June 21st, 2024

Whitecaps lose 1-0 to Cavalry, but advance to Voyageurs Cup semifinals

By Carol Schram, The Canadian Press on May 21, 2024.

Cavalry FC's Sergio Camargo, left, and Vancouver Whitecaps' Luís Martins, right, compete for ball possession during the first half of a Canadian Championship quarterfinal soccer match, in Vancouver, on Tuesday, May 21, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ethan Cairns

VANCOUVER – Both sides came out winners in Canadian Championship competition at BC Place on Tuesday night.

Cavalry FC of the Canadian Premier League logged its first road win of the year with a 1-0 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps of MLS.

The two-leg quarterfinal ended in a 2-2 draw, but because the Whitecaps won the first leg of the tie by a 2-1 score in Calgary on May 7, their 2-1 advantage in road goals is enough for them to advance to the semifinals in their quest for a third consecutive Voyageurs Cup.

The only scoring in the match was an own goal by Ranko Veselinovic on Vancouver’s Isaac Boehmer, in the 32nd minute.

On Tuesday, a pair of 19-year-olds made their first-ever starts with the Whitecaps’ first team: second-team forward Cyprian Kachwele and Australian defender Giuseppe Bovalina, who was acquired on April 23.

Both defences excelled throughout the match, keeping quality scoring chances to a minimum as the Whitecaps carried the edge in possession.

Cavalry’s goal came when a cross attempt from attacker William Akio deflected into the net off of the Vancouver defender, Veselinovic.

The Whitecaps began the second half by subbing in two of their most reliable offensive forces, leading scorer Brian White and captain Ryan Gauld. A great running drive from Pedro Vite in the 75th minute showed promise, but was smothered by Marco Carducci, and a promising run by Brian White in the 80th minute was ruled offside.

Through the match, yellow cards were shown to the Whitecaps’ Pedro Vite and Ali Ahmed, and to Cavalry’s Jesse Daley, Lleyton Brooks, Daan Klomp and Sergio Camargo.

As he was in Calgary, Boehmer was tapped as goalkeeper. It was the second start of the year for the 22-year-old from Penticton, B.C., with Vancouver’s top team, up against Calgary native Carducci on the other side.

Back at BC Place for the first time since a scoreless draw against Austin FC on May 4, goals were still hard to come by for the Whitecaps.

Levonte Johnson, the Whitecaps’ 2023 SuperDraft selection out of Brampton, Ont., scored both goals in that contest and has since parlayed that performance into more minutes from coach Vanni Sartini in MLS match play.

The Canadian Championship will also be a home-and-home series, with games to be played in early July and late August.

The Canadian Championship winner hoists the Voyageurs Cup and qualifies for the CONCACAF Champions Cup, the elite men’s club competition in North and Central America and the Caribbean.

NOTES

On a rainy Tuesday in Vancouver, with the roof closed at BC Place, attendance was 11,853. That’s a fraction of the more than 50,000 fans who are expected when Inter Miami CF plays its first-ever match against the Whitecaps on Saturday, with Lionel Messi expected to make his one and only MLS appearance in Vancouver. “¦ The loss drops the Whitecaps’ record against Canadian opponents across all competitions to 10-2-2 since Sartini took the reins as head coach in August of 2021. “¦ The win is the first of the year on the road for Cavalry. On July 24, 2019, they became the first CPL side ever to earn a win against MLS competition when they beat the Whitecaps 2-1 at BC Place. “¦ Also on Tuesday, Toronto FC beat CS St-Laurent 8-1 to advance to the semifinal with an aggregate score of 11-1.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 21, 2024.

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