VANCOUVER – Carlyle Mitchell’s first Major League Soccer goal wasn’t enough to prevent Vancouver Whitecaps FC (6W-4L-7D) from falling 3-1 to Chivas USA (6W-7L-5D) Saturday night at BC Place.
After the Trinidadian centre back gave Whitecaps FC a 1-0 lead in the 27th minute, Chivas USA responded with three unanswered second-half goals to earn their fourth straight victory. Two of those three goals came after the ‘Caps were reduced to 10 men in the 69th minute.
The red-hot Goats, who handed Whitecaps FC just their second home defeat this season, now trail the fifth-place ‘Caps by just two points in the Western Conference – though they’ve played one more game.
Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson didn’t make any changes to the starting lineup that picked up a 1-0 win over Seattle Sounders FC last weekend at BC Place. The ‘Caps put in a strong defensive performance against Seattle and it was a similar story in the early going Saturday at BC Place.
In fact, Chivas USA really didn’t have much of a sniff at goal in the entire first half. It was a scrappy start to the match – Mitchell was shown a yellow card in the first minute. But it didn’t take long for Whitecaps FC to get on the front foot.
One player who looked particularly lively for the ‘Caps was Kekuta Manneh. The second-year striker/winger caused all sorts of problems with his runs down the left flank.
And in the 19th minute, Manneh came close when he let loose a heavy strike that was parried away by Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy. Whitecaps FC striker Erik Hurtado skillfully banged home the rebound on a half volley, but the goal was called back due to offside.
The Blue and White eventually opened the scoring in the 27th minute, when Mitchell headed in an out-swinging corner to give Whitecaps FC a 1-0 lead. Not only was the goal Mitchell’s first in MLS, it was also Vancouver’s first goal off a corner this season. Morales, who whipped in the corner, now has a team-high seven assists and has helpers in consecutive matches.
It was all Vancouver for the rest of the second half. The ‘Caps went on to outshoot Chivas USA 8-2 in the first half, taking a deserved 1-0 lead into halftime.
But Chivas USA equalized right after the break off a corner of their own – Argentine midfielder Mauro Rosales, who assisted each of Chivas USA’s three goals, provided the service and his countrymate Agustin Pelletieri got on the end of it to bring the game level.
The complexion of the match changed in the 69th minute, when left back Jordan Harvey was sent off for a tackle on Oswaldo Minda. Surprisingly, the ‘Caps created three of their best second-half chances shortly after going down to 10 men.
Substitutes Nigel Reo-Coker and Darren Mattocks each had quality chances inside the box, before red-hot Goats striker Erick Torres gave Chivas USA a 2-1 lead against the run of play in the 81st minute. Torres, who is third in the league with 13 goals, has now scored in five straight matches.
Vancouver came within mere inches of equalizing in stoppage time, but Kennedy kept Chivas USA ahead with sprawling goal-line save off a deflected cross. Morales poked in the rebound, but the play was deemed dead as Kennedy had a hand on the ball.
Chivas USA added an insurance marker through Leandro Barrera, who scored on a vacated Whitecaps FC net to secure the 3-1 victory.
Next week is going to be a busy one for Whitecaps FC, who visit Toronto FC on Wednesday, July 16, before heading to Utah for a meeting with Real Salt Lake on Saturday, July 19. The ‘Caps will return to BC Place on Saturday, July 27, against FC Dallas.
It’s not too late to participate in the best sporting experience in Vancouver. Whitecaps FC offer a flexible range of ticket products, including prorated season tickets, 5-packs, student season tickets, and a youth soccer half-season ticket. Single-match tickets start at $22, subject to applicable fees. For more information on all Whitecaps FC ticket options, call 604.669.9283 ext. 2 or visit whitecapsfc.com/tickets.
Budweiser Man of the Match: Carlyle Mitchell
Referee: Armando Villarreal
27’ – VAN – Carlyle Mitchell (Pedro Morales)
47’ – CHV – Agustin Pelletieri (Mauro Rosales)
81’ – CHV – Erick Torres (Marco Delgado, Mauro Rosales)
90+4’ – CHV – Leandro Barrera (Mauro Rosales)
Shots: Vancouver 11 – Chivas USA 8
Shots on Goal: Vancouver 3 – Chivas USA 3
Saves: Vancouver 0 – Chivas USA 2
Fouls: Vancouver 7 – Chivas USA 7
Offsides: Vancouver 3 – Chivas USA 3
Corners: Vancouver 7 – Chivas USA 2
1’ – VAN – Carlyle Mitchell
54’ – VAN – Sebastián Fernández
89’ – CHV – Marco Delgado
69’ – VAN – Jordan Harvey
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
1.David Ousted; 33.Steven Beitashour, 24.Carlyle Mitchell, 16.Johnny Leverón, 2.Jordan Harvey; 28.Gershon Koffie (20.Nigel Reo-Coker 68’), 15.Matías Laba; 7.Sebastián Fernández (22.Christian Dean 71’), 77.Pedro Morales, 23.Kekuta Manneh (11.Darren Mattocks 68’); 19.Erik Hurtado
Substitutes not used
70.Paolo Tornaghi, 8.Medhi Ballouchy, 29.Nicolás Mezquida, 31.Russell Teibert
1.Dan Kennedy; 25.Donny Toia, 22.Eriq Zavaleta, 3.Carlos Bocanegra, 4.Tony Lochhead; 30.Oswaldo Minda, 8.Agustin Pelletieri (24.Nathan Sturgis 77’), 15.Eric Avila (12.Marco Delgado 45’), 7.Mauro Rosales; 9.Erick Torres (11.Lenadro Barrera 83’), 18.Martin Chavez
Substitutes not used
23.Trevor Spangenberg, 14.Akira Kaji, 16.Andrew Jean-Baptiste, 19.Ryan Finley