Vancouver Whitecaps FC pulled out a dramatic comeback win over Real Salt Lake 2-1 at Providence Park on Sunday evening, collecting all three points in a crucial matchup between two MLS Cup Playoffs hopefuls.
The result draws Whitecaps FC with RSL at 18 points apiece in the Western Conference standings, and just one behind Colorado Rapids and Houston Dynamo for the eighth and final playoff spot. The victory is the ‘Caps second over RSL in three weeks, both seeing Lucas Cavallini register the game-winner.
The first half was marked by a good deal of tackles, headers, and physical action, with RSL coming out ahead 1-0 on a Damir Kreilach tap-in off a Justin Meram cross-goal header in the 37th minute.
The ‘Caps hit the ground running out of the halftime break as Vancouver was able to produce chances on goal early. The opportunities started to produce results as the ‘Caps found an equalizer in the 71st minute via an RSL own goal. Trying to clear out a long, driven Michael Baldisimo ball, RSL forward Douglas Martínez, challenged by Érik Godoy, mistakenly dropped in a header that fell perfectly in between the underside of the crossbar and keeper Andrew Putna to knot up the match at 1-1.
Just four minutes after finding their first goal of the match, Vancouver tacked on a go-ahead goal after Baldisimo set up a play at the far end of the field with a lengthy cross down the side of the pitch to Ali Adnan. Adnan crossed in the ball that eventually found Fredy Montero to deliver a shot which was saved by Putna. Picking up the scraps, Cavallini charged in, recovered the rebound, and delivered the ball into the back of the net sending Vancouver back to the hotel with a victory.
Evan Bush, who was involved in a number of collisions on the evening, recorded two saves in net to record his first win in a Whitecaps FC kit. While Bush was playing only his second match for VWFC, right back Jake Nerwinski made his 100th appearance for the Blue and White across all competitions.
Up next for Whitecaps FC is a Wednesday night meeting versus LAFC at Providence Park. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. PT live on TSN and TSN Radio 1040.
VWFC Man of the Match: Érik Godoy
Referee: Silviu Petrescu
37′ – RSL – Damir Kreilach (Justin Meram, Maikel Chang)
71′ – VAN – Douglas Martinez (own goal)
75′ – VAN – Lucas Cavallini
Possession: VAN 49% – RSL 51%
Shots: VAN 8 – RSL 8
Shots on Goal: VAN 3 – RSL 3
Saves: VAN 2 – RSL 2
Fouls: VAN 18 – RSL 24
Offsides: VAN 2 – RSL 3
Corners: VAN 6 – RSL 7
14′ – VAN – Fredy Montero
23′ – RSL – Marcelo Silva
40′ – RSL – Pablo Ruiz
43′ – VAN – Janio Bikel
58′ – RSL – Aaron Herrera
61′ – VAN – Lucas Cavallini
76′ – RSL – Douglas Martinez
79′ – VAN – Cristian Dájome
90’+7′ – VAN – Ranko Veselinović
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
30.Evan Bush; 28.Jake Nerwinski, 4.Ranko Veselinović, 22.Érik Godoy, 53.Ali Adnan; 11.Cristian Dájome (87.Tosaint Ricketts 87′), 19.Janio Bikel, 17.Leonard Owusu (55.Michael Baldisimo 66′), 31.Russell Teibert © (27.Ryan Raposo 70′); 12.Fredy Montero (13.Derek Cornelius 86′), 9.Lucas Cavallini
Substitutes not used
1.Bryan Meredith, 7.David Milinković, 14.Theo Bair, 32.Patrick Metcalfe, 62.Damiano Pecile
Real Salt Lake
51.Andrew Putna; 22.Aaron Herrera, 15.Justen Glad, 30.Marcelo Silva, 4.Donny Toia; 6.Pablo Ruiz (28.Jeizon Ramírez 83′), 43.Justin Portillo; 16.Maikel Chang, 8.Damir Kreilach ©, 9.Justin Meram (10.Corey Baird 68′); 12.Douglas Martinez
Substitutes not used
18.Zac MacMath, 5.Kyle Beckerman, 13.Nick Besler, 20.Erik Holt, 21.Tate Schmitt, 23.Milan Iloski