Monday, June 8, 2009

A below par Vancouver Whitecaps went down 2-1 at home to Montreal on Sunday night.

The result leaves the Caps languishing 12 points off the top spot in 7th place in the USL First Division and saw them drop below the Montreal Impact on goal difference.

With games in hand and a long way still to go before the play off positions will be finalised, it's not a time to panic yet, but with a potential heavy Champions League schedule to come and a squad lacking depth in several positions, Vancouver may have to make the decision as to which competition will take priority in the coming weeks. For me personally, that would be the CONCACAF Champions League, putting, as it will, the Whitecaps on an international stage.

Last night's game was a bit of a lacklustre affair, with Montreal looking the hungrier team and Vancouver perhaps suffering a bit of a comedown from Tuesday night's heroics.

The goals all came in the first half, with both Montreal goals coming from former Whitecaps players.

Montreal took the lead midway through the first half when the Caps former goalscoring hero Eddie Sebrango hit home the rebound after Jay Nolly had saved well from Rocco Placentino after 20 minutes.

The Caps had had the better of the early play but the goal sparked Montreal into life, but without really threatening to increase their lead.

It was Vancouver who found the net next, when the hero from midweek, Ansu Toure, sent in a delightful ball to the back post and Marcus Haber had time to control and hit home from about six yards out, to tie things up after 42 minutes.

The parity didn't last long and the Southside was still in full celebration mode when David Testo hit a curler from the edge of the box into the top left hand corner of Nolly's net, giving the big Vancouver stopper no chance just a minute before half time and silencing the Swangard faithful.

The action died a little in the second half and Montreal ran out worthy winners, although the Impact were lucky not to see Sebrango sent off after he was about to be booked for diving in the box and pushed the referee in protest.

Whether a Montreal man reduction would have helped the Caps we'll never know, but with the distinct lack of creative flair and shots on target, you get the feeling that it wouldn't have.

Vancouver really need to work on their finishing in the coming weeks and try to at least make the opposing keepers make more saves than skying efforts high and wide constantly.

For Montreal, well let's just hope that they show the same appetite in the big game against Toronto on June 18th.

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