Post-Match Review #32 : Montero begins his 2020 preseason flying with two game-saving goals in two games.

The Vancouver Whitecaps faced off against the Columbus Crew on a rare afternoon match at BC Place. The roof was open, the sky was overcast, the stands were looking sparse, and the ‘Caps were looking to get 2 wins in a row – a feat they’ve only been able to accomplish once so far this season.

Things kicked off shortly after 2 PM at BC Place, and the stadium felt.. different than usual. The supporters section looked very small, and things were quiet in the stadium. It almost felt as if Vancouver was still asleep for this one.

The fans in the stadium seemed to need a big Russel Teibert chance to get woken up. Teibert got slipped in and tested the keeper with a blistering shot which couldn’t ripple the netting, before Inbeom Hwang tried a shot which went wide of the target. A sloppy goalkeeper rush from MacMath resulted in a yellow card and a Columbus PK, which Gyasi Zardes converted beautifully.

This Macmath misjudgement was an obvious dagger in his match performance, but excluding this, Macmath actually had a pretty good match Between the Sticks for the Whitecaps. He came up big with multiple big saves that saved the Whitecaps from going down more than 1 goal. The ‘Caps couldn’t seem to maintain much possession during this first half, ending the half with 40% possession. 

The second half proved to be quite uneventful on the whole, but there were some big events such as a Tosaint Ricketts chance that left fans wondering how on earth the ball didn’t cross the goal line. The Whitecaps made 3 subs in the 2nd half – Montero for Ricketts, Chirinos for Bair, and Nerwinski for Sutter – all like-for-like subs. Time passed until the 4th official announced there would be 3 minutes of extra time, and fans began to flood towards the gates and leave BC Place.

They would later regret that decision when Ali Adnan went soaring up the left wing as he does so often, and delivered a deep ball to the back post which at first seemed too far for anyone to connect with. However, Fredy Montero leapt up higher than anyone and was able to connect with the ball.

And what a connection it was. The ball almost magically looped over the goalkeeper and rippled the netting. What a moment it was. For the second time in a row, Fredy Montero saved the day for the Whitecaps. The final whistle sounded right after the ensuing kickoff.  

Man of the Match : Inbeom Hwang

A positive performance from the South Korean (Keveren Guillou).

Inbeom Hwang gets the BTS Man of the Match for his performance today. His energy and work ethic on and off the ball were a step up from everyone else, and he kept fighting for the entire duration of the match. He seemed more positive in possession than in other games, which took the form of playing more forward passes than usual. Perhaps this new-found confidence came from his penalty goal last week.

BTSVancity Player to Watch: Fredy Montero

Fredy will be chasing more goals in the last two matches of the season (Keveren Guillou).

This one’s an obvious pick. Everyone’s going to be watching if Fredy can do it again next week with the late goal. Some late form would be great for him after a disappointing season this year. It appears as if Fredy has been found in these last two games, and has gotten the service he’s been looking for all season.

Up Next: Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs LAFC – Sunday September 29th – 4:30PM PST. Dignity Health Tennis Centre.

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