Chicago Fire FC 0, Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 | MLS is Back Tournament Match Recap

It was a tale of two periods of play in the Vancouver Whitecaps' 2-0 win over Chicago Fire FC: Before and after the weather delay. 

The two-goal victory was exactly what Vancouver needed, making up the requisite goal difference to clinch qualification to the Knockout Stage of the MLS is Back Tournament, while Chicago have been eliminated.

When the match entered a weather delay due to lightning in the 63rd minute, the Fire were dominating play. The break lasted a little more than an hour and a half, and after the Whitecaps emerged the better side. 

Vancouver got the breakthrough in the 65th minute, as Ali Adnan put Yordy Reyna through on goal. He rounded Kenneth Kronholm and rolled he ball into the back of the net. It was Vancouver's first shot on target of the match. 

A few minutes later they doubled their lead, as Reyna turned provider, slipping Cristian Dajome through on goal. Dajome calmly finished his chance past Kronholm. 

The Fire nearly clawed a goal back in the 84th minute, which would have been enough to advance despite the loss, but a CJ Sapong goal was called back via Video Review due to a handball. 

Whitecaps Homegrown goalkeeper Thomas Hasal, ostensibly the club's third-string GK, made his first MLS start with Maxime Crepeau and Bryan Meredith unavailable. The 21-year-old made four saves. 

Goals

  • 65' — VAN — Yordy Reyna | WATCH
  • 71' — VAN — Cristian Dajome | WATCH

Man of the Match presented by Heineken 

Entering the game in the 57th minute, Yordy Reyna's performance was the definition of a super-sub.

The Whitecaps were mostly defending and not carving out much in attack before he was brought on, then he immediately delivered with a goal and an assist to send Vancouver through. Again: They needed a two-goal victory to advance. 

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: How about that for a response by the short-handed Whitecaps? Without a number of key players, like Crepeau, Lucas Cavallini and a handful more, facing an uphill battle to advance, they delivered a classic smash-and-grab to get their result. How long can the magic last? They will face either Toronto FC or Sporting Kansas City in the Round of 16.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Here's Reyna's opener, against the run of play.
  • YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED: It was a goal line scramble that culminated with CJ Sapong putting the ball in the back of the net, but it was overturned due to a handball on Sapong. What do you think?
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