Whitecaps overcome early deficit to earn 1st win of season
Vancouver midfielder Matias Laba scores twice
Fredy Montero and Matias Laba scored one minute apart in the second half as the Vancouver Whitecaps fought back to defeat the Los Angeles Galaxy 4-2 and pick up their first win of the Major League Soccer season on Saturday night.
Laba added another goal late for Vancouver (1-2-1), while Cristian Techera also scored for the relieved hosts.
Romain Alessandrini replied for Los Angeles (1-3-0) and also took the initial shot on the Galaxy's opener that hit the post and bounced off the head of Whitecaps goalkeeper David Ousted before dribbling over the line for an own goal.
Montero makes instant impact
Montero, a designated player on loan from a club in China, subbed on at halftime with the Whitecaps down 2-1 and picked up his first MLS goal for Vancouver in the 66th minute when he tapped a rebound home off Techera's initial shot.
Fans at B.C. Place Stadium were still buzzing moments later when Montero fed a pass to Laba, who blasted his first past Galaxy 'keeper Clement Diop from just outside the penalty area to send the crowd into a frenzy.
With the Galaxy pressing up the park in search of an equalizer, Christian Bolanos almost made it 4-2 in the 78th, but Ashley Cole cleared his shot off the line with Diop beaten.
But Vancouver wouldn't be denied its first win of the season, with Laba heading home Montero's rebound in the 87th minute for his second of the night.
Whitecaps snap offensive drought
Having not scored a goal through their first two home games, the Whitecaps came out on the front foot, with Techera getting his first of the year in the 19th minute.
Vancouver broke quickly after a Los Angeles set piece, with Sheanon Williams playing a long clearance up to the pint-sized winger.
Diop rushed off his line to try and cut him off at the pass, but couldn't get there before Techera corralled the ball and deposited it into the empty net.
Vancouver had a shot for a penalty four minutes later after Alphonso Davies fell under a challenge from Jelle Van Damme only to have referee Allen Chapman wave play on.
Los Angeles got back to level terms in the 26th when Alessandrini cut inside Jordan Harvey and blasted a shot off the post that caromed in off Ousted.
The Galaxy kept coming and grabbed the lead in the 30th minute when a completely unmarked Alessandrini made a late run and ripped a shot from just inside the top of the box past Ousted for his first in goal in MLS.
Saturday started a busy stretch for the Whitecaps, who will look to turn around a 2-0 deficit against Mexican giants Tigres UANL in the second leg of their CONCACAF Champions League semifinal on Wednesday at B.C. Place.
Vancouver then returns to league action at Real Salt Lake on April 8.