Whitecaps 2 Earthquakes 2: Split happens after defensive faults

Whitecaps 2 Earthquakes 2: Split happens after defensive faults

May 17, 2018 0 By news club


Like a busted jukebox, the Vancouver Whitecaps keep playing the same old song.

The Caps outshot and out-chanced the San Jose Earthquakes Wednesday night at B.C. Place, continuing a run of form that’s seen them generate plenty of chances but few goals, but had to settle for the second 2-2 result in under a week.

“Déjà vu, I think, wasn’t it?” Caps coach Carl Robinson said after the game.

“Too many individual errors that led to goals when we were in control of the game, like Friday night (vs. Houston). When you do that and you get punished, it stings. I think that was the case again tonight. We created chances, we just didn’t take them.

“… I sound like a broken record. Does it concern me? Yes. Am I worried? No.”

The last time the Earthquakes rolled into town, they left humbled and shaken by a 5-0 Major League Soccer playoff defeat, but led twice in Wednesday’s matchup, and held 60 per cent of possession. The Caps outshot the visitors 22-16 — 9-3 on target — but spent much of the game peppering the Southsiders section with errant attempts.

“Kei (Kamara) had two or three good headers, which nine times out of 10 he scores. Yordy could have gotten three goals. But we conceded two bad goals, which is more worrying for me,” said Robinson. “(Resiliency) is a good trait to have; character in your team. And we certainly have that. What we need to try and instill in the team is a little bit of quality.

“We need to go back to the drawing board on our finishing, because we’re not hitting the target enough. If we hit the target on half of (our chances), we’re sitting here with three points.”

Cristian Techera and Yordy Reyna scored for Vancouver (4W-5L-3D), who hop on a plane Thursday morning ahead of a game in Dallas in three days’ time. The ‘Quakes (2-5-3), who are tied for last in the West, had gone winless in seven games after winning their opener, but have picked up points in their last two games.

Here’s what we learned Wednesday night:

Reyn Man


Vancouver Whitecaps’ Yordy Reyna, from left to right, Kendall Waston, Sean Franklin, Alphonso Davies and Marcel de Jong celebrate Reyna’s goal against the San Jose Earthquakes.

DARRYL DYCK /

THE CANADIAN PRESS

Yordy Reyna started up top in a 4-4-2 — the third consecutive game they’ve used that formation — and has started to show the form he displayed at the end of last season.

Three minutes into the game, Felipe sprung him behind the defence, but his chip floated just wide. He timed his run perfectly to keep the flag down — for once — as Vancouver leads the league with 5.2 offside calls per home game.

Reyna also set up Cristian Techera for the opening goal, controlling another Felipe pass at the edge of the circle, drawing the defence to him before poking a perfectly weighted ball through to Techera, who placed it far corner on his favoured left foot.

(Side note: Kei Kamara jokingly made sure to hold down Techera’s jersey, after the Uruguayan was red-carded after his last goal. The Caps are undefeated — 21 wins, nine draws — when Bicho scores or has an assist.)

Reyna nearly equalized in the 55th minute, stealing the ball at the edge of the area, navigating through two defenders before unleashing a rocket that Andrew Tarbell did well to knock aside.

Six minutes later, he volleyed a cross from Marcel de Jong over the crossbar from eight yards out, and it looked like the Caps were going to go wanting again.

But the two hooked up again moments later, and this time Reyna got his head on the ball, deflecting it home for his first goal of the season.

VAR out, man


San Jose Earthquakes’ Danny Hoesen knocks the ball out of the air with his foot and scores a goal against the Vancouver Whitecaps during first half MLS soccer action in Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday May 16, 2018.

DARRYL DYCK /

THE CANADIAN PRESS

For the second time this year, the Caps surrendered a goal in the dying moments of the first half, with Danny Hoesen getting behind the defence and chipping a ball past an onrushing Brian Rowe to tie the game at 1-1.

The ensuing protests from Vancouver’s defenders gave the VAR plenty of time to look at the call, but Hoesen looked to be exactly even with Kendall Waston when the through ball came from Florian Jungwirth.

The crucial moments at the end of each half have been troublesome for the Caps. They’ve given up five goals in the final two minutes of each half this season.

Goal rush


The San Jose Earthquakes score on Vancouver Whitecaps goalkeeper Brian Rowe in the second half.

Gerry Kahrmann /

PNG

There have been at least 2.5 goals scored in 23 of San Jose’s last 28 games, so you knew more offence was coming, especially from a team with the fourth-best scoring per 90 away minutes (1.8) average in the league.

Only three teams in the West had scored more than the ‘Quakes coming into the game, with two of them playing more games.

The goal came when the Caps got caught out defensively again, with Vako collecting the ball at midfield, then storming down the centre of the pitch. He out-paced Efi Juarez all the way to the edge of the area, forcing the defence to close up on him, allowing the San Jose winger to move the ball to an unmarked Nick Lima at the corner of the box. He took two dribbles and unleashed a curling, left-footed shot into the far top corner in the 53rd minute to put the visitors ahead 2-1.

Brazilian Bomber

Felipe also showed some of the skill that made him an integral part of the New York Red Bulls’ offence before he was traded to Vancouver. He led the team in passes again and picked up two assists on the night, pushing his team lead to five on the season.

His delivery off free kicks and linking the midfield and forwards was as influential on the game as Reyna.

School’s out


Vancouver Whitecaps’ Kei Kamara, front, and San Jose Earthquakes’ Jimmy Ockford battle for the ball during first half MLS soccer action in Vancouver on Wednesday May 16, 2018.

DARRYL DYCK /

THE CANADIAN PRESS

The Whitecaps had won the Big Chance battle in each of their last three games — a BC defined as a situation where a player is expected to score — and did it again Wednesday. Their issue has been converting them.

Waston bounced two headers into the ground, and Kamara misfired on two chances inside the penalty area — kicking the post in frustration on the second one — and Reyna missed a chance in the 83rd minute to net the winner.

jadams@postmedia.com

NEXT GAME

Saturday

Vancouver Whitecaps at FC Dallas

1 p.m., Toyota Stadium, CTV, TSN, TSN 1040 AM

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