Earthquakes Notch First Ever Victory in Vancouver, First Road Win in One Year
With goals from Quincy Amarikwa and Simon Dawkins, the Earthquakes were able to get three points in BC Place for the first time in their MLS history. Their 2-1 win is also the first road win of the year, and it comes at a critical time for them as far as the playoff picture is concerned. “It’s great, I don’t think it could have come at a better time for us too,” goalkeeper David Bingham said after holding the Caps to 0 goals for 90 minutes. “So that’s the main thing for us right now, we needed to come away with some points on the road games and at home we’ve got to hold strong like we’ve been doing.”
The first major chance for the Quakes came in the 12th minute, when Simon Dawkins whipped in a ball from the left flank to Fatai Alashe who’s header hit the bottom of the crossbar and bounced out. Shortly after, in the 15th minute, an Anibal Godoy corner kick led to a Quincy Amarikwa header goal. Whitecaps goalkeeper David Ousted had made the save and had the ball in his hands, but he could not keep the ball from crossing the line. “It was good to get a goal off a set piece. I thought Quincy Amarikwa had a real strong game, up until the substitution, and really held the ball up well for us,” head coach Dominic Kinnear said after the game.
Godoy had a very good game overall with an assist on the first goal, 3 key passes, and a 90.7% passing accuracy on the offensive side. Godoy also had a very good defensive game, with a team high 3 won tackles and 5 interceptions. Another player that stood out in the central midfield was new acquisition Darwin Ceren. Ceren was subbed on at halftime for Fatai Alashe, who received a yellow card in the first half. Ceren had a team high 91.4% passing accuracy, and also won 3 tackles and made one interception. Ceren seemed to link up well with Godoy in the center of the park, and combined well with the wingers Simon Dawkins and Alberto Quintero.
The Quakes had the majority of chances in the first half against a Whitecaps team that hadn’t scored a goal in MLS play since July 16th. The Caps were ahead of the Quakes in the standings going into the game, but the win has the Earthquakes sitting a point out of a playoff spot with a game in hand on Portland.
The second goal came in the 60th minute, when Simon Dawkins dribbled past Whitecaps right back Tim Parker and blasted a shot with his left foot past David Ousted to put the Quakes up 2-0. “It’s good to get the win. It gives us confidence going into the last games. Now, we got that away win. We can go to other places now and do the same thing,” Dawkins said following the game. “We passed the ball and moved well. When we do that, we’re a good team. We’ve shown that this season in glimpses. We need to find that consistency again. This is a good start and hopefully we win next week as well.”
The Quakes conceded a goal in the last minute of stoppage time, but it was too little too late for the Whitecaps. “I hate giving up goals and I especially don’t like it when they’re given up in the last minutes of the game, that’s something we need to tidy up on,” Earthquakes goalkeeper David Bingham said after the game. “If we can tidy up on that, we’re an extremely good team and people underestimate us and we like it like that. It’s a good win on the road, it’s even better it’s a Western Conference opponent. There’s so much soccer to be played for the rest of the year.”
“It helped to get the early goal,” Dominic Kinnear said. “I think it gave us a little bit of belief and some confidence. I thought we played well, broke well, created some good chances.” Looking ahead to the next string of results, Kinnear knows that wins will be needed in order to stay in the playoff picture. “For us, it’s just a matter of staying healthy. We play three games in the next eight-to-ten-day period, so it’s going to be difficult. We have two games at home, hopefully we can get that and go to Columbus with some confidence.”