The road warriors have done it again. Or maybe we should call them the streak-busters?
Either way, Vancouver Whitecaps FC (10W-6L-2D) defeated 10-men New England Revolution (6W-7L-6D) 2-1 on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium to claim their third straight win away from home.
Uruguayans Cristian Techera and Octavio Rivero provided the scoring for Whitecaps FC on a night they also ended New England’s 19-match home-unbeaten run. This comes after Vancouver snapped LA Galaxy’s 29-match home-unbeaten streak earlier this month.
Let’s not forget that these two teams were the 2014 MLS Cup finalists.
The ‘Caps, who take over sole possession of first place in the Western Conference, are the second team to reach 10 wins this season. Last year, Whitecaps FC didn’t win their 10th game until October 4.
Suffice to say, it was a momentous night for the Blue and White.
Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson made three changes to his starting lineup after last weekend’s win over New York. Two of them were made out of necessity, as centre back Tim Parker and midfielder Deybi Flores replaced the suspended Kendall Waston and Gershon Koffie (caution accumulation).
The final change saw Mauro Rosales step in for Nicolas Mezquida with captain Pedro Morales (left calf) still sidelined. In Morales’ absence, Robinson gave the captain’s armband to Jordan Harvey, who was making his 200th MLS regular season appearance.
New England had the better chances early in this one but they couldn’t beat David Ousted, who had a season-high eight saves on the night.
In the 10th minute, the ‘Caps shot-stopper denied Teal Bunbury, who broke into the right side of the box after a nice Charlie Davies throughball. And then just two minutes later, Ousted made a diving save to his right on a first-time London Woodberry effort from the top of the box.
It was a good spell from the Revs, but it didn’t last long.
Techera put Whitecaps FC ahead in the 18th minute, poking in an errant Woodberry headed pass from close range after a Rosales cross.
The goal gave the ‘Caps some life and they doubled their lead shortly later.
Techera was involved again – this time drawing a penalty after a perfect throughball from 200-man Harvey. Rivero calmly slotted home the ensuing PK, his seventh goal of the season, to make it 2-0 Whitecaps FC in the 31st minute.
Revs centre back Andrew Farrell was shown a straight red card for the foul on Techera, which reduced the home side to 10 men.
It was an eventful first half and there was no shortage of action after the break, either.
Both sides had plenty of chances. Kekuta Manneh hit the post in the 64th minute while New England forced Ousted into a few more tricky saves before Teal Bunbury finally beat him in the 84th minute.
The two teams traded chances in the dying stages, but Vancouver held on for the victory.
This is the first time Whitecaps FC have won three straight road matches in MLS. They now have an MLS club-record six road wins on the season.
The ‘Caps conclude their season-long five-match road trip next Saturday vs. Colorado Rapids (6 p.m. PT on TSN), before returning home to face Sporting Kansas City on July 12 at BC Place.
Budweiser Man of the Match: Cristian Techera
Referee: Allen Chapman