There is winning, and then there is winning beautifully. The Vancouver Whitecaps just gave us a lesson in the latter.
The Whitecaps put forth an all-around impressive performance and defeated Sporting Kansas City, 2-0, at BC Place on Saturday. Christian Bolaños led the way for Vancouver with a pair of assists, which set up the goals that came from Cristian Techera and Tim Parker on each side of halftime.
Carl Robinson's side played some aesthetically-pleasing soccer and could have won the Western Conference tilt by more, but Fredy Montero had a penalty kick saved and saw a late header get denied by the post.
- THAT WAS PRETTY: The Vancouver Whitecaps may have just turned in their best performance of the season. Yes, it took some time for them to get into the game, but they seemed to gain a pile of confidence after scoring the gorgeous winner with some stellar team play in the 40th minute. Fredy Montero, Cristian Techera, and Christian Bolaños were just a few of the players to combine well and go at defenders with aggressive dribbles and creative moves, and the solid contributions all across the field allowed the Whitecaps to overwhelm a Sporting Kansas City side that is normally tougher to play against. Truth be told, the scoreline for this one could have been much more lopsided.
- BOL-LING OUT: While the majority of Vancouver's players turned in strong shifts, one that really stood out was Bolaños. The Costa Rican attacker not only delivered a pair of assists, including with a nice chested pass on the opener, but he was constantly in the thick of things for the Whitecaps. The veteran made good decisions with the ball throughout his time on the field, and deservedly left to a good ovation when he was substituted in the 78th minute. Not bad for just turning 33-years-old three days ago.
- NOT AT FULL STRENGTH: Sporting KC started the game looking the better side, but eventually could not match up with the Whitecaps in terms of quality. Part of that was due to regular starters like Benny Feilhaber and Ike Opara being rested after a busy week, but Kansas City were also hamstrung by an injury to first-choice forward Dom Dwyer. Sporting KC tried to make do regardless and had a good chance to take the lead in the first half when Gerso impressively brought down a ball in the penalty area, but that was as close as they ever got.
- VAN: Canadian Championship: Tuesday, May 23 – vs. Montreal Impact (7 pm ET | TSN1)
- SKC: Saturday, May 27 – at Colorado Rapids (8 pm ET | MLS LIVE)