Vancouver Whitecaps, NYCFC battle to scoreless draw


Thomas Hasal made four saves for the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday, backstopping the team to a 0-0 draw against New York City FC.

The tie means the ‘Caps (0-1-1) pick up their first point of the Major League Soccer season.

NYCFC goalkeeper Sean Johnson registered a single save.

New York, the reigning MLS Cup champions, overwhelmed Vancouver during long stretches of the match, outshooting the home side 19-11 and 4-1 in shots on target.

After a chaotic start, though, Vancouver settled in and began to limit the visitors’ chances, blocking seven shots across the match.

Both sides were coming off losses, with the ‘Caps suffering a 4-0 drubbing to Columbus Crew SC on opening day. New York dropped a 1-0 decision to the LA Galaxy in its first outing of the MLS campaign.

Hasal’s best save of the night came in the 89th minute when Santiago Rodriguez sat a ball into the Vancouver box, where Thiago Andrade redirected it at the ‘Caps net. The Canadian ‘keeper leapt up off the goal line, tipping the shot up and over the crossbar.

Hasal took over as the Whitecaps No. 1 earlier this year when star goalie Maxime Crepeau was dealt to Los Angeles FC in a blockbuster deal due to an unspecified personal situation.

The Whitecaps put some offensive firepower on the field in the 64th minute Saturday, subbing American striker Brian White in for midfielder Deiber Caicedo.

It was White’s first appearance of the season after missing the season opener against Columbus with a foot contusion.

New York was the dominant side across the first half, dictating the pace and controlling 68.6 per cent of the possession. The visitors also outshot the ‘Caps 12-5 and 3-1 in shots on target.

Vancouver’s first on-target shot came when attacking midfielder Ryan Gauld sat a crisp cross into Lucas Cavallini in the box. The Canadian striker flicked a header on net but Johnson made the diving stop.

It was the ‘Caps first on-target shot of the season after failing to put a single ball on net against Columbus.

New York forced the Whitecaps into desperation mode several times early in the game.

The home side got lucky in the 15th minute when a corner resulted in a scramble in the penalty area and NYCFC’s Alexander Callens put up a header, only to see it glance off the crossbar.

Another corner in the eighth minute saw Andrade launch a hard shot from the top of the box, with Hasal making the stop.

A minute earlier, Talles Magno sent a ball soaring toward the Vancouver net but the young ‘keeper sprawled for the fingertip save, sending the ball wide of the far post.

The Whitecaps are set to visit the Houston Dynamo next Saturday.

NOTES: The Whitecaps were without defender Jake Nerwinski (red card suspension), defender Erik Godoy (calf injury) and midfielder Caio Alexandre (recovering from foot surgery). Defender Anton Tinnerholm (Achilles tendon) was out for NYC. … Fans held Ukrainian flags and the Ukrainian national anthem was sung before kickoff to show support for the country amid the Russian invasion. … Vancouver midfielder Ryan Raposo turned 23 on Saturday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2022.

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