Monday, July 18, 2011

Whitecaps Drop Friendly to Machester City

The Vancouver Whitecaps were able to get a full 90 minutes against Manchester City but lost the match 2-1 on a very poor turf.  There was some doubt that the game would not be able to go through as it was only a few hours before the scheduled start when confirmation that the match would be played.  While, the Whitecaps opened the scoring on a deflected shot by Camilo, last year’s FA Cup champions scored two in the second half to secure the victory.

The Whitecaps attempted to strike early when Eric Hassli, back from a foot injury, struck a shot that forced Joe Hart to the ball over the bar.  Then it was Camilo’s turn as his free kick cleared the wall and heading for inside the post but saved by a diving Hart to keep the game scoreless.  Around the half hour mark the Whitecaps pushed forward again and this time made it count as Camilo accepted a return pass from Salinas and took a shot which deflected off a City defender past a helpless Joe Hart.

Four minutes later Camilo had another opportunity on net but this time the English International goalkeeper was able to track down the ball.   Bosnian striker Dzeko almost tied the game but was unable to connect with the ball as he directed it wide of the open net. 

After the restart which included mass substitutions for both teams, including ten for the Whitecaps, the EPL squad took control of the younger Caps for the first 15 minutes.  Against the run of play, Long Tan almost doubled the lead as he intercepted a pass and after a couple of touches fired the shot just wide of the net.  Manchester City tied the game up at the 68 minute mark a corner which was converted by a Guidetti header at the far post.

The visitors continued to threaten the Caps and eventually took the lead with about six minutes to go as Shaun Wright-Phillips unleashed a howitzer that Jay Nolly had no shot at.  Both teams traded chances in the final five minutes, plus injury time, with Tan sailing a header just over the bar and Nolly coming up big to keep it a one goal game.

The game itself, while a friendly and a loss, created a lot of excitement in the crowd especially in the first half when Vancouver’s starters outscored the EPL side’s starters by a goal.  The younger and less experienced Caps held their own as it took a rocket from Wright-Phillips for the Citizens to escape with a win.  Once again Camilo was the Whitecaps best player on the pitch with Hassli and Rochat playing their normal impressive roles. 

The match also marked the debut of Mustapha Jarju, the Whitecaps second designated player, who had looked the part and made some solid runs in the final third.  It was also the home debut for ex Philadelphia Union defender Jordan Harvey who played his first game as a Whitecap in Colorado.  The club now has two days to prepare for their league match against the San Jose Earthquakes in Northern California.

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