After a mostly quiet opening 15 minutes, it was the Whitecaps who opened the scoring. Spotting a number of runners around the penalty area, Ali Adnan curled a perfect cross into the six-yard box. Lucas Cavallini got his head on the ball, redirecting it past Quentin Westberg for his first MLS goal.
About 10 minutes later, Toronto FC equalized. It’s well-documented that Cavallini is a childhood friend of Jonathan Osorio, and TFC’s stand-in captain tied the game with a sweet left-footed volley. It was his first of the season, and means he has scored in all eight seasons he’s played with Toronto FC, according to Martyn Bailey.
The score would be 1-1 going into the break, but it wouldn’t take very long for Vancouver to take the lead again. After a Vancouver free kick was blocked by the wall, Michael Baldisimo took a touch and fired a sensational volley from outside the box, which flew into the top corner. Baldisimo followed it up with an acrobatic celebration, something he’s been practising for a long time.
Toronto would again tie it up in the 71st minute, as the Pablo Piatti and Alejandro Pozuelo partnership produced another big goal. Piatti fired in a dangerous cross, and Pozuelo got to it first, heading home from close range.
Pozuelo’s goal gave TFC a sudden energy boost, but the joy didn’t last long.
Just five minutes later, halftime substitute Jake Nerwinski scored what would end up being the winning goal, squeezing the ball home from a few yards out after another set piece. Andy Rose played the ball across the face of the goal and none of the TFC defenders cleared it, and the Whitecaps had three goals, and earned themselves three points.
It was a frustrating loss for a Toronto FC side that entered the match with only a win in mind, but the Whitecaps outplayed them, and deserved to pickup the points.
It was the first goals, and points, for Vancouver since they returned to action after the MLS Is Back tournament. It was a second consecutive loss for The Reds, who lost to the Montreal Impact in their previous match.
TFC will take on those same Montreal Impact on Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET in Montreal in what’s sure to be a thrilling affair. Up next for The Caps is a pair of games against the Impact, on the 13th and 16th of this month, both at B.C. Place. The Reds need Vancouver to steal a few points off their Quebec rivals.
FULL MATCH HIGHLIGHTS