VANCOUVER, B.C - Vancouver and LA battled at B.C. Place Stadium Saturday night in a highly competitive fixture with back and forth action. The Whitecaps came to play, and secured a thrilling 4-2 win over a disastrous Galaxy team. Vancouver improves to 1-2-1 on the season, while the slumping LA Galaxy drop to 1-3-0.
Romain Alessandrini scored a first half brace only to see that cancelled out by a Matias Laba second half brace, and a goal and an assist from second half substitute, Fredy Montero. Cristian Techera opened the scoring, in front of a crowd of 25,083 spectators.
"I thought we played very well," said Carl Robinson after the match. "I thought from the first whistle we set out to play with intensity on the front foot and I thought we were very unlucky in the first half to be 2-1 down because the attacking football we play didn’t have the reward because we conceded two silly goals, un-needed goals, against a very good team. I said to them at halftime, ‘Keep doing the same things, get into the same areas, keep believing and show passion.’ And they did, they got a reward."
Matias Laba earned his 100th cap with Vancouver. He was happy the team was able to earn a result. The Whitecaps fought hard in the first month of the season, with not much to show for it. A win vs LA will do wonders going forward.
"We’ve had very good games but we couldn't get the result," said Laba. "Tonight’s three points are very important to us to make us more confident for the rest of the week."
Los Angeles Galaxy goalkeeper, Clement Diop took full responsibility for his poor performance. He also made sure to take a shot at the B.C. Place pitch.
"Tonight, there is no one else, no coaches, no one, this is all on me," admitted an honest Diop. "This is on me. I can't concede four goals, this is a professional mistake to concede four goals. It's not about the communication, the first goal, the ball is going out of the box. Shit happens on turf fields. It's on me, I should have a better read. That's it."
LA Galaxy Coach, Curt Onalfo was in a sour mood following the match and did not wish to discuss his goalkeepers performance.
"No, I don’t want to comment on that, I'm not going to assess my player to the world."
A sequence of five minutes got the better of the Galaxy. Vancouver turned up the offence, and LA wasn't able to recover. Jelle Van Damme shared his thoughts.
"I think we messed up the second half," admitted Van Damme. "We didn't play as well in the first half, I think. A game on the road, we weren't playing well. We were leading 1-2 at one point. Until they scored the 2-2, I don't think we had really big problems, or difficulties. I think we messed up in five minutes of time. We're not looking for excuses, it wasn't good enough today, and there were too many personnel mistakes as well. We have to look at ourselves, nobody else."
The Opening 45
Vancouver was buzzing early on as they looked for a quick opening goal. Christian Bolanos found Cristian Techera on the run, the Uruguayan dynamo got past Ashley Cole with a brilliant inside out move. Galaxy goalkeeper, Clement Diop was forced to make a diving save to keep the match scoreless 7' minutes in.
The Whitecaps opened the scoring in the 19' minute thanks to Techera. The Bug, chased down a long ball over the top from Sheanon Williams. Diop came out of his net to intercept the ball, and made a bloody big blunder. Techera was left with a wide open net.
Los Angeles weren't deterred by the early Vancouver goal. Midfielder Romain Alessandrini broke down the flank in the 26' minute and fired a shot on target. The ball hit the post, and then David Ousted's head before crossing the line.
It would again be the man from Marseille who got the job done for the Galaxy. Alessandrini was unmarked in the Vancouver box. Emmanuel Boateng sent a beautiful ball into the path of Alessandrini. He rifled the ball past Ousted in the 31' minute.
While Vancouver may have had the quick jump thanks to Techera. It was clearly the Romain Alessandrini show that took over the remainder of the opening forty-five.
Los Angeles earned a 2-1 lead and a 56% - 44% possession advantage heading into the interval. Vancouver looked to re-group after such a fantastic start to the match.
The Second Half
Looking to send a positive jolt to his team. Carl Robinson brought on forward Fredy Montero to start the second half for Erik Hurtado.
"I just came in and try to do my job, what the coach told me to do," said Montero. "Try to find space, move forward and when I had the chance, score. For me it was a good position in the box and Techera was going one-on-one, he shot on goal and the goalkeeper saved it. I was there took one touch and just scored the goal."
The Galaxy seemed content to pass the ball around and keep a hold of possession, while Vancouver sent men forward in search of an equalizer. New Whitecap, Tony Tchani came on in the 65' minute for his Caps debut.
"I think I did ok," said Tchani. "I'm always harsh on myself. I'm always getting feedback from the coaches, because I don't think what I do is enough. I won't say I was the stepping point. I feel like maybe as a team we kind of had more urgency."
Cristian Techera cut into the LA box and fired a bullet on target. Diop dove to his left to make a fantastic save. Unfortunately for him, the rebound found an unmarked Fredy Montero. The Caps striker converted in the 66' minute to tie the match at 2-2.
Vancouver wasn't finished and they took the lead just one minute later. Fredy Montero capitalized on a Galaxy turnover. He found an unmarked Matias Laba was in front of goal. He sent a laser of shot past a helpless Clement Diop.
It was simply a second half to forget for the LA Galaxy. Diop was awful in net and he was getting no help. Vancouver secured a fourth goal in the 87' minute thanks to some lazy LA defending. Montero fired a shot on target that Diop could not handle. Matias Laba raced in to head home the rebound for 4-2 Whitecaps FC lead.
Man of the Match
Fredy Montero came off the bench in the second half and made all the difference for Vancouver. The Caps striker was instrumental in the both the equalizer and go ahead goal. Whitecaps FC have struggled on offence, and Montero proved that he is well worth the price of admission. The Galaxy had no answer for him, and Vancouver was able to pick up their first win of the season thanks to Montego's contributions.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC Starting XI: David Ousted; Jordan Harvey, 90+1 (Marcel de Jong), Tim Parker, Kendall Waston(C), Sheanon Williams; Matias Laba, Andrew Jacobson, 64 (Tony Tchani); Alphonso Davies, Christian Bolanos, Cristian Techera; Erik Hurtado, 45 (Fredy Montero). 4-2-3-1
Los Angeles Galaxy Starting XI: Clement Diop; Nathan Smith, Daniel Steres, Jelle Van Damme(C), Ashley Cole, 82 (Dave Romney); Romain Alessandrini, João Pedro, Jermaine Jones, Emanuel Boateng 79 (Bradford Jamieson); Jack McBean, 67 (Gyasi Zardes), Giovani dos Santos. 4-4-2