COLUMBUS, OH – Vancouver Whitecaps FC (9W-13L-7D) weathered the storm on Saturday night at Mapfre Stadium – literally and figuratively – defeating Columbus Crew SC (5W-11L-11D) 3-1 after a 90-minute weather delay and early Ola Kamara goal.
The ‘Caps got some luck in the form of a Crew own goal. And they took full advantage.
Andrew Jacobson scored the eventual winner in the 74th minute before Erik Hurtado provided the insurance with his first MLS goal of the season in the 82nd minute to seal the victory.
And what a crucial victory it was to keep pace in the Western Conference playoff race.
Saturday’s match was a wet one in the skies and on the pitch, which made for a little bit of a scrappy – and splashy – opening half. It certainly wasn’t uneventful, however.
The Crew, who lined up in a 3-4-3 of sorts, looked lively early. Harrison Afful was particularly active with his attacking play and service from the right, which created a couple half-chances.
The ‘Caps, who were without head coach Carl Robinson and assistant Gordon Forrest due to suspension, also had an early opportunity, as Masato Kudo poked one over the goal in the seventh minute after his strike partner Giles Barnes headed down a throw-in.
But Columbus eventually opened the scoring in the 11th minute through Kamara, who acrobatically directed in a Mohammed Saeid corner with a “karate kick” volley.
Their lead was short-lived.
Just two minutes later, Vancouver levelled the match thanks to a Gaston Sauro own goal. In the build-up, Cristian Techera played a little back heel to Russell Teibert, who whipped in a cross from the left. Teibert’s delivery took a little bit of a deflection before Sauro inadvertently headed it into the bottom left corner of his own goal.
Things slowed down a bit from there, until midway through the second half.
Jacobson, who replaced an injured Teibert in the 55th minute, put Vancouver ahead in the 74th minute, finding the bottom right corner with a 23-yard blast. And then, after David Ousted made a fantastic reaction save to keep the score level, Hurtado sealed the deal on an 82nd-minute corner.
Steve Clark denied David Edgar on the initial cross, but Hurtado banged in the rebound before getting swarmed by his teammates. It was a nice moment for the 25-year-old, who had a tough outing a week ago. And it clinched Vancouver their third straight victory at Mapfre Stadium – after Crew midfielder Toni Tchani was shown a red card, that is.
The ‘Caps will now travel directly to Kansas for a CONCACAF Champions League clash with Sporting Kansas City on Tuesday at Children’s Mercy Park (5 p.m. PT on Facebook Live).
A win would clinch Vancouver’s first-ever Champions League quarter-final berth.
Budweiser Man of the Match: Matias Laba
Referee: Fotis Bazakos
11’ – CLB – Ola Kamara (Mohammed Saeid)
13’ – VAN – Gaston Sauro (own goal)
74’ – VAN – Andrew Jacobson (Christian Bolaños)
82’ – VAN – Erik Hurtado
Possession: Columbus 64.5% – Vancouver 35.5%
Shots: Columbus 15 – Vancouver 9
Shots on Goal: Columbus 4 – Vancouver 4
Saves: Columbus 2 – Vancouver 3
Fouls: Columbus 3 – Vancouver 16
Offsides: Columbus 3 – Vancouver 2
Corners: Columbus 7 – Vancouver 3
19’ – VAN – Cristian Techera
85’ – VAN – Nicolas Mezquida
86’ – CLB – Tony Tchani
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
1.David Ousted ©; 6.Jordan Smith, 18.David Edgar, 4.Kendall Waston, 2.Jordan Harvey; 7.Christian Bolaños, 15.Matías Laba, 31.Russell Teibert (17.Andrew Jacobson 55’), 13.Cristian Techera; 28.Giles Barnes (19.Erik Hurtado 61’), 9.Masato Kudo (11.Nicolás Mezquida 79’)
Substitutes not used
70.Paolo Tornaghi, 8.Fraser Aird, 26.Tim Parker, 77.Pedro Morales
Columbus Crew SC
1.Steve Clark; 25.Harrison Afful, 4.Michael Parkhurst © (12.Adam Jahn 75’), 22.Gaston Sauro, 3.Corey Ashe (14.Waylon Francis 75’); 8.Mohammed Saeid, 24.Nicolai Naess; 13.Ethan Finlay (11.Cedrick 66’), 6.Tony Tchani, 9.Justin Meram; 17.Ola Kamara
Substitutes not used
41.Brad Stuver, 5.Dilly Duka, 16.Hector Jimenez, 21.Chad Barson