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  • Vancouver advances to play Toronto in NCC Final


    Vancouver-- A frenzied and sometimes abrasive crowd cheered the Whitecaps on to victory on Wednesday night. Vancouver needed extra-time to move past the outlandishly kitted Montreal Impact.

    Yesterday in advance of the match I posted a piece where I pointed to the Whitecaps inability to use the wings to move the ball or create scoring opportunities. Once the whistle blew and the game started we saw the same positional irresponsibility that is beginning to become calling card of this seasons Vancouver Whitecaps. [PRBREAK][/PRBREAK]

    While my last piece focused on the inability of our right wingers to maintain their positioning it seemed as though Russell Teibert was anxious to get in on the act yesterday. He seemed to find his way into the middle of the pitch for the entirety of the first half. I sat with my colleagues in the press box and tried my hardest not to yell at him but I eventually had to leave at half time to sit in the south end where I would be able to vent my frustrations.

    The game was not lacking on excitement, every time Ali Gerba stormed through the box he seemed to knock a defender flat on their keister. He was like a bull in a China shop. Maybe we can change that expression to a Gerba in a pastry shop? Seriously though; it seemed as though even our bigger bodied defenders like Greg Janicki and Mouloud Akloul we're having trouble dealing with his physical presence.

    It only took 13 minutes for the first bit of blood to be shed as Jonathan Leathers took an elbow to the eyebrow and had to receive medical attention. 14 minutes later Eric Hassli took a studs up raking across the knee from Montreal's Amir Lowery. The tackle resulted in a caution but most in attendance felt it was worthy of an ejection. As tempers flared drama was kicked up to a new level as Vancouver began to apply more and more pressure.

    Vancouver did manage a few chances on goal but nothing of any real significance.

    Now maybe it is just me but it seemed as though for the second straight game (in this series) former Whitecaps FC defender Zurab Tsiskaridze was the driving force for Montreal. We saw him "muckin' it up" in the box with Greg Janicki during free kicks and getting into it with anyone who would give him the time of day.

    Davide Chiumiento probably put in his best performance of the season last night as he seemed to have a much easier time finding space with the ball. We even saw him play a little defence. He covered a lot of ground and seemed to have a bit of fire in his belly. Russell Teibert on the other hand probably had his worst showing of the season. Realistically he is only 18 but someone is going to have to pull him aside and show him some game tape from yesterday. He was repeatedly seen wandering about in the middle of the pitch and was forced to do a lot of ball chasing once Montreal's defence would reverse that ball along the back line and catch him out of position. They were able to maintain possession on both wings when given the chance but watching the normally reliable Teibert "holding hands" with Gershon Koffie was a bit of a surprise.

    Ali Gerba finally slotted a marker in the '83 which drew the tie level on aggregate as the last few minutes ticked off the game clock. His well placed penalty was smashed into the top right corner of Jay Nolly's goal and the game was forced into extra time.

    Chances came and went both ways in dramatic fashion during extra time. Terry Dunfield put a free kick just over the bar, and Greg Janicki headed a ball off Jay Nolly's post. Eventually Mouloud Akloul would put away the game winner during a scramble in front of Bill Gaudette's goal in the 113th minute.

    The 'Caps will play TFC at home in the first leg of the next round on May 18th.

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