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  • Report and Reaction: Seba at the double to down Dallas and keep Whitecaps in pole position for final playoff place

    The first ten minutes of the match saw both teams get their chances on goal with Blas Perez missing high with a header and then Fernandez missing high with his shot after being setup by a nice pass from Mauro Rosales.

    The two hooked up with better results in the 14th minute as Fernandez scored his first of the match, as well as first since July 5th against Seattle. It was Rosales who found himself free enough on the right side to send an inch perfect cross that the Uruguayan headed past the diving Raul Fernandez.

    His next goal wouldn’t take three months but four minutes as Fernandez got his brace and doubled the lead for the Whitecaps. It was Rosales again who played the role of the setup man, pouncing on a loose ball. As he bore down on goal he found the winger streaking down the left side and Fernandez made no mistake with his low shot.

    Just after the half hour mark it looked as though the visitors had pulled one back when Blas Perez had put his shot in but was called offside by the linesman. However the Caps caught a break as replays showed the Panamanian striker was a step or two onside.

    Another chance for Dallas came five minutes later when David Texeira was setup with a shot from inside the box but Matias Laba came in with a perfectly timed sliding tackle to deflect the shot out for a corner.

    The second half proved to be mostly uneventful as Dallas applied pressure at times but was unable to create any dangerous chances. Their best opportunity came with over ten minutes to go when Canadian Tesho Akindele made a run on goal but was stopped by a charging Ousted.

    The real fireworks came at the final whistle when Dallas manager Oscar Pareja got into a shoving match with Vancouver assistant Martin Pert. However, nothing could dampen the Whitecaps night as they captured the three points and continue to hold onto the final playoffs spot in the Western Conference.

    They must now leave the friendly confines of BC Place and travel down the I-5 to face the Seattle Sounders where they continue their playoff push and with a win could capture their second straight Cascadia Cup.

    Final Score: Vancouver Whitecaps 2 - 0 FC Dallas

    Attendance: 20,183

    AFTN Player of the Match: Mauro Rosales

    Scoring Summary:

    14’ – VAN – Sebastián Fernández (Mauro Rosales, Erik Hurtado)

    18’ – VAN – Sebastián Fernández (Mauro Rosales)

    Vancouver: David Ousted; Steven Beitashour, Andy O’Brien, Kendall Waston, Jordan Harvey; Matías Laba, Russell Teibert, Mauro Rosales (Kekuta Manneh 82’), Pedro Morales (Medhi Ballouchy 88’), Sebastián Fernández; Erik Hurtado (Darren Mattocks 67’) [substitutes not used: Paolo Tornaghi, Sam Adekugbe, Johnny Leverón, Nicolás Mezquida]

    Dallas: Raul Fernandez; Je-Vaughn Watson, Zach Loyd, Matt Hedges, Moises Hernandez; Andres Escobar, Victor Ulloa (Kellyn Acosta 81’), Michel, Ryan Hollingshead (Tesho Akindele 45’); Blas Perez, David Texeira (Jair Benitez 65’) [substitutes not used: Chris Seitz, Adam Moffat, Walker Zimmerman, Danny Garcia]

    Match Stats:

    Shots: Vancouver 8 – FC Dallas 11

    Shots on Goal: Vancouver 3 – FC Dallas 2

    Saves: Vancouver 2 – FC Dallas 1

    Fouls: Vancouver 16 – FC Dallas 15

    Offsides: Vancouver 0 – FC Dallas 4

    Corners: Vancouver 3 – FC Dallas 5


    60’ – DAL – Je-Vaughn Watson

    78’ – VAN – Kendall Waston

    90’+4’ – VAN – Sebastián Fernández

    Referee: Ricardo Salazar




    Thoughts on the match:

    "Attacking-wise and counter attacking-wise I thought we were excellent", Robinson told reporters after the game. "The two or three opportunities that we did have, we were very clinical in our play and obviously it led to two very goals. I thought the defensive aspect wasn't good enough. I said to the guys at half time that we were too open, we were a bit kamikaze football. We were gung-ho and were 2-0 up, so I had to address a few things and credit to the back four, second half especially, they defended properly and showed a lot of character out there, so I'm delighted. The game was won in the first half, but for me, the game was managed fantastically well in the second half."

    On the play of Sebastian Fernandez:

    "Just his movement. If you watch him [at training] and you see him, his work ethic is fantastic. He's technically a very, very talented player and he's got ability. When he gets into the final third, he makes things happen. We see it all the time and now it's about transferring that onto the pitch. The last three or four weeks, even though he hasn't scored since June or July, his work ethic and his valuableness to the team has been fantastic."

    On the play of Mauro Rosales:

    "I thought it was his best game since he has been here and I think sometimes we’re very lucky to have him. I wanted to get him off earlier but he said “five minutes” and I let five minutes go and he said “another five minutes” and then another… He was excellent. His technical ability is amazing and he had a massive influence on the game."

    On the tension between the two teams:

    "I think it's two coaches, it's two teams, and it's very passionate, we want to win. We went there three weeks ago and we took it on the chin. We lost 2-1 in a game where we probably could have got something. Today was our day, but they are a very good team. Credit to Oscar he has done a fantastic job there. There's feelings in games. Every game there's a little bit of tenseness and thing like that. It's important it doesn’t boil over and from my group today it didn’t boil over."

    On the upcoming game against Seattle:

    "I said two games ago, we have five cup finals, and we have to take it one game at a time. We are running out of games, it is important that we respond appropriately the next upcoming games. We have two wins now, but we know we have a massive game against Seattle next Friday and those are the games you want to play in. They are big games, and obviously the Cascadia Cup is on the line and we want to win. We will go there full of confidence, but it will be a tough game."

    On the defensive play:

    "Dallas went a little more direct the second half and I tend to put smaller people on in the half which is not the best idea with their direct play but they are a handful. We all know how good they are at counter-attacking. We managed to address that in the second half, we won the second balls and we are going to have to do that against Seattle."

    On the overall performance of Dallas:

    "Dallas have nothing to lose, they are already into the playoffs. We are not in a similar position, unfortunately, we are chasing and we need to secure that final playoff spot. There is a different kind of pressure, and I said to the boys at half they have nothing to lose they are going to play hard. We have a lot to lose, that is why the discipline was important and the information they took on board in the second half they carried out and all credit to them. They played really well."

    On the altercation at the end, what was Pareja's grip with Pert?

    "I'm not sure. I don't know, I didn't see him. I went to shake the two assistants hands and then I went to referee and I had a laugh with the referee."

    On the performance of referee Ricardo Salazar:

    "I thought he was excellent. Sometimes it's easy to criticise referees as coaches. Some people do it tongue in cheek and other people just do it verbally and you get fined. But they deserve credit when they do well and I have no doubt about it that he's arguably, if not the best one in the league.

    On Vancouver’s position in the standings, is 4th possible?

    "I said at the start of the season we want to be in contention come the last game of the season. A good victory tonight. We'll sleep well after 94 minutes of hard work. We've still got a mountain to climb, we're still try to climb that mountain and we'll still meet that challenge head on, starting with Seattle next week."

    On the play of Matias Laba:

    "He has played fantastic ever since he has come here and big credit goes out to the club. His work can go un-noticed by people, but it does not with me. I think today it was a perfect example of how important he is for our team. We talk about Pedro, Mauro and Kekuta but Laba is vital for our team."

    On Darren Mattocks leaving for international duty:

    "I will never stop players from playing for their national country. It is a privilege. If they play well at club level, then they'll get the opportunity at national level. I’ll have a conversation with Darren and see where we are with that."

    With four players on yellows, did it cross his mind to sub them off and save them?

    "It did, and there were a few little close moments with a ball getting kicked away and a little trip here and there that were making me cringe a little bit. At the end of the day, if they're on four yellow cards, it's important that they manage the game correctly. If you try and avoid a yellow card, trust me, you'll get booked. It's one of them you'll get booked for a nothing challenge. I said to the guys that were on a yellow card, go out and play. Don't think about it, go out and play. As soon as you try and think about getting a yellow, you'll get a yellow card."


    On the overall game:

    "It was a very good game for us. The importance is not the score, importance is the win. We need to keep going and work through the week and show everybody that we can get into the playoffs."

    On his first goals since July:

    "I was lucky. I saw the ball in the air and tried to get the header and score."

    "My teammates, are always supporting me. It's important for me and for everybody. This is a great group, a great team. We must keep going."

    On playing with Mauro Rosales:

    "Mauro is a great player. He has been supportive of us on and off the field."

    On picking up the yellow card and the suspension:

    "It was my mistake. I still have other games left to continue going."


    Thoughts on the match:

    "Fantastic. I thought we did very well. First half, we got our goals. Seba played fantastic and got two goals. Second half, we did well defending. Overall, we played a good performance."

    On playing with Mauro Rosales:

    "He's come in with a lot of experience. Mauro knows this league and you can see just on his level that he’s a good player. He shows it every day in practice and every match that he means a lot to this team and brings some experience."

    On winning consecutive matches for the first time since May:

    "It feels fantastic. It’s a good time to get on a streak. Hopefully we continue to play this way. I love the intensity. I love how we’re going into every tackle and the belief in this squad that can win every game."

    On intensity of possible playoff clash between Caps and Dallas:

    "If these two teams meet, I think it's going to be a brawl, to say it lightly. You just see that people get into every tackle and they did as well. They're a team that works really, really hard and wants to compete every time. If we get to there, I think it's going to be a great much but we've still got a lot of work to do."

    On the Pareja/Pert postgame clash:

    "It's always fun to see Martyn get up there," Ousted said. "He cares a lot and the players back him up."

    On Seba now being suspended:

    "Too bad. I thought it was a harsh yellow card. We're happy that he got going and we can use that going forward. Now other people have to step up in his place."

    On keeping Dallas at bay and another clean sheet:

    "I felt in control. With players like Perez and Akindele, they'll put pressure on but I thought we dealt with it really well and both crosses and chances were limited."

    On Laba's big goal saving tackle in the first half:

    "Absolutely fantastic. Mati did world class to get there. They broke us down a little bit, got a good chance and Mati came out of nowhere."


    Thoughts on the game:

    "We had to win and thank god we won. We knew it would be a tough game because they won in Dallas, so today we had to look for the three points because we want to continue in the playoff spot. The team worked very hard from the beginning of the game and that's why we won."

    Did it feel like a playoff game already?

    "Yes it seemed because they were battling to score and we could defend very well today from the forwards. That was the key to winning today."

    On potential playoff meeting:

    "We are thinking first of all of staying in the playoff spot and hopefully we can win the next game in Seattle. It's going to be hard but none of these games are easy. So first of all we have to stay in the playoffs and then see who we are going to play against. Now we know each other. The key to everything was when we got in the box, we try to score and today we scored two excellent goals."

    On defensive play:

    "The best thing was the communication that all of us have and the commitment of each one, including the forwards. In certain times of the game you saw the forwards in our backs, like Kekuta jumping and battling with bigger guys than him. That was the thing that the coach told us at half time, that everybody gotta run."


    His best performance as a Whitecap so far?

    "I feel that I enjoyed it. I enjoyed it a lot. It's part of the work that we are doing with the guys. We always talk about having minutes, having time with them. Everyday just knowing each other is much easier. As soon as I get more minutes with them, more days with them, I'll be much better.

    "This is what I want. To be in a position to help the team. To raise the team in any levels and help them. This is what I do."

    On not wanting to come off:

    "I was feeling very good and obviously trying to help the team. Probably I was a little selfish in trying to stay in the team, but knowing that we had a lot of good players on the bench. I felt very well just playing with them and enjoying it.

    "I was doing my best and doing my best for the team. This was the reason, not trying to be selfish and not let the other ones play! It's part of my work to try and keep getting better and I hope that I can just build better performances like I did today."

    On assisting Seba in getting two goals:

    "It's important for us to get the strikers playing up front goals and to get confidence. This is what we need for the last push. Seeing Erik today, running a lot, working very hard for the team to create space, just holding the ball, let us have a little bit of breath to manage the game and everything was outstanding today.

    "Sometimes you have to do what you don't like best and sometimes you have to do what's the best for the team. He showed today a character and a professionalism and we are happy for that and also getting the three points against a very tough team."

    Link up play with Erik Hurtado:

    "We are getting better with each other. Sometimes we don't combine as much as we want, but sometimes the game just demands another thing, not just playing between the lines. He did very well today just holding the ball, even against three guys today.



    Thoughts on the match:

    "I thought we had a good15 minutes before they scored a goal. After we gave away the first goal, it was difficult. We had the initiative to put high pressure and go look for the game right from the first minute. We had a few chances to score that we could not take advantage of it and then Vancouver came up and took the game away with those two goals. After that, it was a different game. We tried to keep the initiative, but we didn’t have too many ideas today. Vancouver was happy with the goals that they scored early in the game, and they held it well. I have to give them credit."

    On whether the Perez offside call right before halftime would have changed the game:

    "It would be for sure. Disappointed with that situation, but I just assume that that’s part of the game. I don’t want to stick with that frustration, though it could have changed the story, for sure."

    On whether this could be a preview of a potential playoff matchup:

    "We need to clinch first, and now we are thinking about LA. My mind doesn’t let me go that far. When I have such a big responsibility to play the next game and try to take care of our business, which is to get ourselves into the playoffs. After that, we’ll see."

    On growing rivalry between the two teams:

    "The rivalry is with all the teams really. The intensity, the energy and obviously the urgency the teams have now to get the points is important. That makes the games more interesting for sure and that is part of the decision. But the rivalry is with everybody, it's nothing special."

    The postgame incident with Martyn Pert:

    "Nothing. Nothing. Nothing happened."


    Thoughts on the match:

    "I think it was a tough game – they were obviously fighting for their lives for the season and to stay in the playoffs, so they brought a lot of energy. They caught us on two counterattacks, but other than that, I thought it was pretty even."

    On the adjustments they made after halftime, being down 2-0:

    "We just knew that we had to go all out. When you’re losing 2-0, there’s no point holding back, so we just tried to push forward a little more. Unfortunately, we just didn’t create the chances today."

    On whether a rivalry is growing between the two clubs:

    "I think so, playing in the Western Conference, you see the same teams three times a year. With how the schedule was, we’ve seen these guys three times now in such a short time, and there’s definitely a bit of tension coming in."


    Thoughts on the match:

    "Disappointing. We came out soft and slow, gave up two goals, and we never really recovered. I think we definitely started to play better as the game went on, but by that point, you’re 2-0 down, and they can control the match by sitting there and doing whatever they want. It’s disappointing."

    On what message Pareja and the coaches stressed at the break, down 2-0:

    "They just try to be motivating. We came out really slow, and it’s frustrating because big things were on the line – clinching a playoff spot was possible today, in this game. So, to come out slow like that was unacceptable, and that’s what he was reiterating to us. We had to increase the effort in the second half, and that’s basically what he was telling us."

    On the growing rivalry:

    "I think it was already there. Last year and the year before, there have been some interesting games between the two teams and I think it’s continuing to grow as a rivalry. It’s good for the league, having rivalries grow organically like this instead of being forced."

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