MLS- Vancouver Whitecaps

Stunning strike from Gignac eliminates Whitecaps from CCL

Every ounce of hard work put in by the Vancouver Whitecaps was undone by a masterful strike on Wednesday night.

The Whitecaps fell 2-1 on Wednesday night and 4-1 on aggregate to Tigres in the second leg of their CONCACAF Champions League semifinal, with Andre-Pierre Gignac’s beautiful strike in the 63rd minute being the dagger in the continental hopes of the club and Major League Soccer.

The victory propels Tigres into the CCL final, and a date against fellow Liga MX side Pachuca, with the Mexican league now assured of having the CCL champion for the 12th consecutive year.

The Whitecaps gained a sense of belief early on, but not before an early scare. Ismael Sosa broke into the box in the first minute, but before his shot even took off in the direction of the net, it was blocked.

Two minutes later, it was the home side celebrating an unexpected early breakthrough. Cristian Techera linked up with a ball from Christian Bolanos on the left side of the box and played it centrally. Tigers goalkeeper Nahuel Guzman made a mess of an attempted clearance, which led the ball to the foot of Brek Shea, who hit a composed shot into the back of the net.

The Whitecaps almost experienced a similar start to the second half, when Bolanos drove a shot from the right side of the box off the diving arms of Guzman in the Tigres net.

After plenty of hard work, especially from center back Tim Parker, in their own half, the Whitecaps were finally broken by a moment of brilliance off the boot of Gignac. The Whitecaps gave the Frenchman just enough time and space to send a pinpointed finish into the right corner of the net from just outside the box.

Carl Robinson’s men didn’t back down from the challenge down goals on aggregate, as David Ousted came up with a few highlight reel denials. However, the Whitecaps could not turn the momentum from the saves into a consistent threat moving forward.

Tigres finished off the Canadian club in the 84th minute, when Damian Alvarez cleaned up from close range to beat Ousted.

The loss marked yet another failure for an MLS side to down Mexican opposition in the up competition. FC Dallas lost a heartbreaker to Club Pachuca on Tuesday night down in Mexico.

Man of the Match

One moment of brilliance from Gignac undid some splendid work from Parker, Ousted and others in the Vancouver back line. Gignac was part of an attack that pounded seven shots on goal in the second half.

Moment of the Match

Gignac’s strike in the 63rd minute killed any hopes of a Whitecaps resurgence. The Frenchman was handed a good amount of space, and like someone of his quality usually does, he took advantage of it and punished his opponent.

Match to Forget

After contributing a goal and an assist against the LA Galaxy on Saturday, Fredy Montero came up empty in his forward role. The Colombian barely looked dangerous over 90 minutes.

  • Helium-3

    Gignac was not challenged when he took that shot. Watson hesitated stepping up to close down that space. This is elementary defending and is it inconceivable that a national team level player makes those mental mistakes.

    What’s up with Montero and his underwhelming display. I kept looking for him but it was like he was resigned to being just a body taking up space on the field. Can you believe Sporting Lisbon had a 60 million USD release clause on him when he was scoring goals for them. Didn’t look anything like a 60 million player out there last night. In fact, he was overshadowed by a guy who came on a free transfer (Gignac). LOL


    • Quit Whining About Soccer in the US

      Montero is the real deal…..when he is playing against lesser competition. Beating better competition, not going to happen. There is a reason that he has zero playoff goals in spite of playing in the playoffs every year in MLS.

      ps. Defenders name is Waston not Watson.
      pss. Joe from Spring and AL futbol had some really good posts. make sure to read below.


  • alabamafutbol

    dude in the background look like he on his way to bribe some kiddies w candy

    Also, MLS blows. Sad days


  • Rob

    Once again a Mexican team shows up, puts about 30 minutes worth of effort in and walks away to the next round.
    It wasn’t Gignac’s goal that eliminated the Caps. It was an immensely better team that did it . Vancouver never had a chance.


  • Joe from Spring

    The league is greedy. Wants hundreds of millions for franchises, but limits what owners can spend to improve squad depth and talent. The fans are the big losers. They are selling an inferior product and no one is buying. The Premiere League and Liga Mex have a bigger following in this country than pitiful MLS.


    • Yevgeniy

      If MLS is pitiful it is only because of haters like you and Rob. Dallas played evenly with Pachuca away (actually had a higher xG than Pachuca in that game and in the series). THis despite being very early in their season (only 3 MLS games so far) I would say that this is a good sign for the league. And Pachuca is 5th in the league, only 4 points less than the leaders.


    • Old School

      Wants hundreds of millions for franchises, but limits what owners can spend to improve squad depth and talent.

      I’ll say it till I’m blue in the face: Owners should be able to spend whatever they’d like so long as they remain solvent. Until the training wheels come off none of us should expect MLS to be challenging for these kind of trophies (outside of some random luck).


  • Joe from Spring

    It’s people like you that are living a lie. Stop making excuses for MLS. The league simply does not want to invest in this type of progress. I’m not a hater. I used to support this league but no longer do, because they don’t really want to improve on this level. You don’t hear Don Garber saying that MLS will be amontg the world’s greatest league by 2022. He backed off that rhetoric really quick…


    • Old School

      You don’t hear Don Garber saying that MLS will be amontg the world’s greatest league by 2022. He backed off that rhetoric really quick…

      As I’ve said for years: Snake-oil salesman.

      Perhaps happiest about the USWNT reaching an agreement with USSF is Don Garber himself. So many backroom deals with SUM, MLS and USSF. If the books opened it would have been incredibly enlightening and likely illuminated how much he’s mislead the players union about a number of topics. Namely: revenue.


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