Three second-half goals from Vancouver Whitecaps FC led the hosts to an emphatic 4-1 victory over Real Salt Lake at BC Place Sunday evening.

Second-half goals from Brian White, Ryan Gauld and Florian Jungwirth gave the Whitecaps all three points at home, with White finding the back of the net for the third straight game and Gauld for the second-straight. The Whitecaps have now won three straight matches and are undefeated over their past nine.

It was a battle between two interim coaches, with Vancouver beginning the Vanni Sartini era in dream fashion after the club parted ways with head coach Marc Dos Santos on Friday. Real Salt Lake were left to lick their wounds in their first clash without former head coach Freddy Juarez, who on Friday departed the club to explore a new opportunity. In Juarez's place, RSL were led by assistant Pablo Mastroeni.

The Whitecaps' opening goal arrived in the 33rd minute when right back Javain Brown hit a shot on frame; a deflection off of RSL defender Marcelo Silva sent the ball into his own net.

Heroics from Maxime Crepeau denied the guests an opener four minutes before the halftime whistle after defender Noah Powder struck from distance with a curling effort. But Crepeau managed to get a hand on the ball, pushing it off the post.

The floodgates opened in the second half, with former New York Red Bulls striker White kicking things off in the 53rd minute. White pounced on a rebound in the box after RSL goalkeeper Andrew Putna failed to adequately deal with a swerving cross-shot from Cristian Dajome. The ball landed right in front of White, who smashed it home.

Gauld, Vancouver's newest Designated Player, then got in on the action for his second MLS goal in as many games. The Scottsman was found wide open on the far post and headed home in clear-cut fashion. Five minutes later, Jungwirth found himself on the scoresheet as well. He headed home a Gauld corner kick into the top right corner, celebrating his first start since a midseason trade from San Jose.

RSL salvaged a late consolation goal through Anderson Julio after the on-loan winger found the back of the net off a deflection from the crossbar. But the 90th-minute strike was far too little, far too late.

Goals

  • 33' - VAN - Marcelo Silva (OG) | WATCH
  • 53' - VAN - Brian White | WATCH
  • 64' - VAN - Ryan Gauld | WATCH
  • 69' - VAN - Florian Jungwirth | WATCH
  • 90' - RSL - Anderson Julio | WATCH

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: This was a near-perfect performance from the Whitecaps, who are suddenly, despite the coaching change, on a surge up the Western Conference standings. With this victory, their third straight, they find themselves firmly in the battle for a playoff spot. For Real Salt Lake, it’s a tough start to the post-Freddy Juarez era. While still in a playoff spot, they're now just a point clear of the Whitecaps and firmly looking over their shoulders.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: This Maxime Crepeau save. If Crepeau doesn’t come up big here, RSL get an opening goal and the complexion of the match completely changes.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Ryan Gauld dictated the tempo while creating numerous chances. He scored Vancouver's third and assisted their fourth goal – an easy candidate for MOTM.
  • VAN: Saturday, September 4 vs. Austin FC | 7 pm ET (MLS LIVE on ESPN+)
  • RSL: Saturday, September 4 vs. FC Dallas | 8 pm ET (MLS LIVE on ESPN+)