Vancouver Whitecaps FC 3, Real Salt Lake 2 | 2017 MLS Match Recap
The Whitecaps opened the scoring, as Bernie Ibini and Jake Nerwinski linked up along the right flank, with the defender sending in a low cross that was turned in by Cristian Techera. But RSL tied up the game before halftime, as Chris Wingert hit a wicked cross that just eluded Yura Movsisyan's head and fooled Whitecaps goalkeeper David Ousted.
Vancouver took the lead again early in the second half off a free kick, as Yordy Reyna's service was headed toward goal by Tim Parker, with the header bouncing off the post. The rebound trickled out to Kendall Waston, whose well-placed finish beat Nick Rimando. Reyna then added an insurance tally midway through the second half for the host.
Tony Beltran kept things interesting with a late score for RSL, but Vancouver held on for the victory.
- 29' – VAN – Cristian Techera Watch
- 37' – RSL – Chris Wingert Watch
- 52' – VAN – Kendall Waston Watch
- 64' – VAN – Yordy Reyna Watch
- 83' – RSL – Tony Beltran Watch
- ROUNDING INTO FORM: The Whitecaps have been playing well for weeks, but they continued their impressive form with a win in what was an entertaining game for neutrals. Of particular note, central midfielder Aly Ghazal made his MLS debut and made it the full 90, helping to dictate the tempo for the 'Caps in the center of the field, while relative newcomer Ibini had two assists and Reyna, who missed the first half of his first season in MLS with an injury, scored the winner and set up another. With a roster seemingly stronger than ever this year in good form, the Whitecaps could be this year's dark horse MLS Cup contender.
- NEW NAMES ON SCORESHEET: A remarkable bit of trivia came out of this game for RSL -- coming into this match, Wingert and Beltran had 577 combined MLS regular season appearances and one goal scored. Wingert's last tally came in 2010, while Beltran had never scored in MLS in 10 seasons. That each of the goal-shy fullbacks did score in the same game is pretty remarkable, as was Beltran's finish on the game's final goal. It's the kind of strike a prolific striker would admire.
- PLAYOFF RACE IMPLICATIONS: The victory helps solidify Vancouver's spot in the playoffs this year, and with them sitting in 3rd place in the Western Conference, pending the games on Sunday, they could yet make a run for the top of the standings to finish the regular season. RSL, meanwhile, took a hit with the loss and remain in 8th place, but if FC Dallas fail to pick up points on Sunday in Atlanta, the loss in Vancouver may not be fatal for RSL's hopes, as the other teams around the playoff line did not win on Saturday, either.