NEW YORK – When Octavio Rivero capitalized off a blunder by New York City FC goalkeeper Josh Saunders forced by Nicolas Mezquida, the Vancouver Whitecaps had a lead before many had gotten into their seats at Yankee Stadium.
The goal on 36 seconds was the second fastest in club history, set by Eric Hassli at 33 seconds against the Chicago Fire on August 7, 2011.
It was a fast start for the visitors. Too fast for Whitecaps coach Carl Robinson, who saw his team fall to NYCFC, 3-2, Saturday afternoon.
“We probably scored too early, scoring in the [36th] second and holding on for 89 minutes was never going to be done, [it was] a problem for us,” said Robinson, who believed his team deserved something out of their third game in eight days.
Robinson was encouraged his side, which scored just four goals in its first five matches in April, as they struck twice away from home. But that emotion is balanced out by the three conceded.
“We have not scored as many goals as we would like in the first nine games and to go away from home and score, you’re very pleased with that. But you concede three, which you’re not very pleased with,” Robinson said. “It’s finding a balance, trying to be exciting, score goals and trying to keep it out of the back end. We got a bit of everything today.”
Already without Kendall Waston due to suspension after he was sent off in a 1-1 draw against Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday, Robinson saw Rivero forced off with an ankle injury in the 27th minute.
Still, the Whitecaps continued to battle and, after a David Villa brace late in the first half, rallied to draw level when Christian Bolaños followed his own saved penalty kick to score his second goal of the year.
“I think we just need to keep doing what we’re doing and obviously keep creating chances,” defender and Long Island native Tim Parker said. “But more importantly when we go on the road and get into tough competitions like this I think it’s important to keep the ball out of the net and I think that obviously showed today.”