Amway Canadian Championship: Vancouver Whitecaps vs FC Edmonton Game Recap

Posted: May 10, 2012 in Uncategorized

The Vancouver Whitecaps took to the pitch in the second leg of their Amway Canadian Championship semifinal against FC Edmonton on Wednesday night at BC Place Stadium. The Whitecaps started off slow and simply turned on a switch in the final 15 minutes to win the game 3-1 and the two game leg 5-1 over FC Edmonton. The Whitecaps won the opening leg 2-0 in Edmonton on May 2nd. The Whitecaps will now play Toronto FC in the Amway Canadian Championship final. Toronto FC defeated the Montreal Impact 2-0 in their two game leg.

The Whitecaps appeared to score in the opening minutes of the game but it was called back on a offside call. FC Edmonton caught a break because replays clearly showed Michael Nanchoff to be onside. After that chance to score the Whitecaps looked to be sitting on their heals with zero interest in scoring another goal. Whitecaps backup goalie Brad Knighton, who got a shutout last Wednesday in Edmonton earned another start for Vancouver. Knighton made a spectacular save in the 18th minute off FC Edmonton forward Michael Cox. Cox took a huge blast from the inside the box and Knighton came across to get his hands on the ball to keep the game scoreless. Other than that opportunity FC Edmonton wasn’t able to penetrate the Whitecaps back line often in the first half. 

The Whitecaps had a great chance to score off a free kick in the 33rd minute, after Fabien Vorbe was issued a yellow card. Camilo stepped up just outside the box and curled the ball over the FC Edmonton wall, just wide past the top right corner. In the 40th minute FC Edmonton defender Paul Hamilton received a yellow card for pulling down Camilo. The Brazilian stepped up to take another free kick for the Whitecaps but he could not get the ball past the FC Edmonton wall.

19 year-old, FC Edmonton forward Michael Cox picked up his teams third yellow of the first half for an awful slide into Whitecaps goalie Brad Knighton just before the end of the first half. Both players were going for the ball, and Cox appeared to collide with Knighton feet first. Knighton stayed curled up on the pitch for a few minutes but eventually continued on. Knighton talked about the play after the game. “I feel alright, I just took a little knock on my shin so it wasn’t anything major. He came in studs up. I was surprised he didn’t get thrown out, but it is what it is.” 

FC Edmonton broke through for the first goal of the game in the 54th minute. Defender Antonio Rago came down the wing and crossed the ball into the box. FC Edmonton forward Yashir Pinto out jumped Whitecaps defenders Carlyle Mitchell, and Greg Klazura to head the ball past Brad Knighton. With the Whitecaps sitting back and not scoring off of any of Camilo’s free kicks you knew FC Edmonton would throw the kitchen sink at the Whitecaps to try to tie the two game leg at two goals a piece.

FC Edmonton continued to push forward looking for that crucial second goal but it was never forth coming. Vancouver Whitecaps forward Sebastien Le Toux, who leads the Whitecaps in goals in all competitions this season came on to try to create some offense in the 70th minute. Martin Rennie’s late substitutions paid off against San Jose on Saturday and the same thing happened against FC Edmonton. Le Toux took a gorgeous cross from play-maker Davide Chiumiento and controlled the ball before FC Edmonton defender Fabien Vorbe fell down in a weak attempt to kick the ball away. Le Toux then drilled the ball under the arm of FC Edmonton goalie David Monsalve. Le Toux was just getting warmed up because in the 87th minute he found the back of the net again. Davide Chiumiento’s beautiful cross found Le Toux’s head in a crowd and then the route was on. With 3 goals in MLS and another 2 against FC Edmonton Le Toux has now scored a team leading 5 goals in all competitions for the Whitecaps this season.

Fan favourite, Eric Hassli who scored against FC Edmonton in the opening leg, and also scored the winning goal against the San Jose Earthquakes in extra time looked invisible for most of this game. Hassli seemed to be on an island all by himself. When Hassli got a touch he wasn’t able to do anything with it. Hassli was subbed off by Coach Martin Rennie for Jamaican speedster Darren Mattocks in the 74th minute.

Maltese forward Etienne Barbara made his first career appearance for the Whitecaps when he came on for Camilo in the 85th minute. Barbara, who had been recovering from an injured groin got right into the action by earning a penalty kick for the Whitecaps in the 86th minute. Barbara used his speed to get to the outside of FC Edmonton defender Paul Hamilton before being brought down. Referee Geoff Gamble pointed to the spot and Etienne stepped up and fired the ball square off the post after Monsalve just got a hand on the ball.

Vancouver Whitecaps first round 2nd overall MLS SuperDraft pick Darren Mattocks make quite the impression in his 15 minutes of game time. Mattocks, who has blinding speed scored his first career goal in extra time. Davide Chiumiento made a few nifty moves just before falling down to pass the ball to Mattocks in the slot. Mattocks made no mistake and scored the 3rd Whitecaps goal of the game and 5th of the two leg series.

Davide Chiumiento played with a lot of confidence and showed great brilliance in his passing skill and abilities to find and setup his teammates. Chiumiento assisted on all 3 Whitecaps goals and he talked to the media after the game. “Personally I’m happy about the three assists and about the win because honestly it wasn’t a good game. I think we played bad for seventy minutes but we defended actually not bad. End of all it was important to go through but it wasn’t a good game.”

The Vancouver Whitecaps will have to step up their game if they have any hope of winning the Amway Canadian Championship against Toronto FC. The first leg is Wednesday, May 16th in Vancouver at BC Place Stadium, 7pm local time. The teams will conclude their two game leg on Wednesday, May 23rd at Toronto’s BMO Field. The winner will also hoist the coveted Voyageurs Cup.  

Notes: On a lovely Vancouver evening the BC Place Stadium roof was open and the attendance was 15,011.

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