Jon Szekeres

Opinion: 'Caps lucky to win against Edmonton

Created on 26 Apr., 2013 1:58 AM GMT

In the end, the Whitecaps needed an Olympic level dive from Camilo to salvage a win against FC Edmonton. Yes, you read that correctly; this wasn't an MLS club, or even a very good NASL club. The Whitecaps actually needed to squeeze and grind out a win versus a club that was a heavy underdog. 

With the team resting most of it's core defensive players, it was understandable they might have a few hiccups. Greg Klazura, Johnny Leveron and Jordan Harvey all started on the backline, and all were making their first appearances of the season. Andy O'Brien was the only veteran on the line, and even he wasn't truly up to par. 

The Whitecaps started well, with a free kick from Camilo finding the back of the net at 5 minutes. It was a nice goal for sure, and it looked like the 'Caps were going to run away with the match, like they should've. Instead, FC Edmonton came right back, scoring just three minutes later. It was O'Brien heading a ball poorly, and Michael Cox pounced, knotting the score at 1. It was a brain cramp from a great defender, and you would think the Whitecaps would be hungry to put these kids in their place.

You would be wrong.

Edmonton would take the lead at 28', when Chris Nurse took a perfect corner off his head, giving Brad Knighton no chance to make the save. 2-1 Edmonton, and Vancouver looked downright embarrassed. Here was this club that wasn't even supposed to compete giving the Blue and White a run for their money. For a team that has had it's struggles this season, especially recently, it looked like this match would be another swift kick to the groin for all supporters. 

The 'Caps did come back ,but it wasn't a feel good story. Camilo worked his way into the box, then gave one of the biggest dives of the season to try a penalty kick. It was so obviously a dive, it was amazing the referees didn't notice. In fact, some say they did, but it was simply a makeup call for a missed penalty Jordan Harvey suffered just minutes before. In any case, it drew the penalty, and Camilo made no mistake, getting his second goal of the season. Edmonton Coach Colin Miller would eventually be tossed from the match for arguing with the referee, and really, who could blame the poor guy? If I was on the other side of the pitch, I would have been livid as well.

In any case, the Whitecaps managed to pull out the win thanks to a pretty crazy play. Nigel Reo-Coker's cross found the head of Edmonton defender Edson Edward, who accidentally played the ball off his own team's goal post. 'Caps substitute Tom Heinemann was the first to find the rebound, slotting it past the goalkeeper for the 3-2 victory. 

My thoughts.

When you break the match down, it's actually quite frustrating. Think about it; the Whitecaps gave up an early lead, needed a dive to tie the match, and then needed a seismic brain cramp by an Edmonton defender to actually win the match. This was supposed to be a confidence building game, in which the team would systematically pick apart their weaker opponent. Instead, the Whitecaps found themselves clawing for life, and in turn, looked like the weaker club. It was a surprising, head shaking match that left more questions than answers. Firstly, this was the effort the 'Caps put forth after their infamous 'rest' match against FC Dallas? I don't know, something tells me this club could be in for a heap of trouble as the season progresses. 

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