Carl Robinson lauds youngsters' progress as Vancouver Whitecaps book first road win of 2014

It was an evening of firsts for the Vancouver Whitecaps in Columbus on Saturday evening.

A 37th-minute stunner from Erik Hurtado was all that separated the teams to give the Whitecaps their first road win of the season and extend the Crew's winless streak to seven games.

"First of all, it's nice to get your first away win but I think more important than that was the performance," Whitecaps coach Carl Robinson told Vancouver's Team 1410 radio after the match.

"I thought we were absolutely excellent today in the way we set out our game plan and took one chance, and I'm disappointed that we only took one chance, but it worked a treat against a very good Columbus team that likes to play football the right way."

That one chance was taken by Hurtado, giving the second year striker his first goal in Major League Soccer. It was a memorable way to break his duck and the 23-year-old did well to bring down goalkeeper David Ousted's long free kick before taking a touch and unleashing a 20-yard shot into the top left corner.

Robinson described the strike as "an absolute peach."

The goal was enough to give the 'Caps the win and bring some relief for Hurtado as he finally got his MLS goalscoring record off the mark, although it was just one of five good chances that fell to the Whitecaps' forward on the night.

"I got to work on finishing next week. I could have had two, I could have had three, but I got to learn from that," Hurtado told Team 1410 after the game. "I'm a young player but I've got to finish my chances the next time I get them.

"I've been focusing on just being calm and thinking before I get the ball – seeing the field before I get it and what I'm going to do and just attacking like I've always done my entire life. I've been working on my finishing a lot and it's proven today that hard work pays off."

The match marked the first time that Hurtado and Kekuta Manneh had started together in MLS, and the 2013 SuperDraft picks caused problems for the home side from the kickoff.

Their pace helped to create a number of chances and the main complaint for Vancouver will be that they didn't take more of them, with only six shots on target from 22 attempts.

Robinson's Whitecaps are very much a different proposition on the road to Vancouver's teams of the last couple of years, and he has been keen to implement the same attacking system wherever they play.

They don't sit back, even when they have the lead, and in Columbus they took the game to the Crew for most of the match.

"It was a thoroughly good performance for 90 minutes and that's the tone we have to set," Robinson said. "It seemed like a home performance, only on the road, and that will be my biggest challenge, continuing that process with these guys."

"I'll continue to look at ideas at how we can improve this team. Yeah, we got a good performance tonight but it's about continuing to improve week in, week out."

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