Whitecaps vs LAFC Wednesday Night
The Whitecaps vs LAFC were able to hold on for 2-1 victory. Two goals by Lucas Cavallini was enough to earn Vancouver their second win in a row. A penatly kick by Eduard Atuesta would be the lone goal for LAFC as they couldn't break through the Caps backline.
A beautiful 30th-minute goal by Cavallini would give Vancouver the 1-0 lead going into the first half. They were unlucky not to be up by more as several chances weren't converted. The second half would see the Whitecaps ease off the gas pedal and give LAFC a chance to get back into the match.
Cavallini was able to get the brace off a counter by Vancouver in the 59th minute. It was 2-0 but LA would storm back and earn a penalty kick. A handball by Jake Nerwinksi was originally not seen. VAR was all over it and Atuesta would close the gap to 2-1. Despite a late push by Los Angeles the final whistle would blow on the Caps second straight win.
Lineups, News, And Notes
Marc Dos Santos would make no changes to the lineup that took care of Real Salt Lake 2-1 on Saturday night. Except switch Ranko Veselinovic and Erik Godoy on the graphic. The only real surprise is Michael Baldisimo being left out of the lineup. He has been easily the most creative midfielder for Vancouver.
Fredy Montero and Lucas Cavallini once again start up top together in the 4-4-2 formation. Russell Teibert matches Jordan Harvey for the club record with 179 appearances. Cristian Dajome has started to show some flashes and will be on the right-wing. Janio Bikel and Leonard Owusu start together at midfield. Ali Adnan and Team of the Week Jake Nerwinski start in their normal left and right back spots.
Jasser Khmiri remains on international duty with Tunisia. Maxime Crepeau is back training by himself so he could be available to come to the end of the season. Thomas Hasal remains out while Cristian Gutierrez is out with this week with a minor knock.
Bob Bradley and LAFC were much more affected by the International break. Diego Rossi, Brian Rodriguez, Jose Cifuentes, Diego Palacios were all unavailable for the Wednesday nights match. Bradley would make 2 changes and one move in the lineup. Mohamed El-Munir would slot into RB with Latif Blessing moving into the midfield. Eduard Atuesta and Francisco Ginella would round out the midfield.
Dejan Jkovic and Eddie Segura start at CB while former Whitecap Jordan Harvey starts at LB. Pablo Sisniega starts in net for Los Angeles. The top of Bob Bradley's 4-3-3 is still dangerous despite missing Rodriguez. Christian Torres and Danny Musovski will flank Bradley Wright Phillips upfront. BWP crushed Vancouver in their last meeting and he will need to be marked at all times.
Whitecaps vs LAFC Dominate The First Half
Things would kick-off and both teams would kick it back and forth for a couple of minutes. The Whitecaps would steal the ball off a throw and Dajome would win the games first corner. Montero would whip it in short in the 3rd minute but LAFC was able to clear easily. Vancouver would hold possession and get an amazing chance in the 5th minute. Owusu switched it over to Nerwinski who crossed it perfectly into the box. Fredy Montero sent it wide of the far post.
The Whitecaps would continue to press and force LAFC into turnovers. Several more chances crossed into the box in the 6th minute but things would remain scoreless. Bikel would give LA their first chance in the 6th minute after giving away a free-kick about 35 yards out. Vancouver was able to take care of it without any chances and win their own free-kick to alleviate the pressure.
LAFC would start to string some possession of their own after the 10th minute. Torres had the best chance at the back post but it was played well by Nerwinski and the shot was off target. The high press from Vancouver was causing fits early on for LA. Montero was able to win it back and find Dajome on the wing. His attempt from long range was well over the net in the 14th minute.
Owusu and Dajome would link up once again but Dajome's delivery was poor. It went long and over the head of Cavallini. LAFC would look to split the CB's in the 18th minute but it was offside. Vancouver would take over once again and almost score. Dajome had a great cross this time that was parried away by Sisneiga. It went right to Teibert but he had one too many touches and the keeper was able to jump on the ball.
Ranko would make a great defensive play to stop the LAFC attack in the 23rd minute. BWP looked to be in past the line but Ranko was able to track him down and win the ball back. He was fouled as he tried to move up the field. LAFC would win their first corner kick of the match thanks to some good work down the right side by Musovski. He would get at the end of the delivery but it was headed straight up and was easy work for Evan Bush.
Vancouver should have made it 3-0 shortly after in the 27th minute. The ball would bounce around in the box and Cavallini had a great turn. His shot was somehow stopped by Sisneiga and it stayed scoreless despite all the chances for the Whitecaps. Vancouver would finally break the tie in the 30th minute. A ball over the top and Dajome would volley it back to Montero. He played a perfect ball into Dajome who cut it into the middle and Cavallini was rewarded with his second goal in as many matches.
After the goal things would pick up a bit physically. Referee Tori Penso was doing a great job of letting the teams play despite some questionable plays. It was nice that a Referee wanted there to be some flow to the Match. Vancouver would back off a bit and LAFC would try and take advantage. Some time on the ball but nothing that would test Evan Bush. Harvey would try a long shot that was well over the net in the 39th minute.
Dajome would win Vancouver their second corner in the 41st minute. He was causing problems all first half for Harvey. Montero's delivery was to the top of the box and right to 3 black shirts for LA. The high press would force another turnover and Dajome was showing his confidence as he had another go from long range. It was wide as LA would take over as we moved along into the 43rd minute.
Ginella would win a free-kick after a foul by Owusu. It was sent in by Atuesta but cleared away by Cavallini. Vancouver would win back the ball and earn a throw. There would be one added minute of play in the first half. Whitecaps vs LAFC would hope to go into the half with the lead as they smothered up a late chance. Halftime would come and Vancouver would indeed take the 1-0 lead into the locker room. Evan Bush was not tested in the first half as the defense was smothering.
Whitecaps vs LAFC Would Trade Second Half Goals
Bob Bradley would make one sub at halftime bringing on Adrien Perez for Torres. LA would start with the ball but give it away quickly. Both teams started the half off tentative not wanting to make the first mistake. LAFC would give up two fouls in the 47th minute, the last one was in a dangerous place. The Delivery was once again poor this time from Ali Adnan, and LA looked to break. Ali Adnan cut perfectly in front of the ball and Vancouver was back in possession.
Segura was shown the match's first yellow card in the 49th minute for a foul on Dajome. LAFC was trying to attack the right side of Vancouver but Veselinovic and Nerwinski were there at every step. The smothering defense was continuing into the second half. 55 minutes into the match and LAFC was holding more of the ball. They just couldn't get it past the backline of Vancouver and test Bush.
Vancouver would try and counter in the 57th minute. Dajome was able to find Montero but his cross fell right to the keeper. LA would try again to get something dangerous into the box. Everything was being blocked away before it could get into the dangerous areas. A great long ball by Bush right to Cava, he chested it down to Montero who would find Dajome wide. Another perfect through ball to Montero and he played it beautifully for Cavallini. He was able to volley it past Sisneiga for the brace and the Whitecaps vs LAFC had the 2-0 lead in the 59th minute.
Segura would take a shot at Dajome on the goal but would not be shown a second straight red. The teams would trade the ball until a foul by Russell Teibert would give LAFC a free kick in a decent spot. The ball in would be cleared away again and the Whitecaps would clear their lines in the 65th minute. Bob Bradley's squad was showing more urgency but couldn't get any chances.
Jordan Harvey would win a corner for LAFC in the 67th minute. His cross was sent out of touch by Ali Adnan. The ball was decent but Rusty was able to head it out for a deep throw. Bradley Wright Phillips was almost in on goal but Adnan was quick to step in and stop the chance. Another corner that was cleared easily by the Whitecaps. the two-goal lead was nice as things started getting nervous for Vancouver.
After a shot wide by LAFC Bob Bradley would make two substitutions. Bradley Wright Phillips for Kwadwo Opoku and Dejan Jakovic for Erik Dueñas in the 71st minute. The Whitecaps vs LAFC would earn a corner on the throw-in but it was wasted. The teams would race up and down the pitch until Marc Dos Santos was able to make his first subs. Fredy Montero Visibly unhappy again with getting subbed off for Tosaint Ricketts. While Ryan Raposo would come on again at the left-wing for Teibert in the 75th minute.
LAFC was holding more of the ball in the second half. Vancouver was happy to try and counter on mistakes and were close to getting a third goal. Musovski would almost get a shot on Bush but it was blocked by Ali Adnan who had been having a fantastic match. Bryce Duke would come on Ginella in the 78th minute as Bradley was looking for some kind of spark. Duke was able to do just that as he forced a handball on Jake Nerwinski. It wasn't called at first but Drew Fischer was VAR.
Atuesta would step up and get saved by Bush. He was able to save it because he jumped his line early. He was shown a yellow card and Atuesta was able to score easily on his second attempt. It was 2-1 for the Whitecaps vs LAFC in the 83rd minute and we had ourselves an exciting finish ahead. Vancouver would try and waste as much time as possible and get a chance for a 3rd goal in the 87th minute. Los Angeles would respond but the final ball just rolled to Bush.
Vancouver would win a free-kick and MDS would bring on Michael Baldisimo for Dajome on the 88th. The Free kick would rattle around in the box until Sisneiga would pounce on it. Janio Bikel was shown a yellow card in the 89th minute for a foul on Blessing. The 4th official would show an added 5 minutes of time. LAFC would have time to try and salvage a draw.
Opoku would win a free-kick that would be knocked out for a corner. LAFC was on the attacking foot but Vancouver was able to counter and win the free-kick. Duenas would get booked in the 3rd added minute and the Whitecaps wouldn't send very many players into the box and the free-kick was easily cleared by LAFC.
Time would tick down as LA would keep trying for the equalizing goal. The Whitecaps vs LAFC was able to hold on till the final whistle. It was their second in as many matches and moved them into the playoffs in the Western Conference.
Post Match Comments
As usual, after a victory, the team was in great spirits. Head coach Marc Dos Santos would speak first to the media after the Whitecaps vs LAFC 2-1 victory. He would speak on the 3 points and the goals in the Whitecaps vs LAFC 2-1 win.
“Our two goals are very good goals, excellent plays, great goals. When they get the penalty shot, it brings a lot of doubt because we know it's a team that could score a lot of goals. We became unstable. Even if they had parts of the game in the second half especially that they were dangerous, I think it would be incredibly unfair if we leave this game which just one point. We deserve the three points tonight.”
I asked Ali Adnan about his relationship with Rusty on and off the field.
I don’t have any relationship with him outside the field (laughs). Yeah, you guys know, Russell is one of them, for me, it's my opinion, any coach in the world, any team, they would love to have one player like Rusty. He is very smart on the field and he has played for a long time in MLS with the Whitecaps. He knows very well what he did in the field, and that's what I missed the last games."
"So, when you get an injury, and we missed him as a player. Now he's coming back, he brings a lot to the team. As a person, he is our captain. He brings a lot for the team and a player too, he is a very tactical player, and he helped me a lot on the left. That's true. And I need players to understand me well on the field that's how I can do my best."
Dajome would speak next after the Whitecaps vs LAFC 2-1 win on his chemistry with Cava and Montero.
"Good evening yes, we've spent many hours in the hotel so we've been really getting to know each other, as we've been watching the games that we have lost. We've been watching the games and seeing what works and what doesn't. I'm really good at finding space and Cava’s great and making that post runs and Fredy is just the magician with the ball when he's asking for it."
Unnamed Sports Show Points Of The Match
Lots of things to touch on after the 2-1 Whitecaps vs LAFC win. Firstly there was a battle in the media for post media moment of the match. Ali Adnan was definitely one of the best players.
Post Media Moment Of The Match
While it was close between Simon and Har asking about Cava's dancing. Simon gets the nod this evening. MDS's response to him being so relaxed was amazing. And then he pulled out a glass of wine in the zoom call. Class sir! Class!
Ali Adnan "Best Player"
Ali Adnan didn't have a game where we were talking about an amazing goal or assist. He did have a game where we didn't question his defensive work. He was part of a solid back 4 that gave LAFC fits all evening. Also, he was great in Media after the match.
Lucas Cavallini Hits His Stride
El Tanque was a coveted signing for the Whitecaps in the offseason. He has started to show his amazing form. It makes sense as the team has some stability and is able to get some training sessions. This was Cavallini's 3rd goal in the last 2 matches. Expect the Tank to keep on rolling if he can get service from Montero and Dajome.
The Sports Talk Line Network
The Whitecaps vs LAFC come away with the 2-1 victory on Wednesday night. Vancouver will head away from "home" for the final time in the regular season. They will take on the Galaxy on Sunday night at 7:30 pm.
Make sure to stay tuned to the Sports Talk Line website for all the latest articles about your Vancouver Whitecaps. Also, make sure to tune into the Unnamed Sports Show on the Sports Talk Line YouTube Channel. Will have a lot of great Whitecaps content as we head into the final stretch of the season.