Tosaint Ricketts Makes It Count For A Late 1-0 Victory For The Whitecaps vs Toronto FC
It was a joyous occasion Sunday afternoon from BC Place as a late Tosaint Ricketts goal was able to give the Whitecaps vs Toronto FC the 1-0 victory. The match looked to be heading for a 0-0 scoreline before the Canadian super sub was able to push Vancouver over the line.
The two teams kicked off for the first time since a 2-2 draw on April 24th, 2021 down in Orlando. There have been lots of changes to both sides since the last tilt and both sides have had less than stellar starts to the 2022 season. Let’s see how the team’s lined up and how things went down Sunday afternoon.
Whitecaps vs Toronto FC Lineups, News, and Notes
Vanni Sartini and the Vancouver Whitecaps would go with a formation change for the Sunday afternoon’s match. 5 changes to the lineup and a switch to 4 at the back to start. Thomas Hasal would start in the net with Jake Nerwinski, Ranko Veselinovic, Erik Godoy, and Javain Brown at the back from left to right.
Sebastian Berhalter and Russell Teibert would hold down the midfield with Cristian Dajome and Ryan Gauld flanking the wings. Deiber Caicedo and Brian White would start up top for the Caps.
Meanwhile, Bob Bradley would make one change to the lineup that fell 1-0 against FC Cinncinati but switch up his formation to a 4-3-3. Alex Bono would start in the net with Luca Petrasso, Shane O’Neill, Lukas Macnaughton, and Kadin Chung from left to right.
Deandre Kerr, Captain Michael Bradley, and Kosi Thompson would start in the midfield. While Jayden Nelson, Jesus Jimenez and Alejandro Pozuelo up top for Toronto FC.
Thomas Hasal Would Come Up Big For The Caps In The 1st Half
The Whitecaps would kick things off to start the first half but Toronto FC would take over the position. They would work it around and look for space early in the match. Vancouver was great on their defensive form and would keep TFC to the outside. A chance for Vancouver on the counter-attack in the 6th minute as Dajome would find Caicedo in the box. A nice first touch and he was able to test Keeper Alex Bono but the TFC keeper was able to dive out to his right and make the save.
Very little action as the match moved into the 7th minute. Both teams very trying to gauge their opponent. Toronto almost broke in on the attack but a nice defensive play from Godoy would stop the attack. The play would move back to midfield before Shane O’Neill would be shown a yellow card for a hard foul on Ryan Gauld in the 11th minute.
The caps would win the first corner kick of the match in the 12th minute after some nice work down the left side. It was delivered into the box but cleared everyone. The 2nd phase would come out of the other side and be crossed right out of touch for a Toronto FC goal kick. TFC would work the ball around but Vancouver was tight defensively and would win the ball back as we neared the 15th minute. The teams would trade possession before a cross from Toronto was well out of bounds.
Toronto would get a good chance in the 19th minute. They looked to break in but a nice play from Ranko Veselinovic was able to clear the danger. The visiting side would stay on the attack and win a 20th-minute throw down the right side. They would play it back to keeper Bono before turning it back over to the Whitecaps. Vancouver would continue on the attack and win a corner kick. It was delivered past everyone and Toronto could regroup.
The play would continue and Jiménez would win a free kick in a dangerous spot. Pozuelo would send it in on the net but the shot from MacNaughton was stopped by Hasal to keep the score 0-0. Vancouver would try and move in down the right-hand side but the pass for Gauld was a bit heavy and would run out of touch. They would try the other side and Dajome would make a nice run and force O’Neill to clear a dangerous cut back into the box.
The chances would keep coming for Vancouver as Caicedo would find Ryan Gauld on a nice run. He was too close to the keeper and Bono was able to make the stop in tight on a sliding Gauld in the 27th minute. The Whitecaps would continue to control things and look for space in the Toronto FC backline before an errant pass to Teibert would turn the ball over to the visiting side. A quick counter by Pozuelo trying to find Nelson but the cross attempt was blocked by Erik Godoy.
Toronto FC would continue on the attack and Bradley would let go a shot from distance. Thomas Hasal dove to his right but the ball was just out and Vancouver would get the goal kick. The teams would trade turnovers before we had some controversy in the 32nd minute of play. A floated ball over the top by Nelson looked to clip the arm of Ranko Veselinovic and Victor Rivas would head over to take a look. VAR Malik Badawi would deem it a handball we had ourselves a penalty kick for Toronto FC.
Pozuelo would line up to take the kick for Toronto FC but Thomas Hasal was equal to the task. He was able to dive out to his left and make a great save to keep the game scoreless in the 35th minute. Vancouver would try and counter quickly but the cross-in from Brown was dived on easily by Bono with very few white shirts in the box.
The two sides would trade fouls as we moved into the 38th minute of action. Toronto FC would try and attack down the right side but the pass to Pozuelo was a bit too heavy and cleared by Nerwinski. Vancouver looked much more stable at the back with their back 4 and was able to keep in good shape and make it hard for TFC to break their backline. The Caps would finally win it back after Jayden Nelson was called for a foul on Dajome,
The play would get sporadic as both sides didn’t want to make a mistake late in the first half. Vancouver looked to have a chance in the 41st minute but the pass to Caicedo was just beyond his reach. The Caps would keep pressing for that 1st half goal as Veselinovic would make a great long pass over the top to find Ryan Gauld. He cut it back and Michael Bradley would clear it out for a corner. Gauld would whip it in but it would run past everyone and out for a Toronto FC goal kick.
Toronto would switch the run of play and Pozuelo would set up Nelson for a beautiful opportunity. Nelson blasted it over the net to the relief of the Caps fans as things remained scoreless going into the 45th Minute. A late foul by Kerr on Gauld would see the TFC player shown a yellow card shortly after.
The 4th official would signal an added 2 minutes of stoppage time in the 1st half. Vancouver would give up a late corner kick after a bad pass from Brown. Hasal would punch it away before Victor Rivas would blow the whistle on the first half of play.
Tosaint Ricketts Lifts The Whitecaps vs Toronto With The Late Winner In The 2nd Half
Toronto would kick off the 2nd half after making one change. Jordan Perruzza would come on to replace Kadin Chung. It was the only change as things got going again between the two sides both on 3 game losing streaks. It was a great start for the Whitecaps vs Toronto FC in the 2nd half as Dajome would get a chance right away in the 47th minute. Some nice work from White, Gauld, and Caicedo and they were able to find Dajome streaking down the left side of the box. But his finish was poor and sent his shot well wide of the net.
The teams would trade the ball with Toronto having a shot from distance easily blocked by the Caps. Vancouver would get another chance off a Ryan Gauld header but Bono was able to punch it up onto the net. Toronto would try and come back on the attack but the Vancouver defenders were happy to clear it out for throws. The home side would try and counter-attack in the 52nd minute but Dajome was called for the foul on Thompson after a nice pass from Gauld.
The pace of play would pick up as Deandre Kerr would come right back for TFC in the 52nd minute. It was right at Hasal and he was quick to get the attack going from the back. Dajome had a nice run down the left side before the ball would eventually make its way to Javain Brown on the other wing. He had all kinds of space but elected to chip a ball to the back of the box to Dajome. He had no space and his shot was blocked easily by the Toronto FC defender.
Brown would once again get a chance to cross a ball in from the left side. This time it had Bono diving out but it would roll through the other side to Dajome who elected to play it back to Jake Nerwinski. Vancouver would again try to play from the right side and this time Caicedo was able to cross in a great ball to Brian White. His header would go just wide of the net as he lay on the ground in disappointment. The Caps were clearly getting frustrated as Sebastion Berhalter would take a cheeky foul on Kerr in the 57th minute.
After winning the ball back Vancouver would continue trying to work it down the right side as Gauld would find Javain Brown. His cross was deflected out for a 58th-minute corner for the home squad. Gauld would drive a ball into the box that was cleared by TFC. It would eventually come out to Dajome on the right side but his shot was once again high of the target. Toronto was quick to give it back to Vancouver and they calmed things down as the match moved into the 61st minute.
The fouls would pick up as Dajome and Nerwinski were both called for various infractions. Vancouver would continue to try and open the scoring and Dajome would win a corner in the 63rd minute. Berhalter would float it in but Bono was quick off his line for TFC. Caicedo would take a knock on the clearance from MacNaughton and would down shortly. The play would resume with the score still deadlocked 0-0.
Some more controversy in the 66th minute as Toronto FC looked to take the 1-0 lead. Some nice movement of the ball to work it out wide in space to Thompson. He made a pinpoint pass to find Deandre Kerr who was able to clip it across the box. Hasal was able to dive out and knock it away before stopping the shot from Nelson on the rebound. The ball would spill off Hasal and it looked like TFC had the 1-0 lead. The play was called dead by Referee Rivas and VAR did not take a look at it.
I asked MLS Pro Referee about the play after the match and was given this response. “The match official deemed VWFC #1, Thomas Hasal, had gained control of the ball prior to the challenge by Toronto FC #11, Jayden Nelson. As a result, VWFC was awarded a direct free-kick.”
Thomas Hasal took a boot to the hand and was replaced by Cody “The Stopper” Cropper in the net after Nelson would receive a yellow card for complaining. Vanni Sartini also made two other changes bringing on Ryan Raposo for Cristian Dajome and Lucas Cavallini for Brian White in the 71st minute. Cavallini instantly made an impact picking up the quickest yellow card in history for a foul on Shane O’Neill.
It wouldn’t take long for Cody “The Stopper” Cropper to get involved in the match either. A great ball in by Toronto and Perruzza got a great header on the net. Cropper had to make an amazing one-handed diving save to his right to rob Perruzza of what looked like a sure goal.
The corner was taken by Pozuelo and fired into the near post. It was flicked on before being cleared by Vancouver out of danger. The ball would come back to Cropper and he was able to slow things down for the home side. Toronto would work it around before eventually losing out possession to the Whitecaps. Some nice work to get the ball into the box but Toronto was able to clear and counter in the 76th minute. It looked promising for the Reds but it was cut out nicely by Erik Godoy who was quietly having himself a great match.
The Whitecaps were almost able to make something happen in the 77th minute but the ball would bounce around and Cavallini couldn’t get a shot away. The home side would do well to limit the chances for Toronto FC and Bob Bradley would once again go to his bench. Steffan Yeates would come on to replace Deandre Kerr in the 85th minute as the teams continued their scoreless draw.
More changes would come for both sides as Vanni Sartini would bring on Tosaint Ricketts and Michale Baldisimo for Caicedo and Berhalter. Bradley would also make another switch with the Canadian National Ayo Akinola replacing Jayden Nelson. The Whitecaps would be the side to push late and win a corner kick after some nice work from Javain Brown.
Against the run of play, the Whitecaps would strike late thanks to a beautiful pass from Gauld to Cavallini on a run down the left side. He was able to beat the Toronto defender and find Tosaint Ricketts wide open who was able to tuck it into the top of the net for the late 1-0 lead. It was checked briefly for offside but confirmed a good goal unlike 3 weeks ago against CF Montreal.
After the celebration, Vancouver vs Toronto FC just needed to hold on for a couple more minutes of added time. 6 added minutes of stoppage time that is. It was a nervous BC Place as the Caps looked to hold on. Vancouver was forcing the issue with Lucas Cavallini pestering any Toronto player he could get close to. Bob Bradley would make his final substitution of the match in the 3rd minute of added time bringing on Paul Rothrock for Shane O’Neill.
A nervous Vanni Sartini would roam the touchline until Rivas would blow the final whistle. The win improves the Whitecap’s home record to 2-1-1 and 2-6-1 on the season. Thomas Hasal and Cody Cropper share the clean sheet and Tosaint Ricketts was rewarded with the goal late.
Post Game Thoughts And Media
Vanni spoke to the media after the match in his “Home Is Vancouver” sweater. He was very happy with the three points to kick off the homestand. He was also very happy with the out-of-town results. He spoke about the win and what it does for the team.
“I would have been happy for a million reasons and of course, the win is the reason why we are happy. The second thing is that I think we played very well. They had a couple of big chances, but we had more chances than them. I think we’ve been the better team on the field. And also I’m very happy that the protagonists of the win have been guys that came off the bench to remind everyone that the group is the leader. Cody made a great save as soon as he come inside and Lucas and Tos combining for the goal. It’s beautiful, it’s very beautiful, we’re very happy.”
I asked about the penalty save by Thomas Hasal in the first half and what a big save can do for a team.
Jake Nerwinski was asked about the win and what he thought of the match, “I mean it was a pretty open game, it was back and forth, I think especially in the second half. Like, anything could happen. We could have scored a few, they could have capitalized on some but when you get a win like that, it kind of helps the team out a lot, because maybe we didn’t play our best today and maybe we didn’t capitalize on a lot of chances, but to still come away with three points, and a clean sheet is huge, and we’re going to build off that.”
I asked how important getting the two weeks off to get a mini “Training Camp” was for the team.
Jake also talked about adjusting to a back 4, or 3 and a half as Vanni likes to call it.
“Yeah, it’s not too much. I mean, the coaches made it kind of easy for us. We had two weeks to work on it, we didn’t have a game last week. So we were able to really, really work on it. It’s the same when we build-up, it’s just in defence, we are more compact. I think that it did help us a lot. Maybe we were a little bit, not as aggressive in the first steps as we wanted to be. We sat back a little bit but I think as the game progressed we got used to that style of formation, and in the second half, you saw we were able to play the way we wanted.”
Tosaint Ricketts was up last after scoring the late winner for the Whitecaps vs Toronto FC. I asked him about getting a big 3 points to start their homestand and he also spoke about his late goal.
“Yeah, I mean, it’s always special against your ex-team and in scoring against your ex-team, you know, it’s always a special moment. Cava did great. You guys see him every week and his determination, his hard work, his effort to battle through everything. That’s what created the goal, he made it to the end line, put a good ball across and I was just thinking get in front of the goal. I know Cava, I know he’s going to do anything to get it there, and he got it there so I’m happy to secure that.”
The Unnamed Moments Of The Match
Another win at home meant another round of “Stand By Me” with the team and supporters section. Some beautiful saves from both Whitecaps keepers and a late goal from Tosaint Ricketts that actually counted this time. Let’s check out the Unnamed Moments Of The Match!
The Unnamed Save Of The Match
After VAR determined Ranko Veselinovic had a handball in the box Toronto FC was awarded a Penalty. Pozuelo is normally automatic from the spot but Hasal had other things to say about it.
The goal gave the Whitecaps a huge spark as Vanni Sartini spoke about after the match. We can only hope that Hasal’s hand is fine for Wednesday night against Valour FC and moving forward in the season.
The Unnamed Save Of The Match
This is not an error! We had two huge saves on Sunday afternoon for the Vancouver Whitecaps. Cody “The Stopper” Cropper was pressed into action after the injury to Hasal and he was tested right away.
It would have been totally understandable if the keeper coming in cold off the bench had let in a goal. Cropper had another idea as he was able to get a hand on the header from Jordan Perruzza in the 73rd minute to keep the game scoreless.
The Unnamed Media Moment Of The Match
It was Mothers Day on Sunday and the Caps made sure to have lots of great initiatives for all the amazing moms that attended the match. Vanni Sartini made sure to call his mom both before and after the match as he was on his early on the pitch before joining media on a zoom call with his parents. You love to see it!
Sports Talk Line And The Vancouver Whitecaps
The Whitecaps won’t have any time to celebrate their 1-0 victory over Toronto FC. They will get right back in action Wednesday night at BC Place against Valour FC in the 1st round of the Canadian Championship. Vanni Sartini spoke about the importance of the Wednesday night’s match in his media availability.
“We can be very clear, Wednesday is the most important game of the year. Why? Because if we lose we are out of the Canadian Championship. That is a competition that we want to try to win. It’s a competition that it’s like we have to win four games, not 34 like the MLS. We enter the competition and have to be honest in a way that we are the big guy, we’re not the underdog because of the CPL of course, the budget and everything, we need to have extreme respect for Valour. Go with all our guns there and try to win this game, because, the last two years, the last two Canadian Championship campaigns have been very disappointing for the club.”
The win is only the Whitecap’s 2nd of the season as they move to 2-6-1 but 2-1-1 at home. They are still at the bottom of the table in the MLS Western Conference but the victory does give them some life to get back into the playoff race.
Make sure to follow me on Twitter @JoshuaGriffith0 for the latest news and updates ahead of the match. Tune into the 90 + Podcast as Ben Righetti and myself break down the latest happenings of the Caps. Check out the Sports Talk Line website for all your sports needs.
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