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Fans stage walk-out protest during Whitecaps' first win of the season (PHOTOS/VIDEOS)

Harjeet Johal Apr 18, 2019 10:10 am 63

More than six weeks after their season began, Vancouver Whitecaps FC finally picked up their first win of the season with a 1-0 upset over MLS-leading LAFC.

It was the first MLS win for head coach Marc Dos Santos and his remodelled club, which included a goal from his most high-profile offseason acquisition, InBeom Hwang.

“It’s not about me,” Dos Santos told reporters after beating his former team. “It’s about the Vancouver Whitecaps and it’s big because for the people that go to training, and follow the team closely, you guys know that players were frustrated but never had their head down, never were negative.”

But the first victory of the season was overshadowed by a fan walk out in the 35th minute to protest the club’s handling of abuse allegations against Whitecaps FC and Canada Soccer that were first raised in a February 25 blog post by Ciara McCormack.

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Supporters from the Vancouver Southsiders and Curva Collective, along with some other fans around the stadium, left their seats and watched the remaining 10 minutes of the first half from the BC Place concourse.

The announced crowd of 17,038 dwindled, and was noticeably quiet for the duration of the opening half.

Conversely, the concourse has never been more lively. As promised, fans on the concourse continued cheering on the players they support, despite their displeasure with management.

Not only did Whitecaps FC play their most complete match of the season, they did so by shutting down MLS leading scorer Carlos Vela and the league’s best offence.

Hwang scored his first career MLS goal, after smashing home Victor ‘PC’ Giro’s shot that struck the crossbar in the 27th minute.

The South Korean international helped Vancouver walk away with a win, but he wasn’t the only top performer. Goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau made three saves to earn his second clean sheet of the season.

Vancouver’s win should provide momentum and confidence as the team moves forward. However, a cloud of anger, disappointment, and questions remain from an unsettled, vocal fan-base.

The Whitecaps improve to 1-4-2 (5-points) on the season. It’s a short turnaround for their next game on the road against Orlando City SC on Saturday afternoon.

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