by Steve Pandher at BC Place
After a week off the Vancouver Whitecaps returned to the pitch and evoked some revenge on their 2-1 loss a couple of weeks ago to RSL by posting the same score at BC Place.
After a scoreless first half the Caps were able to score twice in the first twenty minutes of the second stanza with goals coming from Camilo and Dane Richards. The final ten minutes belonged to the visitors but they were unable to capitalize on the chances until deep into injury time Nat Borchers scored a header to spoil Brad Knighton’s cleansheet.
It was RSL who showed a threat first as some solid play outside the box saw Beckerman with a chance inside the box but a diving Martin Bonjour was able to block the attempt for a corner. The Whitecaps responded with some good interplay between Richards and Korean full back YP Lee that eventually led to a corner for the home side. The Caps continued their attack with Camilo attempting to get into the box but Beltran was able to force a difficult attempt from a sharp angle that Rimando had no problem handling.
A big save by Nick Rimando came in the 14th minute when Camilo attempted a powerful shot from distance forcing the keeper into a leaping stop. Minutes later RSL had a free kick by Morales sent into the box but defender Watson-Siriboe was unable to get solid contact sending the ball over the bar. Rimando was made to work once again by Camilo who sent another shot from outside the box.
With about twenty minutes to go RSL came within inches of opening the score when a Saborio header off a Morales cross, was flicked past Knighton and hit the post. The play also cost the Whitecaps their captain who collided with keeper on the play and after attempting to return to pitch was substituted off for recently acquired Andy O’Brien.
The last five minutes of the half saw the visitors control the play but they were unable to get their chances on target. It was Camilo once again who forced Rimando into a big save when he almost connected on a cross in added time.
The second half started with the Whitecaps applying a lot of pressure especially with Darren Mattocks seeing the ball more on the attack. The pressure eventually led the first goal of the season when Camilo was able to take advantage of a poor clearance and put the Caps ahead before the hour mark.
The one goal lead was not enough for the home team as they continued to attack the final third with strong runs. It took less than ten minutes for the Caps to double their lead as Dane Richards caught Rimando by using a defender as a screen and whipped a shot into the top corner past the diving keeper.
Real attempted to get one back immediately when Alvaro Saborio shot from outside the box that caused Knighton to spill the ball before he was able to recover.
The Caps were able to contain RSL until added time when the visitors were able to pull one back when Nat Borschers connected on a header and get the ball past Knighton.
It wasn’t enough as the Whitecaps were able to avenge the 2-1 loss to Real Salt Lake two weeks ago with one of their own at BC Place. While the opening half was evenly played, it was the second half that the Whitecaps took over especially in the first twenty minutes when their constant pressure led to the two goals.
The Whitecaps are now even on points with Seattle, who do have a game in hand, and remain in fourth place but are putting some distance between themselves and the teams currently on the outside of the playoffs. They will now have a quick turnaround this week as they host FC Dallas midweek at BC Place on Wednesday for a chance to move up in the standings.
FINAL SCORE: Vancouver Whitecaps 2 – 0 Real Salt Lake
VANCOUVER: Knighton/ Lee, Bonjour, DeMerit (O’Brien 31), Rochat/ Davidson, Koffie, Robson/ Camilo (Teibert 86), Mattocks (Miller 72), Richards [Subs Not Used: Sylvestre, Harvey, Thorrington, Harris]
REAL SALT LAKE: Rimando/ Beltran, Watson-Siriboe, Borchers, Wingert/ Grabavoy, Beckerman, Morales (Gil 46), Johnson (Steele 75)/ Saborio, Espindola (Junior 68) [Subs Not Used: Reynish, Alvarez, Braun, Mansally]