Marcel de Jong’s own goal in the 43rd minute doomed the Vancouver Whitecaps to a 1-0 loss against the visiting Colorado Rapids in Major League Soccer action Sunday.
The Rapids (4-9-3) are now unbeaten in three games after losing eight straight. The Whitecaps (6-7-5) have lost two straight games.
On the decisive play, Vancouver goalkeeper Brian Rowe made a great save on Colorado forward Joe Mason’s volley of Yannick Boli’s rebound off the crossbar — only to see the ball bounce back into the net off Caps defender de Jong.
Vancouver captain Kendall Waston was a surprise starter at central defender after returning from the World Cup in Russia, where he toiled for Costa Rica.
The Whitecaps controlled play for most of the first half, but the Rapids held a 1-0 lead at the break.
Rapids goalkeeper Tim Howard made a pair of sensational saves in the first half, stopping Nicolas Mezquida’s shot from the middle of the box in the 28th minute and pushing Kei Kamara’s header over the crossbar during added time. Howard continued his strong play in the second half as the Whitecaps pressed, foiling striker Kamara on several occasions.
Howard also got lucky as Kamara put a header off the crossbar in the 72nd minute.
Waston subbed out at the start of the second half as Jordon Mutch came in at midfielder, prompting a defensive realignment by Whitecaps coach Carl Robinson. Brek Shea was moved to left back from midfield and de Jong moved into the middle of the back line next to central defender Doneil Henry. But Shea and right back Sean Franklin were deployed largely as sweepers, frequently moving up on the flanks and leaving the Caps with two defenders.
The moves held the Rapids at bay; however, the Caps could not beat Howard, who registered 10 saves for his fifth shutout of the season. Vancouver goalie Brian Rowe made three saves.
—Field Level Media