— Minnesota United FC (@MNUFC) September 14, 2017
Adrian Heath had to deal with the loss of two key players for Minnesota. Kevin Molino did not make the matchday squad due to illness. Francisco Calvo did not travel with the team, instead staying home with his newborn son.
Bobby Shuttleworth took his usual spot between the sticks. In front of him, Boxall and Kallman continued their partnership in the middle. On the right Jérôme Thiesson, and on the left replacing Calvo, was Ish Jome.
Ibson and Collen Warner would patrol the middle of the pitch for the second match in a row. On the wings were Sam Nicholson and Ethan Finlay. Replacing Molino at the 10 spot was Johan Venegas as Abu Danladi took his place up top.
Christian Ramirez and Marc Burch were on the bench, both players returned from injury.
— Vancouver Whitecaps (@WhitecapsFC) September 14, 2017
Vancouver, coming off of a back-and-forth 3-2 win at home against Real Salt Lake, put out a strong lineup as a win in this game would land the Whitecaps at the top of the Western Standings. Most notably, 16-year-old Canadian phenom Alphonso Davies started on the wing for Vancouver. The youngster was a surprise winner of the Golden Boot in the Gold Cup earlier this summer. At left back Marcel de Jong made his fifth start of the MLS season and had the arduous task of shutting down the speedy Ethan Finlay.
Vancouver kicked off to start the match at BC Place. The first few minutes were controlled by Vancouver. And for the second match in a row, Minnesota conceded a goal in the first five minutes. De Jong played a pinpoint-lobbed through ball to Yordy Reyna. The Peruvian split Kallman and Jome on his way to his fourth goal of the season.
Minnesota grew into the game, seeing more of the ball near the Vancouver box, with Thiesson, Jome, and Danladi sending crosses in. Nicholson tried his luck from distance and saw his shot easily cradled by David Ousted.
In the 20th minute, Vancouver had a chance to double the lead off of a corner. Kendall Waston got a head to the ball but Nicholson cleared the ball off the line. The next corner was cleared easily.
A low cross by Jome was cleared easily by Vancouver. The Whitecaps proceeded to cut up the Minnesota defense on the counter. Brek Shea received the ball on the left wing and sent a peach of a cross into the box. Erik Hurtado beat Kallman to the ball by a step and chested the ball into the back of the net. Kallman and Shuttleworth collided on the play and play was stopped as Shuttleworth was checked out by the trainers for a head injury. He would continue.
Michael Boxall got the match’s first card near the end of the first half after he elbowed Reyna in the face will corralling a loose ball. After three minutes of stoppage time both teams would head to their respective locker rooms
The first half was one to forget for the Loons, they conceded another early goal and their defense was cut up with the precision of a surgeon on the counter attack. Their best chance of the game was when Ibson sent a beauty of a ball over the defense and to a wide open Ethan Finlay, instead of shooting or finding a wide open (and onside) Abu Danladi. Finlay centered the ball to no one. Minnesota had a mountain to climb in the second half, but when they met in June in Minnesota, they were also 2-0 at the half to Vancouver and ended up drawing the match 2-2 after goals from Calvo and Thiesson.
No substitutions were made for either team coming out of the locker room. Minnesota would kick off to start the second half.
The second half started a little chippy from both sides. Some hard fouls from both teams and Collen Warner earned the match’s second yellow card.
A quick throw-in by Vancouver led to a flurry of chances for the Whitecaps. The first effort was saved by Shuttleworth. The second was blocked by Venegas. The third was blocked by Warner and cleared by Boxall.
In the 60th minute, Minnesota was forced to use a sub as Kallman had to come off injured. Joe Greenspan would replace him and Ibson would take the captain’s armband. At the same time, Vancouver made their first sub, the goalscorer Reyna came off for Bernie Ibini. Five minutes later Johan Venegas would go down injured after a hard tackle, he would continue.
On a long lofted through-ball by Vancouver, Greenspan handled the ball just outside the box after losing out to Hurtado. Shea sent the free kick straight into the wall. Hurtado’s followup sailed over the bar.
Later some great saves from Shuttleworth kept the lead at two. At the 70th minute, both teams made changes. Christian Ramirez returned to the pitch after a lengthy injury spell, he came in for Sam Nicholson. Vancouver’s other goalscorer Hurtado made way for Fredy Montero. In the 78th minute, Vancouver would make their third and final substitution with Nicolás Mezquida coming in for Alphonso Davies.
In the 88th minute, Montero would draw Greenspan out to the wing. Jome was late replacing Greenspan’s central position. Montero sent in a lofted cross to Shea who was nestled in between Boxall and Jome. Shea headed into the far post, sealing the win.
Minnesota had a mountain to climb after Reyna’s early goal. Instead of rising to the challenge, the Loons fell flat, playing uninspiring soccer for 90 minutes.
VAN – 5′ Yordy Reyna (4) (Assist: De Jong)
VAN – 31′ Erik Hurtado (2) (Assist: Shea)
VAN – 88′ Brek Shea (4) (Assist: Montero)
MIN – 44′ Boxall (Unsporting Behavior)
MIN – 52′ Warner (Unsporting Behavior)
— FiftyFiveOne (@FiftyFiveOne) September 14, 2017
— FiftyFiveOne (@FiftyFiveOne) September 14, 2017
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