Vancouver and Toronto faced of in what was being billed the battle of the north at a 1pm game in BC Place this afternoon.  The battle of the frozen north would have been a better description, as the stadium was freezing due to the roof being unexpectedly open, a bold move given the winter we have had this year.

As it turned out the frigid ( for Vancouver ) temperature seemed to benefit the visitors, who had the most of the ball through out the game.  In fact neither team created any significant number of chances, and the game really only came to life after Brek Shea’2 70th minute sending off.  This was a result of a double yellow card, initially for a foul against Hagglund, but then for being mouthy to the ref.

Barely five minutes later Toronto had taken the lead through a Victor Vazquez header, and then four minutes later this was followed by a strike from Jozy Altidore.

Hopefully this was just a post CONCACAF Champions League hangover and the caps can return to winning ways on April 1 against LA Galaxy.

Highlights below.

An enthusiastic, if somewhat smaller crowd of just of 14,000 saw the Vancouver Whitecaps advance to the semi-final stage of the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions league on Tuesday night.  The Whitecaps ran out 2-0 winners on the night against the New York Red Bulls, to win the two-legs 3-1 in aggregate. The win sees the Whitecaps advancing to this stage of the competition for the first time in franchise history

The ‘caps had the better of the first half, with a lively start bringing about a goal for Alphonso Davies after only 5 minutes of play.

Red Bulls keeper Luis Robles was kept busy during the first half, pulling off a dramatic diving save at the 25 min mark.

The second half saw the Red Bulls see a lot more of the ball, and David Ousted was called into action to clear a controversial ball of the line, and also tip one over the bar to maintain the ‘caps lead.  Newly signed Designated Player Fredy Montero added to the lead with a nicely taken strike with around 15 mins left in the game vardenafil india.

To the Red Bulls credit they kept fighting to the end, but were unable to find the net.

Vancouver will now face Mexican champions Tigres, with the first leg away from home on March 14th, and the second leg at BC Place on April 5th.

A gallery of my favourite shots from the night are below:

Despite a late goal from Nicolas Mezquida, the Whitecaps were generally outfought in a entertaining battle with San Jose.  The sell out crowd of 22,120 saw the visitors take an early lead through a controversial goal from Quincy Amarikwa.  While the home side did generate a number of chances towards the end of the half, they went into the break  on a 1-0 deficit.

The second half started with the same pace as the first and again San Jose profited with a great strike from Simon Dawkins finding the back of the net in the 60th minute.

The whitecaps largely dominated in the latter stages of the game, coming close a number of times.  The late strike by Mezquida, coming 4 minutes into added time was however too little too late to earn the home team any points.

Gallery below:

The Vancouver Whitecaps hosted Crystal Palace of the English Premier League tonight in an International friendly match.  This was the third and final game for Crystal Palace on their current North American tour.

Both sides started of the game a little tentatively, and given the nature of the game there were few hard tackles throughout the whole game.

There were few chances at either end in the first half, but the second half had a lot more action.  The Whitecaps took the lead in the 50th minute through David Edgar. A brace of goals from Frazier Campbell in a four minute spell saw the game swing the other way.  Vancouver never  gave in though, and were rewarded after 78mins with an equalizer from Kendall Waston. From that point on it was Vancouver who pressed and had several chances to net a winner.

Neither team managed to gain the advantage, and the score finished level at 2-2.

The Whitecaps came into the second leg of this tie looking to overcome a 1-0 deficit in order defend their Voyageurs Cup title, and secure a place in the CONCACAF Champions League.
The first half was a fairly unexciting affair with few chances at either end, however the second half changed all that with Vancouver getting the opening goal courtesy of a Mezquida header only two minutes after the restart.

The Whitecaps doubled the lead on the night 20 minutes later with Tim Parker beating the Bono in goal for Toronto.

After this the game got a little more frantic, with Toronto pressing for an away goal that would still see them Cup winners on the away goals rule.

After an excruciating 4 minutes of added time a defensive error for the whitecaps provided the opportunity and Will Johnson took no prisoners with a well converted shot. Johnson had to be helped from the field sustaining an injury for his efforts.IMG_4044

It was heartbreaking for the home team and fans, but was a reverse of fortunes for Toronto who suffered a similar last minute defeat the previous week at Orlando.

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Full Gallery below:

Final Score 2-1 Vancouver (2-2 Aggregate; Toronto FC win on Away Goals)

Attendance 19,376

Teams:

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I had a chance to shoot the Whitecaps game on Wednesday night.  This was the second leg of the Canadian Championship fixture against the Ottawa Fury, with the Fury bringing in a 2-0 lead from the first match up.

The Whitecaps eased the Fury aside for a 3-0 win in this leg of the fixture, although the Fury made a fight of it, especially in the second half of the game.

Check out my photos in  Ottawa Life Magazine

Full Gallery below.