The Vancouver Whitecaps turned a 1-0 halftime deficit into a 2-1 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes at Providence Park on Saturday, courtesy of a free-kick golazo from Ali Adnan and a 57th-minute game-winner from Tosaint Ricketts.
The three points pulled Vancouver back up above the playoff line, where they're level with San Jose on 24 points but ahead on the total wins tiebreaker, as the sides continue to jostle for one of the final postseason spots in the Western Conference.
The Quakes jumped on top in the 24th minute when Cristian Espinoza sent in an inch-perfect cross from the right side that Carlos Fierro put into the net with a cheeky first-time finish, giving San Jose a lead they would hold through the halftime whistle.
But the Whitecaps would get the equalizer six minutes after second-half kickoff, courtesy of a highlight-reel set piece from Adnan. The left back ripped home a gorgeous strike from deep outside the area past Quakes goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski.
Vancouver then got the go-ahead goal in the 57th minute after a cross from Cristian Dajome was deflected by Marcinkowski in front of goal, where Ricketts had lost his defender. The 33-year-old made no mistake with the loose ball, applying a point-blank finish that gave the Whitecaps the second-half lead, which they would not relinquish.
- THE BIG PICTURE: In a matchup of two teams that need all the points they can get down the stretch to solidify a playoff spot, this is a crucial win for the Whitecaps. They'll need to keep accumulating positive results to maintain their spot, but credit to Vancouver for at least giving themselves a chance when many had probably written them off.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: This free kick from Adnan is an AT&T Goal of the Week candidate, and also changed the entire dynamic of the match, as the Whitecaps looked the superior side in its aftermath.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: How about some love for Tosaint Ricketts? The veteran had only played 291 minutes this season entering this matchup, but he played the hero role in this contest with the second-half game-winner.