Hard work and determination finally paid off. After a hard-fought 2-1 victory over the Portland Timbers, the Whitecaps are back in the playoff race for good.
Vancouver double their playoff chances
Following the 4-2 victory over Minnesota and their 2-2 draw against New York City FC, Vancouver’s chances of making the playoffs were just 14 percent according to FiveThirtyEight.
Thanks to goals by Kei Kamara (14′) and Cristian Techera (43′) that number has now almost doubled to 27 percent.
Vancouver is now seventh in the Major League Soccer Western Conference standings, just two points behind sixth-placed Real Salt Lake and three points behind fifth-placed LAFC and fourth-placed Los Angeles Galaxy.
Vancouver finally preserve an important lead
Vancouver gave up a 1-0 lead in New York one week ago and a 2-1 lead at home against Toronto in the first leg of the Canadian Championships. On both occasions, the club walked away with a draw, rueing their missed chances to secure a bigger lead.
On Saturday night in Portland, Vancouver once again took the lead, but this time Cristian Techera’s goal just before the halftime whistle proved to be enough.
Most important, the Whitecaps did not succumb to a late mistake — as was the case midweek against Toronto. Under pressure late in the game, the Whitecaps kept their discipline against a Portland side that had been undefeated in three matches and had not lost a single home match all season.
Kei Kamara’s goals write history and could signal late playoff push
Kamara’s goal ties him with Jason Kreis for sixth all-time in MLS history with 108 regular season goals.
Brought in to replace Fredy Montero, who led the Whitecaps in scoring last season, Kamara has now scored 10 goals in 19 games for the Whitecaps. The goals could be vital during the Caps’ push for the playoffs.
The Whitecaps now travel midweek to Toronto for the second leg of the Canadian Championship and then host New York Red Bulls on Saturday at BC Place.