close
close

White lifts Vancouver Whitecaps to 4-3 comeback win over St. Louis City – Brandon Sun

White lifts Vancouver Whitecaps to 4-3 comeback win over St. Louis City – Brandon Sun
White lifts Vancouver Whitecaps to 4-3 comeback win over St. Louis City – Brandon Sun

VANCOUVER – A wave of relief washed over Brian White on Saturday night.

After two months without scoring, the Vancouver Whitecaps forward finally put a ball into the back of the net.

Then he did it again. And again.

Vancouver Whitecaps’ Levonte Johnson (28), left, St. Louis City’s John Klein (41), center, and St. Louis City’s Tomas Totland, right, compete for the ball during the first half of an MLS soccer match in Vancouver , BC, Saturday June 29, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ethan Cairns

White scored three goals as the Whitecaps beat visiting St. Louis City 4-3 on Saturday.

“We got the first goal and I think the game was a lot easier for us,” White said. “I felt a little bit more comfortable. It felt like a little bit of a stress reliever. Luckily we were able to push through and win the game.”

Fafa Piccault also scored for the ‘Caps (8-7-5) in the 90th minute, helping Vancouver end a two-match losing streak.

St. Louis (3-7-10) was dominant to start the Major League Soccer match, with Njabulo Blom and Eduard Lowen scoring in the first twelve minutes.

But the Whitecaps responded with four goals and two saves from goalkeeper Yohei Takaoka, before Nokkvi Thorisson scored for the visitors in stoppage time.

Goalkeeper Ben Lundt stopped four shots on goal for St. Louis, which continued its streak of nine games without a win (0-6-3).

Vancouver got off to a disastrous start thanks to a scattered defense and an early penalty.

The Whitecaps failed to clear a ball in the seventh minute, and the ball fell to Blom at the top of the penalty area. The South African midfielder fired a right-footed shot, but the ball deflected past Takaoka’s hands and into the net, giving St. Louis a 1-0 lead.

Just five minutes later, City struck again after Vancouver’s Javain Brown was called for a handball. Lowen stepped up to take the ensuing penalty and fired a low shot into the corner.

It was a familiar scene, said Whitecaps head coach Vanni Sartini, who compared Saturday’s start to the game Vancouver lost 2-0 to the Timbers last week in Portland.

“We were clearly the better team from minute one and we made our lives just as complicated as we did in Portland,” he said. “The big difference is that we stayed calm and kept playing our game, knowing that we were going to create chances and that we were going to defend very well for the rest of the 80 minutes.”

White put the home side on the scoreboard in the 37th minute by catching a ball on the edge of the penalty area, controlling it and then firing a shot that deflected off the leg of St. Louis defender Jake Nerwinski before the ball ended up in the net.

White’s sixth goal of the season cut Vancouver’s deficit to 2-1.

The American striker added to his scoring in the 54th minute. White trailed St. Louis defenseman Tomas Tatland, deflected a back-heel shot and sent an arcing ball over Lundt’s head and into it to tie the score at 2-2.

He wasn’t ready yet either.

Whitecaps defender Bjorn Utvik helped set up Vancouver’s third goal of the match when he sent a long pass to Ryan Raposo in the 61st minute. Raposo sailed a cross to White, who headed the ball past Lundt for his third goal of the match, putting the ‘Caps up 3–2.

The goal marked White’s second career hat trick. He also scored all three goals as the Whitecaps defeated the San Jose Earthquakes 3-0 on October 2, 2021.

However, goals have not come easily this season.

Prior to Saturday’s match, White had not scored since the ‘Caps drew 1-1 with the New York Red Bulls on April 27.

According to the attacker, perseverance is needed to get out of a dip.

“You really only have one option and that’s just keep going,” he said. “It’s doing everything you can on the training pitch, extra reps in front of goal after training, studying film, doing the mental side of the game. There’s a lot that goes into getting through those tough times.”

COMMENTS

Saturday marked just the fourth time the Whitecaps have come from behind to win an MLS game, the last time coming against the Timbers on Oct. 20, 2021, in Portland. … Both Vancouver and St. Louis were missing a number of players. The Whitecaps were without forward Damir Kreilach (calf) and defender Sam Adekugbe (calf) due to injuries, while wingback Ali Ahmed (Canada) and defensive midfielder Andres Cubas (Paraguay) are both at the Copa America with their national teams. Vancouver’s Alessandro Schopf also missed the game due to suspension after receiving a red card last week. St. Louis were without midfielder Rasmus Alm (knee), center back Roakim Nilsson (hamstring), wingback Tomas Ostrak (ankle), wingback Celio Pompeu (lower leg) and forward Joao Klauss (knee), while defender Kyle Hiebert was out with the Canadian national team. … An announced crowd of 24,662 attended the game at BC Place.

NEXT ONE

The Whitecaps visit Minnesota United on Wednesday. St. Louis hosts the San Jose earthquakes the same evening.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 29, 2024.