By The Canadian Press on October 10, 2020.
PORTLAND, Ore. – The Vancouver Whitecaps snapped a four-game losing skid Saturday, taking a much-needed 2-1 win over Real Salt Lake.
Lucas Cavallini scored for the “˜Caps (6-11-0), who also got an own goal off of RSL’s Douglas Martinez.
Damir Kreilach scored for Salt Lake (4-7-6), with assists from Justin Meram and Maikel Chang.
RSL’s Andrew Putna had two saves and Evan Bush stopped two-of-three on-target shots for the “˜Caps.
The victory was crucial for Vancouver, which has been lingering near the bottom of Major League Soccer’s Western Conference but remain in contention for a playoff spot.
The Whitecaps went into the game at their temporary home in Portland having been outscored 13-to-1 across four losses in a row, and conceded the first goal once again on Saturday.
Weak defence by the ‘Caps lead to the game’s first goal in the 37th minute.
Meram put the ball at the feet of an unmarked Kreilach and the Croatian midfielder tapped it to give RSL a 1-0 lead.
The goal marked the first on-target shot by either team on Saturday.
Vancouver drew even in the 71st following a beautiful free kick by ‘Caps midfielder Michael Baldisimo. The 20-year-old Canadian sent the ball to the edge of the RSL box where it bounced off the head of Martinez and in past a diving Putna to even the score.
Four minutes later, Baldisimo helped put his team up once again, getting a ball to Ali Adnan, who delivered it into the danger area.
Fredy Montero got off a nice shot but was stopped by Putna. The RSL ‘keeper couldn’t control the rebound with the ball popping out to Cavallini instead. The 27-year-old Canadian striker immediately sent a rocket into the Salt Lake net for the go-ahead goal.
RSL pushed hard for a draw through the final 15 minutes of the game, even bringing Putna out of his net and into the attacking area in injury time. Despite the attack, Bush stood strong in the Vancouver net.
Bush, who joined the ‘Caps in a trade from the Montreal Impact late last month, collected his first win since Aug. 28, 2019.
Vancouver went into halftime down a goal, but the Whitecaps looked relatively strong across the first 45 minutes of the game.
Possession has been a struggle for the ‘Caps during their rough run of play but Vancouver controlled the ball through 52 per cent of the first half Saturday and took four shots.
One promising chance came in the 27th minute off a corner by Montero. Cavallini got a header from the centre of the box but narrowly missed the net.
The Whitecaps will play their fourth game in 16 days Wednesday when they host Los Angeles FC in Portland.
NOTES: Baldisimo replaced Leonard Owusu in the 66th minute. “¦ Vancouver’s Montero, Cavallini, Janio Bikel, Cristian Dajome and Ranko Veselinovic were all shown the yellow card for unsporting behaviour. RSL’s Martinez, Marcelo Silva, Pablo Ruiz and Aaron Herrera were also booked.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 10, 2020.