Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Frantic Finish Secures Just A Single Point For Whitecaps

Once again the Whitecaps turned what could have been a disappointing result into late game heroics as they were able score one minute into injury time and earn a 1-1 draw against the San Jose Earthquakes.  Despite the draw and the single point, the Caps put forward their most disappointing performance of the season at Empire Field as the Quakes controlled the majority of the match and out chanced the home side.  The game saw the return of Captain Jay DeMerit as well as the first match of this season that Jonathan Leathers didn’t start at right back as he was rested for Wes Knight.

The first five minutes belonged to the Whitecaps as they applied pressure on the Quakes backline with crosses that were just off target.  However San Jose starting taking control as they best chance early in the game came from midfielder Ryan Johnson who fired a shot just wide of the far post.  The pressure from the Earthquakes continued and they were rewarded in 39th minute where after multiple giveaways by Terry Dunfield, Sam Cronin fired a shot at Jay Nolly.  The goalkeeper spilled the ball right to Johnson who was able to cross it back into the middle where it was guided in by 2010 MLS Golden Boot winner Chris Wondolowski.  The Caps once again gave up the first goal as they trailed the Earthquakes heading into halftime.

The match continued the same way when the second half commenced as San Jose continued their control of the tempo and their generating of chances.  Just as in the previous few matches the Whitecaps were able to apply pressure on the opposition with twenty minutes to go in the match.  A foul by the Earthquakes deep in their territory gave the Whitecaps multiple opportunities as there were multiple crosses thrown into the box.  One minute into injury time Dunfield laid the ball for Chiumiento who curled one more cross into the box.  Multiple Whitecap players attempted to get a touch on the ball but it was not needed as the cross eluded everyone and found the back of the net to tie the game.  There was one last chance to secure three points two minutes later as Camilo’s shot was saved by Jon Busch but it was not be as the referee blew his whistle three times to end the match.

The Whitecaps may have provided an exciting finish to another game at Empire Field for their supporters but this match may have been the most frustrating match that the team played from an attacking perspective.  The home side had some major difficulty creating any serious chances for the first time this season especially at the forward positions.  The main concern comes out of the central midfield as both Brovsky and Dunfield struggled to get on the same page and weren’t able provide quality service to either the wingers or the strikers when going forward.  On a positive the backline played another above average match as the only goal given up was caused by multiple giveaways by midfielder Terry Dunfield.  The team received a boost when their captain Jay DeMerit made his return after missing the previous six fixtures with a groin injury.  The Whitecaps must now trek back across North America to face the Revolution in Foxboro before returning back to Empire next Wednesday to face TFC in the first leg of the Canadian Championship Final.

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