COLUMBUS, OH – What a response.
After trailing 1-0 in a hard-fought first half, Vancouver Whitecaps FC (3-1-1) put in a superb second half performance to come back and win their second road match of the season, taking a 2-1 victory against previously unbeaten Columbus Crew SC (3-1-1) on Saturday afternoon at MAPFRE Stadium.
Head coach Carl Robinson made five changes from the previous weekend’s match against LA Galaxy. Captain Kendall Waston returned from international duty, coming in for Aaron Maund, while Bernie Ibini, Jordan Mutch, Russell Teibert, and Brek Shea stepped in for Cristian Techera, Yordy Reyna, Efraín Juárez, and Alphonso Davies.
Columbus took the lead on 29 minutes. Pedro Santos struck a shot on target that Stefan Marinovic stopped, but Gyasi Zardes was first to the ball to fire in the rebound.
The ‘Caps leveled the match on 51 minutes. Kei Kamara got on the end of a Columbus turnover and fed Ibini down the right flank, who then sent in a dangerous cross which deflected to the foot of Shea for the tying goal.
Five of Shea’s six MLS goals for Vancouver have come on the road.
On 71 minutes it looked as though the ‘Caps took the lead. Substitute Alphonso Davies got a centering pass from Kamara, beat a defender, stepped around goalkeeper Zach Steffen, and calmly slotted it into the net. However, a Video Review determined that the ball struck the hand of Davies on the play, calling the goal back.
Seven minutes later, the men in white would not be denied. After a terrific ball out wide from Teibert to Davies, the teenager played a ball back to Felipe, who then swung in a cross for Kamara to head in with a terrific finish for the 2-1 winning goal.
With the win, Whitecaps FC sit in first place in the Western Conference, tying for the league lead with 10 points.
Next up for Whitecaps FC is a visit to Real Salt Lake next Saturday, April 7. Following that match, the ‘Caps are back at BC Place on Friday, April 13 for their first ever match against expansion side Los Angeles FC.
29′ – CLB – Gyasi Zardes
51′ – VAN – Brek Shea
78′ – VAN – Kei Kamara (Felipe, Alphonso Davies)
Possession: Columbus 66.7% – Vancouver 33.3%
Shots: Columbus 10 – Vancouver 5
Shots on Goal: Columbus 2 – Vancouver 3
Saves: Columbus 1 – Vancouver 1
Fouls: Columbus 10 – Vancouver 10
Offsides: Columbus 4 – Vancouver 1
Corners: Columbus 4 – Vancouver 0
10′ – VAN – Marcel de Jong
76′ – CLB – Milton Valenzuela
82′ – VAN – Felipe
Columbus Crew SC
23.Zach Steffen; 25.Harrison Afful, 4.Jonathan Mensah (14.Adam Jahn 83′), 17.Lalas Abubakar, 16.Héctor Jiménez (19.Milton Valenzuela 67′); 7.Artur, 6.Wil Trapp; 9.Pedro Santos, 10.Federico Higuaín, 18.Cristian Martínez (26.Luis Argudo 86′); Gyasi Zardes
Substitutes not used
24.Jon Kempin, 2.Ricardo Clark, 3.Josh Williams, 8.Mohammed Abu
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
1.Stefan Marinovic; 28.Jake Nerwinski, 4.Kendall Waston ©, 18.José Aja, 17.Marcel de Jong; 77.Jordon Mutch (66.Aly Ghazal 74′), 8.Felipe, 31.Russell Teibert; 7.Bernie Ibini (67.Alphonso Davies 67′), 23.Kei Kamara, 20.Brek Shea (13.Cristian Techera 84′)
Substitutes not used
12.Brian Rowe, 9.Anthony Blondell, 11.Nicolás Mezquida, 22.Aaron Maund