Canada Soccer

Whitecaps FC stay alive in the hunt for CONCACAF Champions League

Posted on 19 May 2010 in Canadian Championship

Vancouver Whitecaps FC earned a single point on Match Day Four of the 2010 Nutrilite Canadian Championship, playing visiting Toronto FC to a 0:0 draw at Swangard Stadium. The draw keeps Vancouver alive in the race for the Voyageurs Cup and a spot in 2009-10 CONCACAF Champions League.

Whitecaps FC moves to Montréal next week for Match Day Five in a must-win situation against the Impact. Whitecaps can still win the championship with back-to-back wins against Montréal and Toronto, but Toronto will win if Vancouver slips and takes anything less than three points in each of the next two matches.

"Absolutely, we can go to Montréal and Toronto and play as we did today," said Vancouver Whitecaps FC head coach Teitur Thordarsson. "Most probably we will get chances there (as we did here today). It's just a matter of patience... it will come together."

Toronto FC could have clinched the championship with a third-straight win, but the team was on a western road trip that included a Saturday match in Los Angeles in league play.

Vancouver had been waiting patiently at home and had a good Saturday performance in the league against Montréal. A win could have actually put the team in the driver's seat when it faced Toronto in two week's time.

Despite Vancouver's chances and stretches of control, it could not score against Toronto on this night.

"I admit, I would have liked at least one (goal) today," said Thordarsson.

Vancouver's starting XI featured Jay Nolly in goal, Wes Knight, Greg Janicki, Nelson Akwari and Zurab Tsiskaridze at defence, Justin Moose, Ricardo Sanchez, Luca Bellisomo and Ansu Touré at midfield, and Marcus Haber and Cornelius Stewart at forward.

Toronto's starting XI featured Jon Conway in goal, Maksim Usanov, Nana Attakora, Adrian Cann and Raivis Hscanovics at defence, Dan Gargan, Nick Labrocco, Amadou Sanyang and Gabriel Gala at midfield, and Dwayne De Rosario and O'Brian White at forward.

The chances were few and far between in the first half. Vancouver did win four corner kicks and create a couple of scoring attempts. Stewart created a good attack with a run down the line, but his shot from a tough angle missed the target.

"As the game progressed, the guys were definitely a little leggy and mentally fatigued," said Toronto FC captain De Rosario. "In all fairness, we came here with a point and we had quite a few chances. We knew it was going to be a tough game and we knew that Vancouver would be up for the game."

In the second half, Vancouver jumped out with a few more chances. Haber made some good runs and made a good cross - albeit just wide - in the 67th minute. A minute later, Stewart made a great run with the ball of the left side, but his shot was also wide.

As the second half progressed, Toronto created some chances, two of which were led by De Rosario. As play winded down, though, Vancouver returned on the attack and even created a couple of chances in the dying minutes. Its last rush featured a free kick in the 93rd minute, but did not produce a goal.

Toronto FC remains in first place in the Nutrilite Canadian Championship, now with seven points after three matches. Its next match is 2 June in Toronto against Vancouver. The Whitecaps, meanwhile have two points after two matches. It plays 26 May in Montréal and 2 June in Toronto.

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