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Whitecaps advance to CONCACAF Champions League semi-final with win over New York

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Mark Dailey Mar 02, 2017 10:32 pm 533

Vancouver Whitecaps FC have booked a berth in the CONCACAF Champion’s League semi-final after an impressive 2-0 (3-1 aggregate) victory over the New York Red Bulls at BC Place on Thursday night.

The ‘Caps got off to a quick start when 16-year-old wunderkind Alphonso Davies scored in just the fifth minute. Vancouver never relinquished the lead and will now play Mexico’s Tigres UANL in CCL semi-final action in a few week’s time.

Here are some takeaways from the Caps’ historic win against the Red Bulls:

2017 is the new 2015?

2015 was the Whitecaps’ best year in Major League Soccer since they joined the league, but 2016 was a step backwards for the team, who by and large struggled all year long.

One reason for the shortcomings of 2016 were due in part to some of the Whitecaps’ key players not being able to maintain the form that brought them so much success in 2015.

Goalkeeper David Ousted still made some impressive stops last year, but at times made some uncharacteristic mistakes. Defender Kendall Waston often ran afoul of the officials and was sent off on numerous occasions, and finally midfielder Matías Laba never quite played to his potential after arriving late to preseason training after the birth of his son.

On Thursday Ousted made several key stops and Waston and Laba looked like their former selves as the trio played a key role in keeping the Red Bulls off the score sheet.

The Whitecaps now face a huge task in Tigres, and will need the entire team to be at their very best if they are to have any chance of reaching the CONCACAF Champions League final later this spring.

Alphonso Davies is the real deal

Davies has already demonstrated that not only does he deserve to be playing for the Whitecaps’ MLS team, but potentially the sky is the limit for the youngster.

Davies possesses footballing talent that no coach can teach. Alphonso is lightning quick, has excellent control of the ball and has vision and foresight that some players twice his age simply do not have.

Davies is a threat every time he touches the ball and brings Whitecaps fans to their feet every time he races down the pitch.

The threat of Davies combined with the likes of Kekuta Manneh and Fredy Montero will provide the Whitecaps with an attacking force that no team in Major League Soccer will want to face.

New kids on the block were a hit

The Whitecaps have not had a legitimate goal scorer on their roster since Camilo transferred himself to Liga MX club Querétaro FC in 2013.

Replacing the Brazilian’s goals has proven tough for the Whitecaps, who have resorted to a ‘scoring by committee’ mentality for the past few seasons.

This year, however, things may be different with the addition of striker Fredy Montero, who was recently acquired from Chinese Super League club Tianjin Teda on a one-year loan.

The 29-year-old Colombian, who played for the Seattle Sounders until 2014, made his debut for the Whitecaps against the New York Red Bulls and needed only ten minutes to score his first goal for his new club.

Also making his debut for the Whitecaps tonight was midfielder/forward Brek Shea, who joined the team last week as the result of a tidy piece of business with Orlando City SC that saw Giles Barnes head the other way.

Shea was impressive and important piece in a depleted Whitecaps attack, and did an excellent job of creating space and whipping crosses into the box all night long.

MATCH DETAILS
Referee: Valdin Legister
Attendance: 14,183

Scoring Summary
5’ – VAN – Alphonso Davies
76’ – VAN – Fredy Montero

Statistics
Possession: Vancouver 27.4 % – New York 72.6 %
Shots: Vancouver 13 – New York 6
Shots on Goal: Vancouver 7 – New York 2
Saves: Vancouver 2 – New York 5
Fouls: Vancouver 22 – New York 20
Offsides: Vancouver 3 – New York 5
Corners: Vancouver 4 – New York 7

Cautions
17’ – NY – Aurelien Collin
36’ – VAN – Matias Laba
57’ – VAN – Russell Teibert (suspended for semi-finals first leg due to caution accumulation)
76’ – VAN – Alphonso Davies

Vancouver Whitecaps FC
1.David Ousted; 28.Jake Nerwinski, 4.Kendall Waston, 26.Tim Parker, 2.Jordan Harvey; 15.Matías Laba, 31.Russell Teibert; 67.Alphonso Davies, 23.Kekuta Manneh (8.Andrew Jacobson 82’), 17.Marcel de Jong (12.Fredy Montero 66’); 20.Brek Shea

Substitutes
70.Paolo Tornaghi, 22.Christian Dean, 25.Sheanon Williams, 32.Marco Bustos, 47.Kyle Greig

New York Red Bulls
31.Luis Robles; 15.Sal Zizzo, 78.Aurelien Collin, 33.Aaron Long, 92.Kemar Lawrence; 8.Felipe, 27.Sean Davis (13.Mike Grella 80’); 16.Sacha Kljestan ©, 77.Danny Royer (19.Alex Muyl 60’); 30.Gonzalo Verón (7.Derrick Etienne 8’), 99.Bradley Wright-Phillips

Substitutes not used
18.Ryan Meara, 20.Justin Bilyeu, 55.Damien Perrinelle, 62.Michael Murillo


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Mark Dailey
I am a lifelong sports fan, and have a passion for soccer, rugby, Formula 1 and gridiron football. When I'm not watching sports you can usually find me with a cup of coffee and reading a good book. I also co-host the From the Backline and Scuderia Formula 1 podcasts. Have a story idea? Email me at [email protected]

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