Portland Timbers rain on Vancouver Whitecaps' B.C. Place debut
Any hopes theVancouver Whitecaps had for a B.C. Place debut win were dashed Sunday afternoon by regional rivals Portland Timbers in a 1-0 loss.
Portland’s win means they are still in the running for an MLS playoff spot.
The winning goal was an equal-parts result of both poor and masterful play.
Halfway through the first half, Whitecaps defender Alain Rochat, under no pressure, took a back pass and handed a gift ball to charging Portland midfielder Diego Chara, who surged up the right and crossed perfectly to lonely Timbers forward Kenny Cooper just outside the top of the box. Cooper chested the pass down and right-footed a beauty that beat diving ’Caps keeper Joe Cannon to his top left corner.
Cannon did well early in the second half to thwart Cooper from scoring his eighth of the season, but the lofty American's tally in the 25th minute was all the Timbers needed to cement the win.
Other than a close call by Vancouver’s Davide Chiumiento after an Eric Hassli setup in the first half and some chances near full time by late substitute Long Tan and Hassli, Vancouver wasn’t able to muster sustained offensive pressure, and Portland keeper Troy Perkins needed only two saves to gain his ninth shutout of the season.
Portland--like Vancouver, in their inaugural MLS season--is now 11-13-7 on the year and tied, at 40 points, with the New York Red Bulls for the league’s final playoff spot. New York has the edge because of head-to-head play.
Vancouver languishes in the cellar of the Western Conference at 4-16-10 with 22 points and no road wins in 16 tries. Sunday’s win was only Portland’s second road win.
The Whitecaps’ next game is Thursday (October 6) at home against Real Salt Lake.
The attendance was a 21,000 sellout of B.C. Place’s lower-seating soccer configuration.