Vancouver Whitecaps 0 Montreal Impact 0: Match recap


Jun 25, 2014; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Montreal Impact defender Karl Ouimette (34) and Vancouver Whitecaps forward Kekuta Manneh (23) chase after the ball during the first half at BC Place. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

While most of North America was preparing for the big World Cup match between the USMNT and Germany, north of the border there was MLS action to be played on Wednesday night as the Vancouver Whitecaps hosted the Montreal Whitecaps at BC Place to an uneventful Nil-Nil draw.

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The “Canadian Derby” between the two former USL clubs gave the opportunity for two struggling sides in opposite conferences to get some momentum while teams deal with World Cup absences, Vancouver entered the match hoping to capitalize on the Impact’s poor road form as well as to get some distance between themselves and the rest of the Western Conference clubs in the playoff spots while they hold games at hand over the rest of the West. Montreal simply were hoping to continue to work past a nightmare start to their 2013/14 campaign and potentially steal a win that would give them their first full three points away from Quebec this season.

A potential entertaining match between the two turned into anything but, as uneventful play became the story of the day as a match between two teams showing signs of rust from the recent break in league play treated the Southsiders who came out to to support their Whitecaps to one of the more boring matches of the season.

The lone highlight of the first half came in the fourth minute when the Whitecaps needed to clear their line to avoid early disaster. Other than that, little entertainment was offered between two clubs that appeared to be getting a feel to returning to MLS play after a long layoff. (Canadian clubs do not have US Open Cup play)

To be fair, things were more exciting in the second half as both teams started to open things up and go for the win with a draw looming as an unsatisfactory result for both clubs in need of three points for different reasons.

Whitecaps midfielder Kekuta Manneh would register the first quality chance of the match as he fired a shot from outside the box that Impact keeper Troy Perkins had dive to keep the clean sheet stalemate before Pedro Morales nearly snuck a free kick home on a shot that needed another finger-tips save from Perkins that gave the hosts a belief that they could avoid a draw against the lowly Impact. 

In the final 20 minutes it would be the woodwork keeping the scoresheet empty as much as the goalkeepers as the Impact pressed forward after playing some of their best defensive soccer of the season, hitting the bar off a strike from midfielder Maxim Tissot who had Whitecaps keeper David Ousted beaten but did not get the breakthrough.

Vancouver would hit the crossbar next as Jordan Harvey’s rebound off another impressive save from Perkins wouldn’t find the back of the net in what would be the last quality chance from the hosts just a few minutes past the 80th minute mark.

Montreal would take over to end the match, pressing hard for a winner in search of their first away victory of the season and nearly got it in the 83rd minute when Jack McInerney headed one of his several quality chances of the match off the post following a free kick.

In added time the Impact would once again nearly steal the match, forcing Ousted to make several saves in a scramble in which Montreal showed they may have been a little less rusty than the Impact despite both clubs not playing in over two weeks before they split the points on Wednesday night.

The match will go down as a success for the Impact, who after conceding 26 goals in 13 matches before Wednesday in addition to playing poorly on the road to date managed to stifle the Whitecaps for the full 90 minutes in addition to arguably having the better of the chances. Still, they will regret not capitalizing on their late flurry of chances despite having a performance that they will hope to build on for Sunday’s home fixture with the Houston Dynamo at Stade Saputo.

For Vancouver the dropped points will be a disappointment, but they are still firmly in fifth place holding a two point lead and two games at hand over the Portland Timbers. In a three way tie for third place with the Colorado Rapids (who the Whitecaps also have a game at hand on) the Whitecaps attentions will need to quickly focus on getting points on the road from a Rapids team that will be motivated after losing to the Atlanta Silverbacks in the US Open Cup in a match that featured a brawl sending off multiple players on both sides. With the Rapids looking to turn around their week on Saturday the Impact will be in tough against Colorado, meaning that Vancouver will need to find their offensive rhythm after a long layoff soon if they want to continue to push for a playoff spot early in the summer of a tight Western Conference race.