In the general scheme of things a 2-0 defeat on the road to Tigres isn’t that bad of a result for the Vancouver Whitecaps in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champion’s League semi-final.
The problem is that we don’t live in the general scheme of things (Actually, strike that. We very much live in the general scheme of things). I guess the point I’m trying to make is that 2-0 is both a good result and a frustratingly annoying one given the tenor of the game.
Tigres were clearly the better team for the full ninety minutes but the Whitecaps were able to scrape out two of the kind of chances that Carl Robinson must have been dreaming about if he ever managed to get any sleep last night.
On the first chance Brek Shea miscontrolled the ball, then half fell over and then fully dived to earn himself a yellow card for simulation (If you’re going to dive then dive properly!) and on the second Nicolas Mezquida shanked the ball wide when more composure could well have found the net.
The other disappointing element of the night for Vancouver was the quality of the set-pieces as they constantly failed to clear the first defender and, in a game where possession is as rare as a Donald Trump supporter in Mexico, those kind of chances cannot be squandered.
But for all those flaws the Whitecaps were mostly very good indeed.
And for once Robinson’s defensive mindset was both fully justified and well executed with Laba and Jacobson closing down space in the middle and Tim Parker looking every inch the future international he surely is.
Perhaps Sheanon Williams struggled to find his feet (Both literally and metaphorically) and Kendall Waston would love to have the few seconds that led up to his own goal back again.
But sometimes you just have to acknowledge that the opposition were the superior team and that both tired minds and tired bodies are unbeatable enemies in the end.
It seems unlikely that Vancouver can prevent Tigres from scoring at BC Place but at least the tie isn’t dead and buried.
And, perhaps for the first time this season, there is at least a sense of the team finding some kind of structure to build on.
Strange how uplifting some 2-0 defeats can be.
Time for the Soccer Shorts player ratings.
Ousted- 7, Williams-6, Parker-7.5*, Waston-6.5, Harvey-7, Laba-7, Jacobson-7, de Jong-6, Shea-6.6, Montero-5.5, Davies-7 (Bolaños-6.5, Mezquida-6.5,)