MLS Whitecaps play stifling defense, tally late to stun LAFC


Andres Cubas scored his first MLS goal in the 89th minute as the host Vancouver Whitecaps defeated league-leading Los Angeles FC 1-0 on Saturday night.

It was an extraordinary defensive performance by the Whitecaps (7-8-3, 24 points), who held LAFC (11-4-3, 36 points) without a shot on goal.

The winning goal came after a wayward cross into LAFC’s 18-yard box.

Ilie Sanchez tried to clear the ball but it went straight into the chest of Cubas. The ball dropped to his feet and his shot from 20 yards out beat diving LAFC goalkeeper Maxine Crepeau and stayed just inside the left post.

“We deserved to win,” Whitecaps coach Vanni Sartini said in a postgame interview with TSN. “We shut them down, the best team in the league. It’s a boost of confidence, but we need to keep winning.”

The Whitecaps became the first team to outscore LAFC in the second half this season.

Vancouver dominated the scoring chances after the intermission, with Crepeau having to make a diving save on a header by Tristan Blackmon in the 64th minute.

Brian White nearly put the Whitecaps ahead in the 75th minute. He took a pass from Pedro Vite on the right wing and blasted a shot over Crepeau’s left shoulder from a sharp angle, but the ball shook the near post and went out of bounds.

Los Angeles outshot Vancouver 4-2 in the first half, but nary an attempt was on target.

The half’s best attempt came in the 12th minute following a Whitecaps turnover deep in its own end. Francisco Ginella’s shot was blocked by defender Javain Brown, with the rebound falling to the left foot of Latif Blessing at the top of the 18-yard box. Blessing’s blast rang off the top of the crossbar and went over the net.

Los Angeles’ Cristian Arango hobbled off the field in the 78th minute, snapping his streak of four consecutive matches with a goal.

–Field Level Media


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