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Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 – Colorado Rapids 1: Whitecaps stayed atop Western Conference and crept closer to playoffs

VANCOUVER: Vancouver Whitecaps FC stayed atop the Western Conference and crept closer to the playoffs as they downed Colorado Rapids 2-1 in front of a sold-out crowd at BC Place on the first weekend of fall.

Fredy Montero put in a Man of the Match performance with a goal and an assist, and Yordy Reyna scored the winner with his second half strike putting the ‘Caps ahead for good.

The home fans were as loud as ever, and with good reason as their club displayed countless offensive outbursts against their Western Conference foe.

It didn’t take long for Whitecaps FC to get on the board. A Montero header in the fourth minute gave the ‘Caps the early lead in this one. Stemming from a Reyna free kick, the ball came to the feet of Aly Ghazal who made a defender miss before distributing a ball out wide to Reyna who then crossed one in far post to Montero, who made no mistake on the finish.

The goal gave Montero his 13th of the season, equaling his MLS career high.

The Blue and White continued to have the better of the scoring chances in the first half but couldn’t put another past United States national team goalkeeper Tim Howard.

The missed opportunities to add to their lead came back to bite them in the 45th minute when Dominique Badji notched the equalizer. Badji was able to slip behind Tim Parker, toe-poking one between the legs of David Ousted to make it 1-1 at halftime.

The conceded goal at the end of the half didn’t seem to jar WFC though, as Robinson’s men came out with a burst to start the second 45 minutes.

The Montero-to-Reyna connection continued to roll in the 54th minute when, from slightly inside the offensive half, Montero sent a perfectly placed looping ball to the Peruvian speedster to run onto. Reyna then kept his cool with the finish, beating Tim Howard for a 2-1 advantage.

The goal marked the fifth time Reyna has scored for the ‘Caps, and impressively all five have been match winners. With those winning goals, Reyna is now tied for the league lead in that stat while playing at least 11 fewer matches than each of his counterparts.

Reyna showed off his speed again just over five minutes later, this time creating space and sliding a ball through for Techera, who took a touch and curled a left footed shot just wide of the far post.

In the end, two goals was all the ‘Caps needed as they held firm for another important victory.

With the win, Whitecaps FC conclude their four-game home stand with a 3W-0L-1D record, keeping their first place status, and improving to 14W-9L-6D on the year.

The ‘Caps now travel to Seattle for a mammoth Cascadia clash Wednesday night. It’s the first battle of a three-game road trip that includes stops in Kansas City and New York before arriving home for their final home match of the season against San Jose Earthquakes on Sunday, October 15. Tickets are available at ticketmaster.ca/whitecapsfc

NEWS AND NOTES
David Ousted achieved his 150th start for Whitecaps FC, second only to Jordan Harvey since the club joined MLS in 2011 and 20th all-time with the club
Tonight’s staring XI included eight different birth countries including Canada, USA (x4), Colombia, Peru, Uruguay, Denmark, Egypt, and Cameroon
The ‘Caps magic number to clinch a playoff berth is down to four

MCMILLAN ‘CAPS CORNER KICK DONATIONS
For every ‘Caps corner kick at home, McMillan donates $100 to the United Way. An additional $500 is donated for every goal scored off a corner kick. This match McMillan Corners for Kids has donated $200 for a running total of $10,600.

MATCH DETAILS
Budweiser Man of the Match: Fredy Montero
Referee: José Carlos Rivero
Attendance: 22,120

Scoring Summary
4′ – VAN – Fredy Montero (Yordy Reyna)
45′ – COL – Dominique Badji
54′ – VAN – Yordy Reyna (Fredy Montero)

Stats
Possession: Vancouver 43% – Colorado 57%
Shots: Vancouver 14 – Colorado 14
Shots on Goal: Vancouver 8 – Colorado 4
Saves: Vancouver 2 – Colorado 6
Fouls: Vancouver 12 – Colorado 14
Offsides: Vancouver 1 – Colorado 4
Corners: Vancouver 2 – Colorado 7

Cautions
14′ – COL – Jared Watts
34′ – VAN – Tim Parker
43′ – COL – Mekeil Williams
87′ – COL – Michael Azira

Vancouver Whitecaps FC
1.David Ousted; 28.Jake Nerwinski, 8.Andrew Jacobson, 26.Tim Parker ©, 17.Marcel de Jong; 66.Aly Ghazal, 16.Tony Tchani; 13.Cristian Techera (23.Bernie Ibini 70′), 29.Yordy Reyna, 20.Brek Shea (67.Alphonso Davies 77′); 12.Fredy Montero (19.Erik Hurtado 82′)

Substitutes not used
24.Stefan Marinović, 2.Jordan Harvey, 11.Nicolás Mezquida, 31.Russell Teibert

Colorado Rapids
1.Tim Howard; 3.Eric Miller, 24.Kortne Ford, 44.Axel Sjoberg, 5.Mekeil Williams; 22.Michael Azira, 33.Jared Watts (21.Bismark Boateng 75′); 94.Marlon Hairston (7.Stefan Aigner 60′), 90.Mohammed Saeid, 45.Joshua Gatt (16.Alan Gordon 65′); 14.Dominique Badji

Substitutes not used
18.Zac MacMath, 2.Mike da Fonte, 17.Dillon Serna, 23.Bobby Burling