Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2, Portland Timbers 1 | 2018 MLS Match Recap
In a Cascadia battle between the playoff-bound Portland Timbers and hosts Vancouver Whitecaps FC, the departing Alphonso Davies scored a first-half brace en route to the Whitecaps' 2-1 win at BC Place on Sunday afternoon's Decision Day presented by AT&T.
Vancouver had the edge in the first half, with their substantial possession advantage coming to fruition in a pair of Davies goals. His first, in the 28th minute, came when Jake Nerwinski sprung Davies loose with a pass credited as an assist, though Davies freelanced through the Timbers half of the field before getting off a long shot for the opener. Less than three minutes later, he struck again, pouncing on a Bill Tuiloma misplay in front of goal to grab his second goal.
In the second half, Davies had additional chances to add to his tally, though Kei Kamara had the two best chances for Vancouver, including an 85th-minute chance where Davies led Kamara toward goal with a promising pass. The Timbers, however, were able to answer in the 90th minute when Andres Flores stretched onto a rebounded Dairon Asprilla shot, but couldn't find an equalizer in a brief extra-time period.
- 28' – VAN – Alphonso Davies | WATCH
- 31' – VAN – Alphonso Davies | WATCH
- 90' – POR - Andres Flores | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: Portland, though they did have a wild scenario where they could have vaulted into a first-round bye, will have to be satisfied with the 5 seed and an opening-round match on the road. For Vancouver, whose playoff fate was already decided, the match allowed the home faithful to give Davies a proper sendoff — albeit with more questions for next year sans their most promising prospect.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: The first Davies goal showed the athleticism and vision that attracted Bayern Munich to sign the Canadian international, and ignited both the crowd in the stadium and the #FarewellPhonzie followers catching Davies at home. Davies' substitution out in the 86th minute was also touching — and notable in that Davies came out for an even younger player, 16-year-old Simon Coyle.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Even if Davies hadn't scored a brace, he would have been a candidate for this honor merely for showing up in his final match in a 'Caps uniform.