The Vancouver Whitecaps drew against LAFC in what was a must win match for them. Although in a tense and exhilarating encounter which saw the Whitecaps come from two goals down to draw at level, it just wasn’t enough for the team from Canada. At the end of the match, Vancouver Whitecaps were eliminated from this year’s MLS playoffs.
The Whitecaps face tough criticism for failing to qualify for the playoffs for the second time in three short years. Since joining the MLS in 2011, this was the fourth time they have missed the playoffs. They trail Real Salt Lake by five points this season which saw them lose out the last place in the Western Conference.
A lot of changes will happen this season for the Whitecaps. The primary job right now for them is to find a head coach after sacking Carl Robinson a month before. They also lose their star player Alphonso Davies after this season. The 17 year old’s transfer to Bayern Munich has been finalized and he will leave after his final match with the Whitecaps on the 28th of October against Portland.
The match itself was pretty robust, as the Whitecaps went down two to nothing within the opening fifteen minutes. A double strike by Diego Rossi put Los Angeles FC on the front. But the Whitecaps did not give up and attacked with every chance they received. Davies, in particular was the lone shining star in the match, cutting behind defenders, proving crosses and causing havoc down the left flank. He was involved in both of Vancouver’s goals.
The first goal, in which, he outran both the defenders of LAFC and entered the penalty box before being fouled by Benny Feilhaber. The resulting spot kick was taken and converted by Yordy Reyna. In the 65th minute of the match, it was Davies again trying to wriggle away from two defenders down the left flank. He finally manages to give a pass to Jordan Mutch who scores a cracking long range goal.
This was the second time Mutch after coming on as a substitute has been involved in the winning goal. He provided the assist against Toronto FC to Kei Kamara who scored the winning goal for the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Although the Whitecaps have been mathematically eliminated from the MLS, the next season could prove to be a big turnaround for them.