Whitecaps deliver thrilling win over LAFC in 1st home game in 539 days
Inter Miami CF rolls past Toronto FC; CF Montreal draws against Philadelphia Union
Home sweet home, indeed.
In just his fourth game with the Whitecaps (5-7-8), attacking midfielder Ryan Gauld delivered a thrilling game-winning goal in the 89th minute, igniting the crowd of 11,144.
"As [home] debuts go, it was pretty good," said Gauld. "The most important thing's not that I managed to score, it's the three points. The goal's a little bit of an added bonus."
For the second straight game, the Whitecaps erased a 1-0 halftime deficit. In first-half stoppage time, Diego Rossi scored the lone goal for LAFC (6-9-5) on a penalty after defender Javain Brown got tangled up with LA's Brian Rodriguez.
WATCH | Ryan Gauld's winner seals the Whitecaps' homecoming victory over LAFC:
In the 60th minute, Brian White brought the Whitecaps level with a shot off the crossbar to beat Los Angeles goalkeeper Tomas Romero. Acquired from the New York Red Bulls in June, it was White's third goal of the year and second in the last two games.
In the first half, the Whitecaps were outshot by a 5-2 margin but maintained relatively even possession numbers. Their best offensive pressure came six minutes in, when Deiber Caicedo was awarded three corner kicks in the span of less than two minutes.
The Whitecaps made two substitutions at halftime, bringing in Gauld, who is not yet at his full fitness level, as well as midfielder Michael Baldisimo.
Final shots on goal were 7-3 for LAFC.
The Whitecaps played their last home game in front of fans on Feb. 29, 2020 — a 3-1 loss to Sporting Kansas City. They've played the rest of their home games at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, where they amassed a 3-3-2 record.
Vancouver came into Saturday's match unbeaten since July 7. That 2-5 stretch included a 2-2 draw in their only other meeting of the year with LAFC on July 24. In their most recent game last Wednesday, the Whitecaps earned their first road win of the season, also erasing a 1-0 halftime deficit to win 2-1 over expansion Austin FC.
With the win, the Whitecaps moved within three points of the seventh-place San Jose Earthquakes, who currently hold down the final playoff spot in the MLS Western Conference. The club will play eight of its remaining 14 games at B.C. Place.
Special guests at the match included provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, 350 frontline workers and 21 returning Olympic athletes from Tokyo and staff members from the gold medal-winning women's soccer team.
Toronto FC suffers 6th straight loss, falling to Inter Miami CF
Rodolfo Pizarro scored two goals, Leandro Gonzalez Pirez had two assists and Inter Miami beat Toronto FC 3-1 on Saturday night.
Miami (6-9-4) extended its record home winning streak to four, winning by more than one goal at home for the first time in the franchise's two-year history.
Robbie Robinson also scored for Miami. Nick Marsman lost his shutout on an own goal, a poor header by Kieran Gibbs on a long free kick into the box in the 62nd minute.
When Pizarro scored after a deft touch with a low shot into the left corner in the 15th minute it marked the 17th straight game that Toronto allowed a goal, tying the team record for consecutive games without a clean sheet. Gonzalo Higuain got the assist after Gibbs made a sliding steal that put the ball on Higuain's foot.
WATCH | Inter Miami hands Toronto FC it's 6th consecutive loss:
Toronto (3-12-6) has allowed a league-high 43 goals.
A steal and a long pass by Gonzalez Pirez found Robinson down the left side in the 35th minute. Robinson beat a defender just inside the box and in tight quarters slipped a left footer inside the post.
Gonzalez Pirez set up Pizarro's second goal, his third of the season after he scored Miami's winner Wednesday, early in the second half. Gonzalez Pirez sent a long ball about half the pitch and a streaking Pizarro chipped it over Quentin Westberg from about the top of the box.
CF Montreal draws against Philadelphia
Sullivan blasted a rocket from the top of the circle after Jack Elliott sent him a back pass.
WATCH | Philadelphia's Sullivan scores late goal to force draw against CF Montreal:
Montreal (7-7-7) opened the scoring just before the half when Joaquin Torres' cross found a sliding Djordje Mihailovic for a close-range counter.
Philadelphia (8-5-8) is unbeaten in nine home matches. The Union only had one shot on goal.
Montreal has a run of 16 games decided by one goal or less, including five wins and six losses.
With files from The Associated Press