Whitecaps edge Earthquakes 3-2

Whitecaps edge Earthquakes 3-2
May 3, 2014, 9:15 pm
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Chris Wondolowski scored his fifth goal of the season a minute into stoppage time. (USATSI)

BOX SCORE

There were a few worrying moments towards the end but Vancouver Whitecaps saw off San Jose Earthquakes 3-2 to record their first win of the season against Western Conference opposition.

The Whitecaps got off to a dream start, scoring three goals to the good by the 20 minute mark thanks to a brace from Pedro Morales, and an opener from Kekuta Manneh. Chris Wondolowski struck a goal at the death in each half to make it interesting but the Whitecaps held firm and rounded off their 40th anniversary celebrations with a vital win.

The Whitecaps attacked from the off and had a couple of chances before Kekuta Manneh opened the scoring in the 10th minute.

The Gambian collected a pass from Matias Laba, ran into the box and cracked a fierce shot off the left hand post. The rebound came straight back to Manneh and this time he made no mistake, curling a beauty off the other post and into the net for a Whitecaps lead.

Vancouver were looking hungry and pushed for more and they got their reward when Darren Mattocks was felled in the box by Victor Bernardez and Pedro Morales stepped up to send Job Busch the wrong way in the 19th minute to double the Caps' lead.

Morales then grabbed his own brace less than a minute later, taking a touch before unleashing a low 20 yard drive into the bottom left corner.

Vancouver were cruising but were dealt a blow when Mattocks was forced to go off injured as the half hour mark approached with what looks to be a hamstring injury. He was replaced by Erik Hurtado who nearly added to Vancouver's total but saw his shot cleared off the line by Sam Cronin in the 34th minute.

San Jose pulled one back on the stroke of half time when Caps captain Jay DeMerit clattered into Alan Gordon in the box and Chris Wondolowski slammed home the spot kick. The goal clearly gave San Jose some belief and they came out all guns blazing to start the second, pressuring hard but without forcing any clear cut chances.

It was Vancouver who had the best chance though when his shot was saved by Busch in the 54th minute and Manneh blasted over the rebound. Gershon Koffie did have the ball in the back of the net again for Vancouver with nine minutes remaining but it was ruled out for a handball by the Ghanaian.

With little of note and the game seemingly coming to an inevitable conclusion, Wondolowski made it interesting with his second of the game a minute into stoppage time, when his shot in the box deflect off DeMerit and past a wrong footed David Ousted. 

San Jose's reputation for last ditch heroics had some in BC Place worried but they couldn't muster another telling attack and Vancouver held firm for the three points.

San Jose Earthquakes: Jon Busch; Brandon Barklage, Victor Bernardez, Clarence Goodson, Jordan Stewart; Cordell Cato, J.J. Koval, Sam Cronin, Shea Salinas; Chris Wondolowski, Yannick Djalo 

ATT: 21,000 sell-out

Vancouver Whitecaps: David Ousted; Steven Beitashour, Jay DeMerit, Andy O'Brien, Jordan Harvey; Matias Laba, Gershon Koffie, Sebastian Fernandez, Kekuta Manneh, Pedro Morales; Darren Mattocks