~ Photo credit: (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)
~ By Pearl Allison Lo
~ A both painful and sweet match depending on your side, Vancouver asserted themselves over the San Jose Earthquakes, as the Whitecaps advanced past the Knockout Round match 5-0 Wednesday.
The score reflected the name of the match. San Jose, who recently got back into the playoffs for the first time in five years, saw their postseason ambitions cut short in a harsh way.
After the first half, it was just a one goal difference. However, though both teams had seven shots in the second half, the Quakes could not convert while Vancouver had the scoring touch. San Jose had majority possession time throughout the game.
Nicolás Mezquida, who entered in the 68th minute, scored two goals two minutes apart.
The only score they needed though, began in the 33rd minute, off a corner kick. Cristian Techera sent the ball in, Kendall Waston headed it and Fredy Montero put in the final header as he finally got his first playoff goal. It was also the Whitecaps’ first home playoff goal.
Shots were 10-3 in favor of in the first half but both teams had the same amount of shots on target, three.
For the Quakes, the 39th minute saw one of Anibal Godoy’s chances, followed by one of Victor Bernárdez’s chances in the 40th minute and one of Danny Hoesen’s two offside calls in the 41st minute.
In the second half, San Jose’s Chris Wondolowski had a chance in the 52nd minute. Hoesen had a free kick attempt that sailed just high in the next minute.
Techera’s free kick in the 57th minute, did not miss though, as he picked the top of the net. His status was tenuous for the game when he suffered an injury in the first half.
Vancouver kept on humming as they made it 3-0 in the 64th minute. It started with a corner kick then went to a number of Whitecaps players. At one point, it hit goalie Andrew Tarbell’s leg and then Waston got Tarbell out of position with the scoring touch.
Goal number four occurred when Christian Bolanos passed to Mezquida instead of shooting and Mezquida’s ball hit the post and bounced into the net.
Mezquida then scored one-on-one versus Tarbell in the 80th minute to cap the scoring.