April 25th, 2024

Late Raposo goal gives Vancouver Whitecaps 3-2 win over Portland Timbers

By Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press on March 30, 2024.

Vancouver Whitecaps' Fafa Picault, from left to right, Ali Ahmed, Ryan Gauld and Damir Kreilach celebrate Picault's goal against the Portland Timbers during the first half of an MLS soccer match, in Vancouver, on Saturday, March 30, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

VANCOUVER – Ryan Raposo rescued a win for the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday, lifting the Major League Soccer team to a 3-2 win over their regional rivals, the Portland Timbers.

Ryan Gauld and Fafa Picault put away first-half strikes for the ‘Caps (3-1-1), but the Timbers (2-3-1) roared back with goals from Evander and substitute Felipe Mora in the second.

Picault, Ali Ahmed and Alessandro Schopf all contributed assists for the home side.

Vancouver goalkeeper Yohei Takaoka made two saves while Maxime Crepeau stopped two shots for Portland.

The Timbers controlled 57 per cent of possession across the game, but the ‘Caps outshot the visitors 13-11, including a 6-4 advantage in on-target attempts.

The result marked Vancouver’s first home win of the MLS season, coming after the club dropped a 2-1 decision to Real Salt Lake last week.

Fans were still filtering into B.C. Place when Gauld scored in the second minute on Saturday.

Ali Ahmed slipped a pass through the Timbers defence to the Scottish attacking midfielder at the side of the six-yard box and Gauld sent a shot off the leg of Portland’s Zachery McGraw. The ball bounced back to Gauld’s foot and he fired a right-footed blast in past a diving Crepeau for his first goal of the season.

The ‘Caps captain nearly got his second of the year minutes later when Schopf fed him a silky pass and Gauld’s touch went up off the crossbar.

Schopf still managed to set up the second goal of the game with a ball into the penalty area that hit McGraw and skittered behind Gauld as he charged toward the net. Picault picked it up and sent a shot curling up and in over Crepeau’s outstretched hands to put Vancouver up 2-0.

The goal was Picault’s second of the season.

Portland replied early in the second half moments after Whitecaps midfielder Andreas Cubas was shown the yellow card for a foul on Diego Chara.

Cristhian Paredes took advantage of a defensive breakdown and sent a quick pass to an unmarked Evander. The Brazilian blasted a right-footed shot into the top corner of the net to make it 2-1.

Mora levelled the score in the 78th minute.

Evander sent a looping cross in and Mora got in front of Vancouver defender Tristan Blackmon to head the ball in from near the goal line.

Mora came off the bench for Antony in the 64th minute.

Raposo entered the game in the 81st minute, replacing Schopf.

The Canadian notched his second goal of the season six minutes later to restore Vancouver’s lead.

Picault collected a rebound inside the six-yard box and dished it off to Raposo. The Canadian tapped in a right-footed shot to make it 3-2 for the Whitecaps.

The Whitecaps will continue a four-game homestand when they host Toronto FC on April 6. The Timbers are set to visit Sporting Kansas City on April 7.

FOOTNOTES: Whitecaps head coach Vanni Sartini made his return to the sidelines after missing the first four games of the regular-season due to suspension. Many fans stood and cheered as Sartini walked out on to the field and he responded by waving to and clapping for the crowd. “¦ Crepeau, a former ‘Caps goalkeeper, played his first game in Vancouver as a member of the Timbers. The crowd booed the 29-year-old Canadian as he was announced on the big screen before the game and every time he touched the ball. “¦ Sam Adekube came off the bench in the 80th minute to make his first appearance of the season. The Canadian defender missed the first three games with a knee injury. Whitecaps striker Brian White was out after suffering a concussion last week. “¦ An announced crowd of 24,693 took in the game.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 30, 2024.

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