VANCOUVER, B.C. -- It's a perfect start for Carl Robinson's Vancouver Whitecaps.
A brace from forward Kenny Miller and second-half goals from Sebastian Fernandez and Pedro Morales powered the home side to a 4-1 victory over the New York Red Bulls at BC Place on Saturday in front of 21,000 fans.
Miller opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the 34th minute, after the assistant referee flagged for a handball on defender Richard Eckersley. The Scottish Designated Player finished coolly, slotting the ball into the bottom right corner as goalkeeper Luis Robles dived the opposite direction.
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Fernandez doubled Vancouver's lead on 50 minutes, hitting a powerful, swerving effort into the top right corner from outside the area. Robles managed to get fingers to the ball, but the velocity of the strike carried the ball past the 'keeper and into the net.
Miller then scored his second in the 77th minute, lobbing a bouncing ball over Robles expertly. Substitute Morales, the newly signed Chilean Designated Player, set the effort up with a beautifully weighted ball over the top of the New York back line.
Morales added the icing on top in the 89th minute, finishing inside the area after Nigel Reo-Coker teed him up after making a run into the right side of the area.
As good as the Whitecaps were, however, Bradley Wright-Phillips ensured David Ousted wouldn't have his clean sheet, scoring a consolation goal in the first minute of stoppage time with a flicked header from a cross from the left side.
Beyond the goals, Vancouver had several first half opportunites of note. One minute in, Miller blasted over, before winger Russell Teibert tested Robles four minutes later with a curling left-footed effort.
Darren Mattocks also looked dangerous, using his speed to break through alone twice, first toe poking a weak effort from the left in the 17th minute, before Robles denied the Jamaican from close range a minute later.
The Red Bulls, falling to 0-1-0, host the Colorado Rapids next Saturday. The Whitecaps, now 1-0-0, are down in Los Angeles to play Chivas USA next Sunday.
New York Red Bulls 1, Vancouver Whitecaps FC 4
March 8, 2014
MLS Regular Season
BC Place – Vancouver, BC
VAN: Kenny Miller 1 (penalty kick) 34’
VAN: Sebastian Fernandez 1 (Darren Mattocks 1) 49’
VAN: Kenny Miller 2 (Pedro Morales 1) 77’
VAN: Pedro Morales 1 (Nigel Reo-Coker 1) 89’
NY: Bradley Wright-Phillips 1 (Lloyd Sam 1) 91’+
VAN: Steven Beitashour (caution) 7’
NY: Armando (caution) 31’
VAN: Jordan Harvey (caution) 36’
VAN: Russell Teibert (caution) 62’
NY: Lloyd Sam (caution) 87’
New York Red Bulls (0-1-0, 0 pts.): Luis Robles, Richard Eckersley, Armando, Ibrahim Sekagya, Bobby Convey, Lloyd Sam, Eric Alexander (Ruben Bover 84’), Dax McCarty, Jonny Steele (Roy Miller 64’), Tim Cahill, Peguy Luyindula (Bradley Wright-Phillips 73’)
Substitutes not used: Ryan Meara, Matt Miazga, Kosuke Kimura, Andre Akpan
Vancouver Whitecaps FC (1-0-0, 3 pts.): David Ousted, Steven Beitashour, Andy O’Brien, Jay DeMerit, Jordan Harvey, Nigel Reo-Coker, Matias Laba, Russell Teibert, Kenny Miller (Kekuta Manneh 83’), Sebastian Fernandez (Nicolas Mezquida 73’), Darren Mattocks (Pedro Morales 65’
Substitutes not used: Paolo Tornaghi, Johnny Leveron, Erik Hurtado, Gershon Koffie
Referee: Abbey Okulaja
Referee’s Assistants: Brandon Major, Eric Weisbrod
4th Referee: Igor Cvetkovski
Attendance: 21,000 (sellout)
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Kenny Miller||Set the tone for Vancouver with his PK, and kept the Red Bulls defense busy all evening|
|2||Sebastian Fernandez||A fantastic debut for the Uruguayan, with strong two-way play on the left, and a stunning goal to cap it off|
|3||Nigel Reo-Coker||Still learning how to partner with Matias Laba, but Reo-Coker showed off his box-to-box game in this match|