Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Minnesota United FC, Season Opener. Photo by ISN photographer Simon Fearn

New-look Vancouver Whitecaps FC unveiled in season opener but fall 3-2 on Saturday afternoon to Minnesota United FC at BC Place.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Minnesota United FC, Season Opener. Photo by ISN photographer Simon Fearn
Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Minnesota United FC, Season Opener. Photo by ISN photographer Simon Fearn

Centreback Érik Godoy, one of nine players making their WFC debut on the afternoon, put the ‘Caps ahead early, but the Loons rattled off three consecutive goals to snatch away the full three points. The Loons were led by Darwin Quintero’s goal and two assists, while Francisco Calvo earned a penalty kick to jumpstart the come-from-behind win, and added a goal in the second half.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Minnesota United FC, Season Opener. Photo by ISN photographer Simon Fearn
Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Minnesota United FC, Season Opener. Photo by ISN photographer Simon Fearn

Vancouver attempted to launch a late rally of their own, with Doneil Henry scoring his first MLS goal in a ‘Caps uniform to cut into the lead, but MNUFC would hold on for the road result.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Minnesota United FC, Season Opener. Photo by ISN photographer Simon Fearn
Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Minnesota United FC, Season Opener. Photo by ISN photographer Simon Fearn

New WFC head coach Marc Dos Santos’s attack got off to a flying start, as the home side nudged ahead just six minutes in. Yordy Reyna, who was among the league’s elite in big chances created in 2018, dropped a well-placed free kick into Godoy’s right foot, as the newcomer shook loose from MNUFC defenders to put Vancouver ahead early.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Minnesota United FC, Season Opener. Photo by ISN photographer Simon Fearn
Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Minnesota United FC, Season Opener. Photo by ISN photographer Simon Fearn

Minnesota would then take control. Five minutes after hitting the woodwork, Calvo drew a foul inside the box in a race for a loose ball, setting up a 37th-minute Quintero penalty kick goal to tie things up.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Minnesota United FC, Season Opener. Photo by ISN photographer Simon Fearn
Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Minnesota United FC, Season Opener. Photo by ISN photographer Simon Fearn

The second half saw more production from the visitors, as MNUFC scored two goals off giveaways within a four-minute span. First, it was Calvo initiating a counterattack and finishing it himself with a diving header in the 66th minute, then Romario Ibarra capitalized on a breakaway on the left wing for a 3-1 advantage.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Minnesota United FC, Season Opener. Photo by ISN photographer Simon Fearn
Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Minnesota United FC, Season Opener. Photo by ISN photographer Simon Fearn

The ‘Caps tried to finish with a flurry. Young Designated Player Inbeom Hwang forced the MNUFC keeper to a full-stretched save, then Henry connected with an 81st-minute header off a clean setup from Hwang and substitute Victor “PC” Giro.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Minnesota United FC, Season Opener. Photo by ISN photographer Simon Fearn
Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Minnesota United FC, Season Opener. Photo by ISN photographer Simon Fearn

Despite the late push, Whitecaps FC will have to seek for their first points of the year on the road, as they depart for two road matches, beginning with a visit to Real Salt Lake next Saturday, March 9. Kickoff is at 3 p.m.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Minnesota United FC, Season Opener. Photo by ISN photographer Simon Fearn
Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Minnesota United FC, Season Opener. Photo by ISN photographer Simon Fearn

The ‘Caps are back home on Saturday, March 30 for an early-season Cascadia clash when they host Seattle Sounders FC at BC Place.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Minnesota United FC, Season Opener. Photo by ISN photographer Simon Fearn
Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Minnesota United FC, Season Opener. Photo by ISN photographer Simon Fearn

MATCH DETAILS

WFC Man of the Match: Yordy Reyna
Referee: Rubiel Vazquez
Attendance: 27,837

Scoring Summary
6’ – VAN – Érik Godoy (Yordy Reyna)
37’ – MIN – Darwin Quintero (penalty kick)
66’ – MIN – Francisco Calvo (Darwin Quintero, Romario Ibarra)
70’ – MIN – Romario Ibarra (Darwin Quintero)
81’ – VAN – Doneil Henry (Victor “PC” Giro, Inbeom Hwang)

Statistics
Possession: VAN 49.5% – MIN 50.5%
Shots: VAN 11 – MIN 15
Shots on Goal: VAN 4 – MIN 4
Saves: VAN 1 – MIN 2
Fouls: VAN 13 – MIN 17
Offsides: VAN 1 – MIN 1
Corners: VAN 6 – MIN 2
Duels won: VAN 59 – MIN 56
Tackles won: VAN 15 – MIN 15

Cautions
24’ – MIN – Osvaldo Alonso
31’ – VAN – Jon Erice
45’ – VAN – Derek Cornelius
45’+2’ – MIN – Romario Ibarra
79’ – MIN – Francisco Calvo

Vancouver Whitecaps FC
16.Maxime Crépeau; 28.Jake Nerwinski, 22.Érik Godoy, 2.Doneil Henry, 13.Derek Cornelius (94.Victor “PC” Giro 76’); 8.Felipe Martins (9.Joaquín Ardaiz 71’), 6.Jon Erice ©, 4.Inbeom Hwang; 29.Yordy Reyna, 12.Fredy Montero, 19.Lass Bangoura (7.Lucas Venuto 69’)

Substitutes not used
18.Zac MacMath, 15.Andy Rose, 23.Scott Sutter, 54.Simon Colyn

Minnesota United FC
1.Vito Mannone; 19.Romain Métanire, 15.Michael Boxall, 3.Ike Opara, 5.Francisco Calvo ©; 8.Jan Gregus, 6.Osvaldo Alonso; 10.Miguel Ibarra, 25.Darwin Quintero (31.Hassani Dotson 90’+3’), 20.Rasmus Schüller (13.Ethan Finlay 80’); 11.Romario Ibarra (9.Angelo Rodríguez 83’)

Substitutes not used
33.Bobby Shuttleworth, 14.Brent Kallman, 23.Mason Toye, 77. Chase Gasper