luck from just outside the box but this time his attempt was well over the net and a diving Hasal. A turnover by the Caps almost lead to another great chance but Jungwirth was able to boot it back towards the half. The play would get scrambly between the two sides. A hard foul to Sebastian Berhalter in the 35th minute saw the Caps midfielder down for several minutes. It was a bit of a high tackle but The Portland defender was able to get the ball before his man.
The Whitecaps were able to string together some successive passes but the final 3rd lacked any finish. Hard tackles at both ends as the Timbers tried to attack. Bravo would get called for the foul on Vancouver but not before the referee would go and look at the hard tackles in the Vancouver box. After looking back on the play Petrescu would point to the penalty spot for the Timbers. Dairon Asprilla would step up to take the kick and make no mistake firing past Hasal who dove the right way. Portland would take the 1-0 lead in the 42nd minute.
Asprilla would add a yellow card to his goal in the 43rd minute. Vancouver was able to bring players from the back as Gutierrez would whip the ball in. It was cleared only as far as Gauld but he couldn’t find Caicedo down the wing. Dajome would do some nice work on the left side and win Vancouver another free kick in the final minutes of the 1st half. It was wasted as the 4th official would signal an additional 3 minutes of stoppage time in the half. It was an uneventful couple of minutes before Petrescu would blow the whistle on the first half with the Timbers up 1-0.
Goals Come Fast And Furious in The 2nd Half
Portland would make one change at halftime bringing on Sebastian Blanco for Marvin Loria. No changes for the Whitecaps who would kick things off to start the 2nd half. Both keepers were called upon early to come off their line and grab across. Portland would get the first free-kick of the 2nd half. Chara would drive it to the front of the box but it was easily cleared by Dajome. The Timbers would stay on the ball and try and work it into the right corner. They swung in another cross but Hasal was there to get his mitts on it.
Vancouver would try and attack over the top but White wasn’t able to get on the end of the long pass before it rolled to Ivacic. With the Caps looking for the equalizing goal there was room for Portland to counter. Some nice work from Veselinovic and Jungwirth and Vancouver would take over once again. The score remained 1-0 as we moved into the 53rd minute. The Caps looked to break in but were called for the foul. Vancouver would get their first real chance in the 2nd half.
Berhalter would switch play and find Raposo down the right side. He crossed in a great ball with Gauld and White running into the box. Gauld was able to get good contact but his header was wide of the net and out for a Portland goal kick. Ryan Gauld would keep pressing forward and looked to be taken down in the box. He was waved back to his feet and things remained 1-0 for the Timbers.
Vancouver would control things as the match moved into the 58th minute. Portland was in no rush to force the issue and seemed to be waiting patiently for the home side to make a mistake. Caicedo looked to get Vancouver on the board but was called for a foul. Shortly after the Timbers would double their lead with some great work down the right side by Jaroslaw Ziezgoda, he was able to fire it past Hasal who had no chance from that distance.
Vancouver would make two changes in the 61st minute bringing on Pedro Vite and Javain brown for Teibert and Ryan Raposo. The Whitecaps would win a corner in the 64th minute after some nice work from Caicedo. It was played to the top of the box and Portland was able to clear. Berhalter would try and switch play once again to Brown on the right side. His cross was good but easily cleared by the Timber’s defense.
Vancouver would continue to press for their first goal of the match. Ivacic had to be sharp to dive out and stop a shot from Berhalter from distance. Vancouver was quickly running out of time and a pass looking for Brian White ran long and out of touch. It was a perfect way, to sum up, the match for Vancouver so far through 69 minutes. Dajome would try another cross with targets in the box but it was cleared far too easily by Portland. The second change of the match for the Timbers would see Santiago Moreno come on to replace Asprilla.
Vancouver would stay on the attack and almost get on the board in the 72nd minute. Caicedo would float a ball in and White would head it perfectly on target. Ivacic had to be sharp to dive up and tip the ball over the net for a corner kick. Vancouver would win multiple free kicks but the service was poor and easily cleared. Florian Jungwirth would come off in the 73rd minute and be replaced by Tristan Blackmon. Despite the score, it was a loud crowd of 16,772 and they were making sure the result wasn’t their fault.
The Caps would get on the board in the 76th thanks to Cristian Dajome. The ball was cut back across the box and came perfectly to Dajome who made no mistake tucking it in the back of the net. Vancouver was within 1 with just under 15 minutes to go plus added time. The goal seemed to spark Vancouver who was finally rewarded for their hard work.
Portland was looking a little nervous as the Whitecaps would look for their second goal of the match. A bad bounce and Portland would regain their 2 goal lead thanks to Yimmi Chara who was able to fight off Gutierrez and fire it past Hasal. It was ad luck for the young Canadian defender who watched the ball bounce off his toe right back to Chara. It was heartbreaking for the Caps who had been pushing hard for that tieing goal.
The match moved into the 81st minute with things not looking good for the home side. They would keep pressing and win another corner in the 83rd minute. It was floated into the box but easily cleared by the Timbers. Vancouver looked to win a penalty in the 84th minute but it was missed originally by Petrescu. The play would continue until VAR would stop the match and look things over. Vancouver was awarded a penalty kick and had a chance to get back to within one.
Cristian Dajome would step up and try and slot it in the bottom left side of the net. Ivacic would guess right and dive out to make the stop before it was cleared out for a Caps corner. It was a poorly taken PK as Dajome telegraphed where he wanted to put it. Portland would make their 3rd change moments later as they looked to kill the last couple of minutes. The 4th official would signal an additional 4 minutes of added time as the Caps tried to get the game a bit closer.
Just when you thought the excitement was all over Caicedo would win Vancouver another penalty kick in added time. Ryan Gauld would step up to the spot and make no mistake to bring the Caps back within 1 goal of the Timbers. Vancouver would keep the pressure on for the final minutes and throw everything they had at the Timbers. Despite all the pressure Vancouver would come up slightly short and fall 3-2.
I asked Sebastian Berhalter what the message was at halftime from head coach Vanni Sartini, “I think we didn’t give up much in the first half, you know they had the penalty kick in the first half. I think it shows, more or less, bringing in a little more intensity, aggressive. But overall in the first half, we didn’t have that many great chances, we didn’t create as much as we wanted tonight either, but overall it was just, go out there and let’s do this thing.”
Post Match Thoughts and Media
Vanni Sartini was upset about the result but felt Vancouver would win that match 9 times out of 10. Vancouver finished the match outshooting Portland 14-4.
“I’m pissed. I’m very pissed because I think we played a lot in their box. We had chances where we could have scored a lot of goals. We did also well I would say with our pressure because they broke us twice in the game. But we need to be 100 percent every time. So if we concede, kind of three situations and those three situations becomes huge chances. It’s hard because thinking about having Portland here and not conceding, it’s hard. So we’ll need to reevaluate the game and I want to see it.”
But to be honest, at the moment, I’m disappointed because I don’t know the numbers but probably we had like seven or eight shots more than them. I need to see the stats and everything but it’s a game that was not even with time, we should have won. Having been three points less, now we need to win some games on the road.” He continued. Vanni also spoke about the tactical change at halftime.
“Well you know, we changed the system, we played with only one defensive midfielder and two kind of offensive mids, because Portland played all in their half in the last 30 minutes. Between the two midfielders with Seb and Pedro, then Ryan for Javain, then Rusty, so that’s the change. I put Javain because we wanted to build with a little more bite. I think we were okay a little bit on the side but I think we wanted more bite on the attack in the space behind. I think we did what we were supposed to do for 30 minutes with them on the field. I think we created three or four chances. We missed a penalty, we don’t have to forget that we missed the penalty too. Unfortunately, I’m so pissed about the second goal because we shouldn’t have conceded [it].”
Berhalter spoke to the media next with his thoughts on the match, It is very evident the Caps can’t be dropping points at home if they want to finish in the playoffs at the end of the year. “We’re at home, we have to win games at home, and we’re a strong team at home. So to give up that game is definitely disappointing. We’ve got a good game next week and we’ll be ready to go.”
Finally, Ranko Veselinovic spoke about the loss and the unlucky results of the team Saturday night. “What can I say, tough game honestly, I’m pissed off, sorry if I can’t say that. I’m going to think a lot tonight about how we lost this game. We conceded some stupid goals, but I’m happy that we were trying all game. Honestly, even at 2-0, I believed that we could tie this game, but we couldn’t make it.”
“I’m just angry over the result, I mean we took a loss and I think we spent almost 50 percent of the game in their half and we conceded with their counterattacks. They’re a good team, of course, they have quality, I think we needed a little more luck today.”
The Unnamed Moments Of The Match
Lots of goals and excitement to choose from Saturday’s match. 5 goals, several yellow cards, 3 penalty kicks, and 3 trips to VAR. Here are my Unnamed Moments Of The Match.
The Unnamed Moment Of The Match
The Whitecaps Honored The South Asian Community with Vaisaakhi night. There were some amazing performances before the match and at halftime. A beautiful rendition of the American and Canadian National anthems by Jugpreet Bajwa. And a march to the match with The Sikh Motorcycle Club Of Canada leading the Southsiders down Robson st. to BC Place.
The Unnamed Goal Of The Match
My Unnamed Goal Of The Match is one that didn’t even make it on the score sheet. In the second half, Deiber Caicedo stole the ball from the Timbers defender and walked in, and slotted a beautiful shot past Ivacic. The only problem was that referee Petrescu was late to blow his whistle for a foul and the Goal call and smoke machines went off. After the fans realized it didn’t count the “Ref You Suck!” Chants started.
The Unnamed “Called It” Of The Match
It is never easy to stop a penalty kick, some would say it just involves some luck from the keeper. It could be some luck but there is scouting that goes into things. When Dajome stepped up to the box a colleague in the media box immediately said, “He’s going low left”… Moments later… “Called It”. Might have been the reason we saw Ryan Gauld take the next Penalty Kick.
Sports Talk Line And The Vancouver Whitecaps
The Vancouver Whitecaps will continue their season next week as they travel east to take on Canadian rivals CF Montreal. Vanni Sartini and company have been very good at BC Place since he took over last season with the only two losses both coming at the hand of the Portland Timbers. With the loss, the Caps stay at the bottom of the table in the 13th spot in the MLS Western Conference.
The 90 + Podcast will be back this week to break down the 3-2 loss to the Portland Timbers. Then later on in the week, we will look ahead to the match against CF Montreal. Make sure to follow me on Twitter @JoshuaGriffith0 for more news and notes about the Whitecaps. And be sure to check out the Sports Talk Line website for all your latest sports news.