The Vancouver Whitecaps defeated Chivas USA 4-0 Wednesday night, to get out of a slump that had their playoff hopes on the ropes.
The team didn’t wait long to jump into the ascendancy, as Koffie made a bursting run from midfield in the 11th minute to get on the end of a Kenny Miller layoff and crack home a left-footed effort past Dan Kennedy in the Chivas goal.
“It helps when you get an early goal, and it’s fun when you win and score goals,” captain Jay DeMerit said. “When guys are taking responsibility for their jobs, then you can sit back and enjoy it, because that’s what we’re here to do – we’re here to enjoy it.
“We haven’t been enjoying it lately. Sometimes it’s a grind. Sometimes you got to do what you don’t want to do to win games, but I think it all came together tonight and now that has to continue.”
Miller held the ball up well in the buildup to the goal, but unfortunately for him had to leave almost immediately afterward, as he felt his hamstring tighten up. That meant a third enforced first-half substitution for head coach Martin Rennie in Vancouver’s last two matches, following Darren Mattocks and John Thorrington’s hamstring pulls against the Seattle Sounders on Saturday.
The good news for the club is that when Miller left the field in the 17th minute, his replacement, Dane Richards, seemed to have one of his best matches in a Vancouver jersey. Chivas clearly struggled to deal with the Jamaican’s pace and it was the first time he played as an out-an-out striker for the ‘Caps rather than as a winger.
Richards forced Kennedy into a diving save 25 minutes into the match before beating him 10 minutes later, playing a one-two with Camilo after dispossessing his marker down the right side.
“It’s disappointing,” Rennie said. “The last couple of games have seen us have to make changes in the first half, but once again, the player coming on did very well. Dane Richards had a significant impact on the game, and with his pace, he was probably the last player they wanted to see.”
Vancouver went on to add two second half goals, first from Camilo, before Robson hit a powerful half-volley into the top corner from close range. Getting four different goalscorers on the board will surely be a boost for a team which only scored three over the previous seven matches during that streak without a win.
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“It’s been the performance we’ve been waiting for for a long time,” captain Jay DeMerit told reporters following the match. “It takes a certain effort from a lot of guys to do performances like tonight. For once we put a performance together – the defenders defended well, and the goalscorers went and scored goals.
“At the end of the day, it comes down to pretty simple things and pretty simple jobs – it’s just a matter of guys taking responsibility to do them.”
The ‘Caps, now 11-12-9, have an extended break before playing the Portland Timbers on October 21.