Vancouver Whitecaps 2, LA Galaxy 0 | MLS Match Recap
VANCOUVER, B.C. – Vancouver Whitecaps took the game to the LA Galaxy from the opening whistle on Saturday night, putting in a confident and assured performance on the way to a comfortable 2-0 win over the defending MLS Cup champs.
The victory catapults Vancouver (4-1-0; 12 points) to the top of both the Western Conference and the Supporters' Shield standings, for now at least. LA (1-2-2; 5 points) are still looking for their first road win of the season and now fall seven points behind the Whitecaps in the early running.
The home side seized the initiative right from the start. 'Caps captain Pedro Morales showed off the best of the early touches when he collected a short pass from Nicolas Mezquida in the box and turned brilliantly only to shoot straight at Jaime Penedo in the Galaxy goal.
In a change from their tendencies in recent games, the Whitecaps dominated possession against LA. But clear-cut chances were hard to come by for both sides, with 'Caps keeper David Ousted not having one save to make the entire first half.
LA were more involved at the start of the second, but as they pushed forward it was Vancouver who took the lead in the 56th minute with another of their trademark counterattack goals: Morales played a sublime pass through to Manneh, who drilled the ball past Penedo for his first of the season.
The Whitecaps smelled blood and doubled their lead in the 66th minute after some Uruguayan magic.
Rivero showed some nice footwork in the box as he tried to weave his way past a pack of LA defenders. But just as it looked like he would take the ball on his own, he left it for Mezquida to take off his feet and charge to the byline.
As the winger fired his shot towards goal, Penedo could only parry it into the path of Rivero, who grabbed his fourth goal of the season to give Vancouver the 2-0 lead.
Vancouver don't have long to wait to get back into action, hosting the Columbus Crew at BC Place on Wednesday evening (10 pm ET, TSN). LA head home for a battle featuring the Western Conference's two recent powerhouses, when the Seattle Sounders come to town next Sunday (7 pm ET, Fox Sports 1 and Fox Deportes).