VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Whitecaps ended their jinx against Canadian Premier League sides in the Canadian Championship, cruising to a comfortable win on Wednesday.
Russell Teibert scored his first-ever goal in the competition, and the match-winner, as the ‘Caps beat Valour FC to ensure their passage into the next round of the competition.
Teibert tucked away a rebound from a shot by Deiber Caicedo in the 19th minute to guarantee the win.
Fellow Canadian Ryan Raposo doubled the lead in the 22nd minute after Caicedo found himself clear of Valour’s backline.
The striker raced on to the ball, facing off against goalkeeper Rayane Yesli before opting to square the ball to Raposo who put away an easy finish.
“I just wanted more,” Raposo said after the match. “I think we could’ve gotten more (goals).”
Heading into the match, Vancouver head coach Vanni Sartini labelled the game as the most important of the season so far.
“We had a very good first half,” he said after the match. “I think we relaxed too much in the second half. I wanted to see more hunger from the players.”
It was a matchup featuring ex-Whitecaps assistant coach Philip Dos Santos, now the head coach of Valour FC and brother of former Whitecaps head coach Marc Dos Santos.
“When I look back … I’m proud of them,” Philip Dos Santos said. “There’s a lot for us to grab and grow from.”
Valour could have come in and sat back, but Dos Santos said he was pleased his team tried to push forward and attack.
Sean Rea had the best chance for Valour in the added minutes of the first half. The forward found himself in space and forced a sprawling save from Whitecaps goalkeeper Cody Cropper with a shot from 20 yards out.
Cropper was named the starter after Thomas Hasal injured his hand in Sunday’s win over Toronto FC. Hasal is expected to be out for six weeks.
The Whitecaps outshot their Canadian Premier League opponents 14-8 over the course of the night.
The ‘Caps ended a three-game losing streak with a 1-0 win on Sunday against fellow Canadian MLS club Toronto FC but remain bottom of the Western Conference.
Valour are sixth in the CPL and were unbeaten in two games heading into Wednesday’s match.
The Whitecaps will next face Cavalry FC in the Canadian Championship in Calgary on May 28. Vancouver resumes regular season action on Saturday against the San Jose Earthquakes.
Sartini, who had labelled Wednesday’s match as the most important of the season, said the trend will continue against Cavalry.
“I want to be very, very clear … of the next four games, the most important game is in Calgary,” he said.
Raposo said he believes his teammates will step up against the Cavalry in the next round of tournament action.
“It’s super important to not make them comfortable. I’m confident in the team and I’m confident we’ll go down there and get the job done.”
Valour will take on York United in Winnipeg on Sunday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 11, 2022.