Home MLS Vancouver Whitecaps “You’re always going to be judged on goals;” Miller leads Whitecaps to win

“You’re always going to be judged on goals;” Miller leads Whitecaps to win

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The Vancouver Whitecaps might not have had their captain, but they got a skipper’s performance from his stand-in, as Kenny Miller bagged the winner as the home side defeated the Columbus Crew 2-1 in front of 18,078 at BC Place.

The Scot took the ball from a tentative Glauber on 57 minutes, who hesitated in possession, before powering home a convincing effort past Andy Gruenebaum in the Crew goal.

“It’s always nice to go off the mark as a striker and you’re always going to be judged on goals,” Miller told reports following the match. “Second game in, you’ve managed to get off the mark, and it being the winning goal is double pleasing.

“But again, more importantly, it’s two wins from two. Two home games at the start of the season was an opportunity for us to put some points on the board and everyone in the dressing room is delighted with that.”

The forward’s goal came at a vital juncture in the match after a the Crew equalized just after half-time through Jairo Arrieta, who beat Joe Cannon with a low spinning shot that the ‘keeper appeared to misjudge.

Arrieta’s goal appeared to deflate the BC Place crowd – likely in light of the fact that Vancouver dominated the first half of play but could only score one through Daigo Kobayashi.

“We were a bit unfortunate maybe not to go in two or three up,” Miller said. “But obviously the start of the second half was disappointing to lose a goal so early in the half, but we regrouped again and it’s another three points and a fantastic team performance to get the win.”

Kobayashi’s goal just six minutes in was a spectacular lofted finish which caught Gruenebaum out of position and out of sorts. Crew coach Robert Warzycha opted to go for praise of the strike rather than criticism of his ‘keeper when asked about the opener.

“That was a very good shot from distance,” Warzycha said. “From where I was sitting, the goalkeeper maybe misjudged the ball and it ended up in the net. But the shot was pretty good…that’s why you come to the stadium, to see goals like this, yeah?”

Head coach Martin Rennie oozed praise for his side after the game, especially given his team’s ability to retain possession so convincingly – it held 52 per cent of the ball at final whistle and over 57 per cent at half-time – and explained the club is progressing as he had hoped.

“I thought it was a very entertaining game,” Rennie said. “We created more chances today in the game than I think we have in any game I’ve been here, so that’s encouraging. We had that one let down for the goal, so that’s disappointing but overall our play was very strong today.

“We scored two goals but created enough chances to score more and look very comfortable in possession at times.”

Still, while the possession was encouraging, Rennie conceded his team will need to be more incisive going forward – but he has faith in the players he has at his disposal.

“At the time, I felt we could have scored five goals today with clear chances, but maybe when I look at it later I’ll think I’m overexaggerating or I’ll think it should have been 10,” Rennie said. “What we tried to do initially [when I arrived as coach] is make our team more solid defensively, then improve in our possession.

“Because of our possession being better today, we then created more chances and that’s what we want to be doing, but then we want to be taking those chances and putting in a more reflection on the scoreboard.”

With the win, the Whitecaps improve to 2-0-0 and aren’t back in action until March 23, when they travel to Houston to face the Dynamo.

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