A second-half goal from Tosaint Ricketts lifted Vancouver Whitecaps FC to a 1-0 road victory over LA Galaxy on Saturday evening, spoiling the highly-anticipated home debut of Mexican superstar Chicharito at Dignity Health Sports Park.
The ‘Caps received a solid team effort across the board to secure their first win of the MLS season, including from Janio Bikel, Ryan Raposo, and Leonard Owusu, who each made their MLS debut on the evening.
Bikel got the start at right back in place of the injured Jake Nerwinski, and was instrumental in keeping Cristian Pavón off the score sheet for the first time in 10 league matches dating back to last season. Raposo came off the bench to provide a spark and help set up the game-winning goal, while Owusu pitched in defensively to seal the clean sheet for the ‘Caps.
All the ‘Caps hard work came together in the 74th minute when Raposo’s clever through ball sent Ali Adnan free down the left side of the Galaxy box. Adnan smartly rode a challenge and picked out Ricketts in the middle of the box. A calmly side-footed shot found the bottom corner and sent Ricketts running off in celebration with his teammates. Ricketts, starting in place of Yordy Reyna who was out with a common cold, now has two goals for the ‘Caps since joining the club last summer, both coming at LA.
Only one minute later, Galaxy’s Joe Corona received his second yellow card and LA would be forced to play the last 15 minutes of regulation time with 10 men.
With only a few minutes remaining, Raposo played another brilliantly weighted through ball to put Ricketts in behind the Galaxy defence, and a clumsy tackle led to a penalty for Vancouver. Unfortunately, Lucas Cavallini’s shot was saved by David Bingham to hold the ‘Caps to just the one-goal advantage.
Vancouver held off the hosts through added time and left Southern California as 1-0 victors.