June 22, 2024
  • June 22, 2024
Vancouver Whitecaps Ali Ahmed

Cavalry Beats Whitecaps, But Bows Out Of Cup On Aggregate

By on May 22, 2024 0 938 Views

There was some deja vu in the air at BC Place last night as Cavalry came to town: the Canadian Premier League side once again beat Major League Soccer’s Vancouver Whitecaps on their own home turf, but the result wasn’t enough to see them past the two-legged fixture.

The Whitecaps had won at Spruce Meadows two weeks prior, taking the first leg 2-1. While Cavalry eked out a 1-0 victory away from home last night, the Away Goals rule means that it is the Vancouver Whitecaps who march on to the semi-final stage despite the aggregate score being level at 2-2.

Limiting their home loss wasn’t the way the ‘Caps – who are the two-time defending champions – wanted to advance, with head coach Vanni Sartini even calling the performance shameful. Fairly so, as they’d certainly left the door open wide enough for Cavalry to sneak a foot in.

The first half saw saw chances slip through the ‘Caps hands as Cyprian Kachwele found a tightly-angled shot batted away by Marco Carducci, while Cavalry forward William Akio put the visitors in front after a cross was accidently poked into the net by defender Ranko Veselinovic.

With Sartini bringing out some heavy guns from the bench at half-time, Cavalry goalkeeper Marco Carducci would put in an exemplary performance to keep the visitors in front. Try as Vancouver did, the MLS side weren’t able to procure an equalizer and, at the other end, had some uncharacteristic miscommunications at the backline that Sartini will want to see stomped out of ahead of the team’s Messi-Mania match against Miami this weekend.

For Cavalry, it was a righteous win against a team who enjoys the luxury of a payroll multitudes higher than Cavalry’s own – but despite the win, the reigning Canadian Premier League regular season champions will still bow out of the tournament as a whole.

Cavalry FC Tommy Wheeldon Jr
Photo Courtesy: Cavalry FC

Having bowed out of both Champions Cup and the Canadian Championship, all eyes will now be on Cavalry’s Canadian Premier League campaign.

Their win against the Whitecaps is the third time a CPL team has bested an MLS side, and by chance all of them involve the Whitecaps. Cavalry had done it the first time at these same grounds back in 2019, and two years later Pacific knocked the ‘Caps out of the cup with Marc Dos Santos being sacked afterwards. Now in 2024, Cavalry did it again despite not advancing through to the semi-finals.

The Whitecaps currently rest seventh in the west in a playoff position, boasting one of the best defensive records in the conference. Cavalry will leave BC with their heads held high and full of confidence as they host Valour FC this weekend.

Toronto FC will be one of their potential matchups in the semi-final stage, with John Herdman’s side having thoroughly dispatched CS Saint-Laurent 11-1 on aggregate. Still to play their quarter-final second legs are CF Montreal and Forge in another MLS-vs-CPL matchup, followed by a CPL-only affair between Pacific and Atletico Ottawa.

Header Image Photo Credit: Vancouver Whitecaps

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