The game in 100 words (or less): It’s really, really tough to go on the road in MLS and win. Even when you have a man advantage for 50 minutes. So, big credit goes to D.C. United for doing just that on Saturday night, beating the Whitecaps 2-1 at BC Place, but in truth, the red card was 90 percent Vancouver’s undoing. Sure, they remained the dominant side with United playing conservatively on the road, but the typical lethal edge was missing from Carl Robinson’s side, realizing they couldn’t quite get the same numbers as usual forward. As for United, they just beat perhaps MLS’s best team, on the road, with a five-man bench and a couple of key starters missing. That’s impressive. Really, really impressive.
[ RECAPS: Two games on Friday night ]
Three moments that mattered
9′ — Boswell turns his header home to equalize — United were a goal down after 70 seconds (Pedro Morales), but Bobby Boswell reminded everyone he’s still got a bit of spring left in those aging legs of his, getting up over two defenders and beating David Ousted to the near post.
42′ — Yellow card No. 2 for Laba, and he’s gone — Matias Laba probably didn’t need to trip Fabian Espindola, because he had the human eraser, Kendall Waston, still behind him and able to take a yellow card, if need be. Instead, Laba tripped Espindola and saw his second yellow. Vancouver still controlled the game, but lacked their usual cutting edge a man down.
64′ – Rolfe’s snap shot can’t be stopped — Despite holding a man advantage for nearly 25 minutes at this point, the Whitecaps were still in control of the game and creating more scoring chances. So, imagine their level of surprise when Chris Rolfe popped up with the most opportunistic of goals, taking a nothing 50-50 ball and slamming it home from the top of the penalty area.
Man of the match: Bobby Boswell — Not only scored the equalizing goal early on, but, along side Kofi Opare, had Octavio Rivero in his back pocket all night long. Sure, the man advantage helped, but Boswell was flawless all game long.
Vancouver Whitecaps: Ousted, Adekugbe, Kah, Waston, Beitashour, Laba, Teibert (Manneh 70′), Mattocks (Koffie 46′), Rosales (Techera 76′), Rivero
Goals: Morales (2′)
D.C. United: Dykstra (Worra 58′), Korb, Opare, Franklin, Pontius (Doyle 90′), Farfan, Kitchen, DeLeon, Rolfe (Silva 76′), Espindola
Goals: Boswell (9′), Rolfe (64′)