Vancouver Whitecaps FC overcame a two-goal deficit and completed a heroic second-half comeback to defeat the Portland Timbers 3-2 on Wednesday night at Providence Park in a pivotal Western Conference showdown with heavy Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoff implications.

The victory moved Vancouver into the seventh-and-final playoff spot, three points back of Portland, who will regret the missed opportunity to strengthen their odds at hosting a postseason match. The Timbers narrowly remain in fourth place with just four matches left to play.

Déiber Caicedo sparked life back into the Whitecaps in the 63rd minute with a brilliant solo run – carrying the ball from the halfway line, blazing by several Timbers' players before finishing with a low, hard shot – that brought Vancouver to within one.

In the 75th minute, Brian White – who has either scored or set up 10 of the Whitecaps' last 12 goals – stayed red-hot, netting the equalizer off Bruno Gaspar's cross to make it 2-2.

And seven minutes later, the Whitecaps completed their epic comeback. After drawing a foul in the box, Cristian Dájome stepped up to the penalty spot and calmly dispatched into the bottom-left corner, sending Steve Clark the wrong way to establish the visitors' 3-2 lead.

Portland initially roared to a strong start, as they opened the scoring in the 15th minute. Cristhian Paredes settled the ball atop the Whitecaps' box before laying it off to Yimmi Chara for a pinpoint strike – hit first time – into the bottom-left corner, making it 1-0 for the home side.

Just before halftime, Portland doubled their lead through Dairon Asprilla. The Timbers quickly pounced on a Vancouver giveaway as the ball made its way to Yimmi Chara. His first passing attempt was blocked, but the ball bounced back to the Colombian attacker and he quickly picked out his fellow countryman Asprilla running in behind to fire past Maxime Crépeau for a 2-0 advantage.

Portland had a golden opportunity early on – a chance they may just end up rueing. Off a corner kick in the ninth minute, the ball ricocheted to Sebastián Blanco in the six-yard box, but the Argentine midfielder fired his shot off the crossbar and out for a goal kick.

Goals

  • 15' - POR - Yimmi Chara | WATCH
  • 42' - POR - Dairon Asprilla | WATCH
  • 63' - VAN - Déiber Caicedo | WATCH
  • 75' - VAN - Brian White | WATCH
  • 82' - VAN - Cristian Dájome (PK) | WATCH
  • THE BIG PICTURE: Vancouver's comeback was legendary, and it's even more remarkable when you consider the stakes surrounding it. With just four games left to play, the Whitecaps leaped past Real Salt Lake into seventh place in the Western Conference standings. Just as important, Vancouver kept pace with several other potential playoff teams in the Western Conference who also earned three points Wednesday night. Meanwhile, the Timbers lost for just the second time in their last 10 outings. With only a three-point lead over the Whitecaps, the pressure is on Portland to bounce back as the 2021 campaign winds down.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Forget what it meant to Vancouver for a second – you won't see many individual runs as nice as Déiber Caicedo's this season.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Déiber Caicedo. He logged an inspired shift for Vancouver, and his solo goal ignited the visitors' eventual comeback.

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