Every Vancouver Whitecaps road game represents the Platonic Ideal of why they are not very good on the road.
A promising start with a few good chances missed. The confidence and energy levels drop and mistakes start to be made both in and out of possession. A goal is conceded. The Whitecaps then wake up again and begin to play the way they should have been playing when the scores were level.
And so it was against Cavalry in the Canadian Championship but, luckily, Vancouver have finally found something they are good at.
All five spot kicks were slotted home with a sense of aplomb sadly missing for most of the game.
But, before then, Vanni Sartini must have been regretting building this game up as the “biggest of the season” as his team reverted to type and allowed an inferior team (and how novel that must have been!) to push them all the way before the surprisingly competent denouement.
If the Whitecaps go on to win the trophy then this game will fade into the mists of time. Actually, it will fade into the mists of time even if they don’t win the trophy given how forgettable it mostly was.
I barely remember it even now.
But it’s best if we think of this win as a reprieve rather than a redemption. An escape rather than an escapade.
Time for the Soccer Shorts plater ratings!
Cropper-5, Raposo-3, Guttierezz-4, Godoy-4.5, Veselinovic-4.5, Brown-4.5, Teibert-3, Baldisimo-4.5, Caicedo-5.5, Gauld-4, Cavallini-3 (Berhalter-4)