The Vancouver Whitecaps didn’t play their best game of the season, but the Canadian club escaped Trinidad & Tobago with a win in Tuesday’s CONCACAF Champions League opener.
Cristian Techera provided the game’s lone goal, leading the Whitecaps to a 1-0 win over Central FC on Tuesday in Couva, Trinidad & Tobago. The win sees the Whitecaps leap to the top of Group C, which also includes Sporting Kansas City.
Techera’s moment came in the 34th minute, and it proved to be a decisive one. The sequence started with fullback Brett Levis, who was one of several players called up from the Whitecaps USL side. A pass from Levis four Erik Hurtado, who swung a cross into Techera. The diminutive forward saw his shot blocked, but not fully, as the ball trickled over the line for what ended up as the game’s lone goal.
Starting in place of David Ousted, Sepncer Richey provided five saves for the Whitecaps on Tuesday as the MLS side was narrowly outshot, 14-11.
Helping aid the Whitecaps’ pursuit of the perfect CCL start was the absence of Kenwyne Jones, who is on loan with Central FC from Atlanta United. However, paperwork could not be complete in time for Jones to feature, leaving one of CONCACAF’s best forward out of action for Tuesday’s match.
However, the match did feature 15-year-old Alphonso Davies, who entered the fray in the 66th minute for the Whitecaps.
The Whitecaps return to MLS play on Saturday for a visit to the Colorado Rapids, while the team’s next CCL clash will come against Sporting KC on August 23 at BC Place.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Erik Hurtado may not have scored the goal, but it was his cross that created the decisive finish. Throughout the match, the Whitecaps forward was the most dangerous player on the field in what was one of his better showings this season.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
Cristian Techera needed just one good chance, and the forward took it, sealing a tournament-opening win for the Whitecaps.
MATCH TO FORGET
Central FC forward Jason Marcano had several good chances against a Whitecaps team filled with reserves, but the hosts just couldn’t get it done in the absence of Kenwyne Jones.