White’s hat trick power Whitecaps to 3-0 shutout win over Earthquakes

Vancouver Whitecaps Cristian Dajome (center) is upended by the San Jose Earthquakes Nathan Brazil (left) at BC Place in Vancouver on Sat Oct 2, 2021 (Canadian Press via AP)

 

by Marko Ukalovic

Brian White is definitely enjoying his change of scenery.

The Vancouver Whitecaps striker scored a hat trick to lead his team to a 3-0 shutout victory over the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday evening at BC Place.

Since being traded from the New York Red Bulls back in June, White has scored nine goals in 20 matches since his arrival, with eight of those coming in his last nine games. He had zero goals with New York.

Vancouver are unbeaten in its last four matches (2-0-2) and have climbed up to eighth place in the Western Conference, one point behind Minnesota for the final playoff spot. San Jose have lost two matches in a row and are quietly slipping away from the playoff race with six games remaining in the season.

White scored his first goal after a nice touch pass over to Ryan Gauld inside the box. Gauld’s shot was saved by Quakes goalie JT Marcinkowski but the rebound was cleaned up by White in the 26th minute.

San Jose (8-11-9-33 points) only generated two shots on target in the first 45 minutes. Both shots by Cristian Espinoza in the 25th minute and Jackson Yueill in the 39th minute were easily handled by Whitecaps goalie Maxime Crépeau.

Vancouver (9-8-10-37 points) doubled their lead in the 59th minute off a set piece. Déiber Caicedo floated a free kick from near the right end line into the middle where an unmarked White headed the ball into the back of the net in the upper left corner for his second goal of the evening.

“We had to make movements to free up players in certain zones,” said Quakes head coach Matias Almeyda. “Those movements were slow. I thought the match was even in the first half. On three or four occasions, we were able to have the control we were looking for. We met a team that has been growing in important ways, with a secure system of play. We knew that if we conceded a goal, it would be hard to turn it around because they are secure on defense. In the second half, we took more risks. The set piece played a fundamental factor against us.”

White completed the hat trick in the 73rd minute once again off another set piece. This time Gauld serviced a corner kick into the middle of the box and once again the Quakes left White unmarked for a header just inside the right corner of the goal for his ninth goal of the season.

The closest San Jose came to getting on the board came late in the second half. Espinoza sent in a shot from 25 yards out but Crépeau made a jumping catch to preserve the shutout.

“We have to keep improving but we have less and less time. We’re talking about the last six games and a projection of our future in which there is some instability. Personally, I’d like to plan for what is coming up. We have to live day by day, we’d love to plan for the future, but the reality is different,” Almeyda said.

Crépeau finished the match stopping all five shots on target to earn his ninth victory of the season. Marcinkowski made three saves on six shots in the losing effort.

GAME NOTES: Each team finished with four corner kicks.

San Jose is now 8-10-10 all-time vs. Vancouver, including a 2-9-3 record on the road.

San Jose had its eight-game unbeaten streak on the road, longest in club history, snapped with the loss.

UP NEXT: San Jose return to action on Saturday 10/16 when they travel out to Los Angeles to take on LAFC at 12:30pm at Banc of California Stadium.

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