Vancouver 1 (Hurtado) – Columbus 0
Erik Hurtado would score his first MLS goal with a beautiful curling effort in the first half to give the Whitecaps a 1-0 win in a game that the Whitecaps continued to generate chances in and could have had 3 o 4 goals on the evening. David Ousted got the clean sheet in a game where he didn’t have much to do, and Omar Salgado made his first MLS appearance this season, just missing a chip shot at the end of the game.
The Vancouver Whitecaps traveled to Columbus Saturday afternoon to take on the Columbus Crew, an MLS match sandwiched in between the two legs of the Canadian Championship semi-final against Toronto FC. Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson went with the same starting lineup that gave him a 3-2 victory against the San Jose Earthquakes minus Darren Mattocks, who suffered a hamstring pull in that game. Erik Hurtado started in his place up front in a 4-2-3-1 formation.
Sebastian Fernandez missed a couple of good chances in the first 10 minutes but his effort signaled the attacking intent of the Whitecaps early on. Erik Hurtado had a shot on goal as well in the first 10 minutes that was palmed away by Crew keeper Steve Clark.
In the 23rd minute Gershon Koffie earned a yellow card for a foul in the middle of the park. The Whitecaps would generate a couple more half chances before Tony Tchani fouled Sebastian Fernandez, earning got away without earning a yellow card. The play after the restart would eventually turn into a corner, which turned into a Jordan Harvey header on goal, which was saved by Clark.
Vancouver would finally get its goal through Erik Hurtado, the first of his career, bring the ball down then pushing it towards the middle of the park before curling a shot from just outside the box into the net past Clark to give the Whitecaps a much deserved 1-0 lead.
The Whitecaps would take that lead into the first half and early in the 2nd would generate a couple more chances quickly, with Kekuta Manneh striking a shot from long range that just missed the target, and then Manneh sent in Erik Hurtado all alone moments later but Hurtado lost his bearings and scuppered the shot way wide of the target.
Wil Trapp would then earn a yellow card for Columbus for a foul on Kekuta Manneh in the 52nd minute. Pedro Morales would then smash his free kick into the wall, and the play would eventually be called offside on Erik Hurtado.
Hurtado had another chance on goal in the 58th minute, getting past the first defender before his shot would be deflected out for corner, which was cleared by Columbus. 5 minutes later Columbus would make a substitution with Dominic Oduro coming in for Hector Jimenez.
On 73 minutes Omar Salgado would come in got Erik Hurtado, making his first MLS appearance of the season. Columbus would start to generate more chances on goal, and the Whitecaps would counter by bringing on Russell Teibert for Pedro Morales in the 81st minute.
Columbus would almost tie it late through Wil Trapp, who’s long shot was deflected past David Ousted and just past the post wide of the net. The Whitecaps would then get a glorious chance on the counter from the Columbus corner, with Omar Salgado in all alone from half field but his chip over the keeper would just go wide of the far post to keep the game at 1-0. Nigel Reo-Coker would come on for Matias Laba late.
In stoppage time Steven Beitashour would earn a yellow card for pulling down a Columbus player in the offensive zone. The resulting free kick would eventually go out for a corner, but Columbus could only send the ball high and wide on their final shot of the game. The Whitecaps would win 1-0.
The Whitecaps out shot Columbus 22-12 in a game where the Whitecaps could have had 3 or 4 goals. David Ousted earned the clean sheet, and the Whitecaps will now return home to get ready for Toronto FC in the 2nd leg of the Canadian Championship where they will hope to reverse a 2-1 deficit on Wednesday.