VANCOUVER, B.C. — Two debuts. Different results.
Goals from Caps debutant Sebastien Le Toux and Camilo propelled the Vancouver Whitecaps to a 2-0 win over the Montreal Impact, who made their MLS debut on Saturday night at BC Place.
The victory is the second straight season-opening win for the Whitecaps, and the first-ever for rookie MLS coach Martin Rennie.
On the other side, the Impact were unable to earn a victory for first-year head coach Jesse Marsch.
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In a first half in which Vancouver had the slight edge in possession (53 percent), it didn’t take long for the home side to bring the crowd to their feet. Le Toux, who was acquired in the offseason, introduced himself to the 21,000 fans in the stands with a 4th-minute goal. Alain Rochat started the play with a long ball to Eric Hassli, and the big Frenchman flicked it into the path of his rushing countryman.
Le Toux’s first touch took the ball past Tyson Wahl, who stumbled on the play, and the forward found himself in alone with goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts. The 28-year-old showed patience and composure, sliding the ball across Ricketts and into the bottom right corner for the 1-0 goal.
The Impact had several decent first-half chances. The first fell to Sanna Nyassi, who chased a ball into the corner and forced Caps goalkeeper Joe Cannon off his line to smother the chance. In the 23rd minute, Montreal’s Justin Mapp attempted a left-footed volley from just outside the box. The fizzling strike appeared to dip, but ended up flying just over Cannon’s crossbar.
Just nine minutes into the second half Camilo doubled Vancouver’s lead, beating his marker and cutting inside the box to finish with his left foot. It was a composed finish to cap a fine piece of buildup play, during which Le Toux passed through Hassli’s legs to Chiumiento, who then sent Camilo into the box.
Montreal had their first real chance of the second half in the 59th minute, when Nyassi turned his marker before firing over Cannon’s goal with a left-footed shot when he should have at least tested the goalkeeper.
In the 61st minute, first-year Whitecaps defender Lee Young-Pyo cleared a Davy Arnaud header off the line. Montreal’s captain came close again 10 minutes later, hitting a long-range effort that just went over Cannon’s bar.
The home side nearly added a third goal through Rochat, but his 87th-minute strike was tipped off the post by Ricketts.
Vancouver next play on St. Patrick’s Day against Chivas USA at The Home Depot Center. The Impact also play on March 17, when they will host the Chicago FIre at the Olympic Stadium.