On Thursday morning, the Vancouver Whitecaps miraculously secured third place in Group B with a 2-0 win over the Chicago Fire. Here are three things we learned.
The Fire dominated the early proceedings of the match. They didn’t allow the Whitecaps to get a shot on target in the first half and entirely controlled the game. But then the game was halted due to a weather delay. From that point on, everything changed.
Minutes after the restart, Yordy Reyna put the Whitecaps ahead thanks to a great assist by Ali Adnan. Cristian Dajome then doubled the lead a short while after before VAR disallowed a goal for Chicago for handball in a wild second half.
Here are three things we learned from the shock Whitecaps’ victory.
3. Hope for Raphael Wicky rebuild
Despite the result, the Chicago Fire fared better from their previous outing against the San Jose Earthquakes. Raphael Wicky mentioned in the broadcast how tough it was breaking down defensive blocks. Vancouver were always going defend deep and they did so bravely.
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Nevertheless, the Chicago Fire created numerous excellent chances that illustrate their overall control of the match. Their first-half display showcased their dominance as they outshot Vancouver 10-1 in the first 45. They carried that momentum throughout up until the weather delay, with Robert Beric a constant threat. In the end, they outshot Vancouver 24 to four. Per Opta, it is the first time they list a match in which they outshot their opponents by 20 or more shots in 20 years.
Of course, losing this game was disappointing, especially after being on the front foot for so much of the match. After beating Seattle, two straight defeats have plummeted the high hopes of the club. Nevertheless, there is hope in the performance, if not the result. Wicky is conducting a rebuild in Chicago. It was ever going to happen overnight.