VANCOUVER, B.C. — A late goal from Sebastien Le Toux fired the Vancouver Whitecaps to a 1-0 win over the Colorado Rapids at BC Place Saturday night, despite being reduced to 10 men following two yellows from Darren Mattocks a minute either side of 60.
Le Toux took his goal well in the 80th minute, getting on the end of a wonderful cross field ball from Davide Chiumiento to give the short-handed home side the lead.
Vancouver played the last half an hour down a man after Mattocks’ double booking, the first one of which was for simulation, with the second for a late tackle on Drew Moor.
The Rapids came very close to equalizing though -- in the 82nd minute Edu was denied a close range chance by a sliding Martin Bonjour challenge before Martin Rivero cracked a shot off the upright. In the 88th minute Hunter Freeman’s curling effort also went off the post when it looked destined for the back of the net, showing that lady luck wasn’t smiling on the Rapids.
The ‘Caps could have put some gloss on the win in the 92nd minute when Le Toux broke through alone but Matt Pickens made the final save of what had been an impressive individual performance.
Colorado started positively, holding a slight advantage in possession with 51.5 percent and generating the lion’s share of the chances. Their first sniff at goal came in the fourth minute, as Martin Bonjour under hit a back pass, forcing goalkeeper Joe Cannon to clear under pressure from Edu.
Edu played a part again in the 28th minute, teeing up Martin Rivero at the edge of the area, but the Argentine’s left-footed effort zipped just wide to the right of the target.
Six minutes later Rivero was at it again with another shot from outside the area, but Cannon pushed the ball away to his left. Shortly following that corner Kosuke Kimura had his own shot from just outside the box, but on this occasion Cannon was able to gather the shot with his well-timed dive.
Vancouver’s first half-chances were more sniffs that full blown opportunities, as Darren Mattocks nearly shell shocked the Rapids defense by getting on the end of a Davide Chiumiento ball behind the defense, but the Jamaican’s effort was stopped by Matt Pickens from a sharp angle.
They didn’t threaten again until two minutes from the end of the half, as Sebastien Le Toux found himself in alone on Pickens, but the goalkeeper reacted quickly to gather with a brave intervention.
The Whitecaps had their first chance of the second half when Le Toux sprung on a loose ball following an attempted shot from Lee Young-Pyo in the 50th minute, but Pickens did well to close the danger and block the shot from close range.
Then, a sending off from Darren Mattocks a minute either side of 60 changed everything. First the Jamaican was booked for simulation, and moments later picked up his second booking for a late tackle on Drew Moor, reducing the ‘Caps to 10 men.
In the 68th minute Edu beat Bonjour one on one outside the box, cutting in with a shot, but Cannon was able to gather at the second attempt. Seconds later Chiumiento was down the other end of the pitch, forcing Pickens into a low save.
Two minutes later Rochat set Le Toux up from close range, but Pickens somehow deflected the ball up onto the crossbar with a tremendous save, before the Rapids eventually cleared the danger. In the 75th minute John Thorrington attempted a curling effort, but once again Pickens dealt with the danger, punching it out to his left.
Vancouver weather the late storm and sealed the impressive shutout victory. The ‘Caps are now 7-3-4 and play next on Wednesday, as they host the New York Red Bulls. Colorado, dropping to 6-7-1, are back in action midweek as well, as they play the San Jose Earthquakes at home.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Matt Pickens||Pulled off a number of wonderful saves, Colorado could have been out of the game in the second half otherwise.|
|2||Sebastien Le Toux||The Frenchman worked tirelessly the whole game, before pouncing to net the game's only goal in typical fashion.|
|3||Martin Rivero||Colorado's playmaker pulled the strings all game long. Forced Cannon into a great save, before smashing the crossbar.|