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Jun 2, 2024 1:09 am

Whitecaps score in closing minutes to edge Rapids

Rapids, Whitecaps

Damir Kreilach scored the decisive goal in the first minute of second-half stoppage time and Giuseppe Bovalina made a big defensive play to help the host Vancouver Whitecaps notch a 2-1 victory over the Colorado Rapids on Saturday night.

Sebastian Berhalter also scored a goal for the Whitecaps (7-5-4, 25 points), who won their second straight match after being mired in a six-game winless stretch (0-3-3).

Djordje Mihailovic tallied for the Rapids (6-7-4, 22 points), who fell to 0-3-1 since a home victory over the Whitecaps on May 15.

Kreilach’s goal, his second of the season, was set up by Ryan Gauld. Kreilach received the pass close to the net and turned and sent a right-footed shot that hit off Colorado goalkeeper Zack Steffen. The ball slowly trickled over the line as Andreas Maxso was unable to chase it down.

Colorado’s Omir Fernandez narrowly missed giving his team the lead in the 85th minute when his right-footed shot from the left hit the right goalpost and caromed off goalie Yohei Takaoka and was rolling toward the net. However, Bovalina was nearby and got to the ball just in time to clear it to keep the game knotted.

Takaoka had two saves for Vancouver, while Steffen made one for the Rapids.

The Whitecaps outshot Colorado 14-11 with both teams putting three shots on target.

After a scoreless first half, both teams put one in the net in the opening five minutes of the second half.

Vancouver struck in the 46th minute when Ali Ahmed delivered a cross toward the net that Steffen was slow to react to. Berhalter was near the net, and he knocked the ball between Steffen and the right goalpost for his first goal of the season.

Colorado scored the equalizer in the 50th minute. Fernandez delivered a quick pass into the center of the box to Mihailovic, who sent a right-footer shot past Takaoka’s left hand for his fifth goal of the campaign.

Rapids leading scorer Rafael Navarro had a chance in the 80th minute, but his right-footed blast sailed wide to the right. Four minutes after Fernandez’s miss, Takaoka made a stop on Moise Bombito’s header.

In the 42nd minute of the first half, Vancouver’s Pedro Vite booted a left-footed shot that hit the top of the crossbar and went over the net.

The Rapids had an opportunity in the fourth minute of first-half stoppage time but Kevin Cabral’s right-footed shot was stopped by Takaoka.

–Field Level Media

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