The Whitecaps defeat St. Louis with assistance, securing their spot in the playoffs
IN VANCOUVER The Vancouver Whitecaps defeated St. Louis City 3-0 in the second half and secured a Major League Soccer playoff berth on Wednesday night thanks to some assistance on the away scoreboard.
Vancouver, which qualified for the playoffs for the second time in three seasons, was led by goals from midfielders Richie Laryea and Sebastian Berhalter and striker Brian White.
Vancouver (12-10-10) needed to defeat St. Louis City and hope that either Minnesota United F.C. or FC Dallas lost or drew their respective games going into this match. Minnesota's loss against LAFC was a win for the Whitecaps. The weather caused the Dallas-Colorado game to be postponed.
Ranko Veselinoivc, a defender, started White's goal in the 59th minute with a long pass up the field. White chased the ball down after heading it between two St. Louis defenders and chipped a shot over goalie Ben Lundt.
It was White's 19th goal overall and his 15th in Major League Soccer.
After receiving a feed from Ryan Gauld, Berhalter scored in the 87th minute by smashing a left-footed shot into the corner of the net. In MLS play this season, it was Gauld's twelfth assist.
Laryea scored with a left-footed shot from the center of the box during added time.
Despite their first loss in six games (2-1-3) St. Louis (17-11-5) remains atop the MLS Western Conference.
Despite having much of the first forty-five minutes under control, Vancouver trailed behind 0-0 at the interval.
Two video review calls in the first half infuriated the 13,776 Whitecaps supporters at BC Place Stadium.
In the 39th minute, Gauld appeared to have scored with a right-footed strike that tipped over Lunt. After a video review determined that Gauld was offside during the play, the goal was disallowed.
When Josh Yaro, a sliding St. Louis defender, removed White's legs in the 23rd minute, the crowd became enraged. After reviewing the play, the referee decided not to call a penalty.
In the ninth minute, White had a chance to start the scoring when his shot went narrowly past the far post.
Defender Javain Brown missed with a header in the eighteenth minute after midfielder Ali Ahmed's lovely crossing pass.
In the final seconds of injury time in the first half, White and Gauld came dangerously close to connecting. Ryan Raposo, a midfielder, made a lovely ball to Gauld. After sprinting across the field, he passed the ball in front of the net, which a sliding White narrowly failed to touch.
Aziel Jackson, a midfielder for St. Louis, received a pass from Anthony Markanich just minutes into the second half. From the center of the box, Jackson launched a right-footed effort that Vancouver goalkeeper Yohei Takaoka blocked.
UPCOMING: The Whitecaps host Seattle on Saturday night before traveling to face LAFC on October 21 to wrap out their regular season. On October 21, St. Louis will play Seattle at home to conclude the regular season.
NOTES: White has scored goals in four straight contests. In his previous nine games, he has also scored seven goals and provided two assists. With a right shoulder injury, Whitecaps defender Andres Cubas left the game in the 51st minute. In both of MLS's conferences, the top seven teams guarantee a postseason berth. The eighth and ninth clubs advance to the one-game playoffs and are awarded wild-card positions. The Whitecaps were fresh off a Saturday night 2-2 tie with DC United.