Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Caps Unable To Hold Off Revolution And Referee

The Whitecaps had the tables turned on them as they were the team to lose a lead in injury time and give up two points as the Caps drew the Revolution 1-1.  However that was not the story at the end of the game as the main focus of supporters and the media was the referee and the amount of cards that were handed out in the match.  By the end of the game there were three players ejected, two of them with immediate red cards and designated player Eric Hassli with a boneheaded second yellow for removing his shirt.

The cards began early as Toledo, the referee, handed out a yellow to Atiba Harris in the sixth for a strong tackle.  The flow of the game was wide open despite the cautions which by 25th minute had increased to three, 2 for the Caps and 1 for the Revolution.  Atiba Harris and Camilo both had chances on the net with being stopped by Shuttlesworth in the 21st and then Camilo cut to the centre only to strike the ball wide in the 36th minute.  The Revolution came close to scoring in the first half when off a corner kick midfielder Steve McCarthy headed the ball towards goal only to be cleared off the line by Nizar Khalfan.  Before halftime the Caps lost their starting CMs as Terry Dunifeld was substituted off by John Thorrington due to an injury and Gershon Koffie received a straight red from an apparent elbow.

The Whitecaps returned in the second half with Eric Hassli coming on for Wes Knight as it was clear the team was going for a victory.  Four minutes into the half Eric Hassli received a yellow on a play where he was fouled and given a free kick.  The Caps opened the scoring in the 55th minute where after Camilo was able to draw a penalty in the box, Eric Hassli was able to step up to spot and convert.  However in the celebration Hassli, who was wearing two jerseys, took one off and threw it into the crowd.  This drew an automatic second yellow and the Frenchman was ejected for his second straight game which put the Caps two men down.

The Caps held on and even were able to make some strong runs being two men down which caused AJ Soares of the Revolution foul Harris and bring a straight red for the rookie in the 74th minute.  Unfortunately the previous 18 minutes of playing down two men wore on the Whitecaps players as the last ten minutes of play saw wave after wave of Revolution attack.  Goalkeeper Jay Nolly, who along with the backline, had his  best match of the season and kept the team in the game with a number of solid saves.  On this day the caps were unable to hold as substitute Ilija Stolica converted a pass to beat Nolly and earn a single point for the Revolution.

Another home crowd saw the Whitecaps play an entertaining game and as they  attacked throughout even when they were down to nine men.  While Eric Hassli did convert a penalty, it was his uncalled for celebration that may have lost his team two points.  The Whitecaps will be without Koffie and Hassli with suspension for their next game in Houston as well as possibly Dunfield and Camilo due to injury.  The hope is that there will be players coming back as Salinas and DeMerit may fit enough to play and they will may have youngsters Omar Salgado and Russell Teibert back from CONCACAF U20 tournament.  Let’s just hope that referee Toledo has other plans on Sunday.

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