The Vancouver Whitecaps made team history on Thursday night, defeating the New York Red Bulls 2-0 at BC Place in the second leg of the 2016-17 CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal series, to win the series 3-1 on aggregate and advance to the semifinal round.
The Whitecaps opened the scoring just five minutes in, with teenager Alphonso Davies controlling a low cross in the box and burying the chance. They sealed the series in the 76th minute, as Fredy Montero came off the bench and scored a slapshot in his Whitecaps debut.
- Whitecaps become seventh MLS team to reach CCL semifinals
- Goals from Davies, Montero give Whitecaps hope for 2017 season
- Davies does it again for Vancouver in CCL
- Montero makes immediate impact in 'Caps debut
- WHITECAPS MAKE HISTORY: The Whitecaps were the first seed in the knockout round, so their prior record this tournament showed what they could do. While the Red Bulls were very much in the match – and the series -–throughout, the Whitecaps were a little bit sharper on both ends and ultimately deserved the win. It's the first time the Whitecaps have qualified for the CCL semifinals, the seventh MLS team to do so in the current tournament format, and now they have a very difficult match-up in the next round, against Liga MX power Tigres.
- NEWCOMERS IMPRESS: Brek Shea was a rather surprise starter up top for the Whitecaps, but the newly-arrived veteran put in a solid shift in his debut for the club. And Montero's first appearance for his new club went rather well, too, although he had a chance to ice the series even more late in the game and fluffed his chance. Still, if Shea and Montero can offer more, the Whitecaps will likely be in better shape in attack this season in MLS.
- CLOSE CALLS FOR RED BULLS: The Red Bulls, meanwhile, will be left to rue what's happened in the series. Vancouver goalkeeper David Ousted continued his heroics from the first leg with a key save in the second on Daniel Royer, and a later chance, also taken by Royer, slid across the goalmouth but was ultimately chalked off for offside. Even with Vancouver entering the knockout rounds as the CCL's top seed, the Red Bulls will wonder what could have been as their tournament ends.