Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Champions League football fest this week continued on Wednesday evening when Vancouver Whitecaps kicked off their qualifying campaign in the CONCACAF version with a game at Toronto in the Canadian Championship.

With the Caps having never been beaten by TFC, it was a record that all Caps fans hoped would continue. We'd have been happy with a point in the end, but as it turned out an early Toronto goal caught Vancouver cold and proved to be the only goal of the game in horrendous conditions.

With the stands emptying quicker than an all you can eat pork buffet at a Mexican beach resort, there was more plastic on display for the watching national TV audience than is usual when you're watch the plastic Toronto fans in action. They clearly don't like the rain, those pampered east coast softies.

If you're going to go to all that bother of building a new football stadium, you'd have thought you'd have put a roof on the whole thing. I thought uncovered terraces harked back to the halcyon days of UK football and only still exist at old fashioned football stadia or Clubs that has no cash. Not forward thinking football clubs like TFC would have us believe they are.

That forward thinking clearly extends to throwing cups full of beer and other objects at Whitecaps players. As classy as Portland and as equally disliked. Nice badges of honour there.

The game itself was poor stuff from both sides. The Caps could have grabbed a draw in the closing minutes but Marlon James couldn't continue his scoring ways from the weekend.

Vancouver's final ball into the box let them down time and time again, but they certainly held their own against their MLS opponents, in what is still a makeshift Caps side due to injuries.

Vancouver need to get some of these players back as soon as they can if they don't want their Champions League campaign to be over before it's really begun like last season. The important thing is they only lost by one goal.

With so much at stake, there's still all to play for and qualification is still in the Caps hands and with the Southside right behind them for two of their three remaining games, I wouldn't write them off just yet.

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