With the Western Conference race showing no signs of relenting, taking just one point and no goals against last-place Chivas USA left the Vancouver Whitecaps understandably frustrated following Saturday night’s scoreless draw at StubHub Center.
The draw keeps Vancouver in the final playoff spot in the West but was a wasted opportunity to build on last week's dominant win over Sporting KC and put some light between themselves and the chasing pack.
"I'm frustrated, the boys are frustrated in there," Vancouver head coach Carl Robinson told the media in his postgame comments. "I think it was a game, again I keep saying it, that we could have won and we probably should have won, but we weren't quite good enough to win.
"Disappointing in that aspect, but I thought our defensive side was excellent. Another clean sheet, but we need to be better in the final third."
Vancouver have taken only two points from a possible nine against Chivas this season, and such results could yet prove costly as the playoff race comes down to the wire and their rivals keep the pressure on.
The Whitecaps just couldn't find a way through the Chivas barricade. All four Whitecaps attackers had a chance to show their worth, but there was very little teeth in the final touch with only three shots on target.
"I don't know," was Robinson's honest appraisal when asked what had been the case. "We'll look back on the video and analyze it.”
Without talismanic captain Pedro Morales, who continues to nurse hamstring tightness, for most of the game, Robinson went with a front four of Sebastian Fernandez, Omar Salgado, in just his second start of the year, Darren Mattocks and Nicolás Mezquida.
"I freshened it up by putting Omar in, but it didn't quite work in relation to creating chances,” Robinson said. “I think we got into decent areas without then obviously going by players out wide or getting into that little No. 10 area and creating that final pass. We huffed and puffed tonight without actually having any threat."
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Morales, who barely trained all week, came on for the final 20 minutes but was unable to change the outcome.
"It was a Catch-22 situation for me with Pedro today," Robinson said. "… I didn't want to take a risk because he was a little bit tight and sore after Sunday's game. But I want to try and win the game, which is why I made the decision to put him on to try and create something for us because the game had opened up slightly and it was going end to end."
Vancouver will return to StubHub once more next weekend to take on the fourth-place LA Galaxy, who now sit just one point above the Whitecaps in the West.