Vancouver Whitecaps embrace their first win as Eric Hassli scores a brace

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lorenzo bernardi

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  • Vancouver Whitecaps embrace their first win as Eric Hassli scores a brace

Vancouver Whitecaps embrace their first win as Eric Hassli scores a brace

After waiting for two years since their confirmation as a Major League Soccer franchise in 2009, Vancouver Whitecaps FC entered their home ground, Empire Field this Saturday to face Toronto FC in their inaugural MLS season opener. What a 90-minute stretch it was for the rookie club playing against one of the toughest teams in the league. The hosts came up to the expectations of the home crowd as they flogged TFC, 4—2.

The big-money deal paid off in the inaugural match as Eric Hassli, Caps’ only designated player scored a brace. Frenchman’s first goal came in first half and MLS Goal No. 2 in second half. Terry Dunfield and Atiba Harris scored one goal apiece further tormenting Reds’ defence.

Although former Zurich FC striker is a very soft spoken person off the field, his athletic abilities in the run of play filled every one with awe including TFC. The guests were unable to stop the player from surging into the defence and found him available all the time facing opposition’s poles.

The new signing made his appearance prominent in the starting minutes of the match. It was 15th minute since the start of the game when Davide Chiumiento spotted Harris in the open and slotted the ball to him, who passed it toward ready-to-rock Hassli with a slight deflection. Hassli wasted no time in finding the back of the net and scored his and Caps’ first MLS goal.

However, it was a wake-up call for the visitors and Toronto skipper, Dwayne de Rosario responded to it quickly. Five minutes after Hassli score, de Rosario received the ball in the right flank and rolled it to the box and did not lose it until it was inside the poles past Jay Nolly.

That was the only Toronto goal in the first half but it did not end for Vancouver side. Assistant of first Caps goal, Chiumiento was again involved in the second score. The player successfully gushed into guests’ defence with the ball still attached to his feet. Chiumiento fed Dunfield with a brilliant through pass in the 26th minute. Vancouver-native received the ball and immediately ushered it into the corner of the post.

At half-time, the scoreboard read 2—1 in favour of Blue and White. However, it did not end for the Caps in the other half either. The hosts were on fire despite the cloudy weather, and their aim of sending a strong message to fellow MLS teams regarding their presence in the league was cemented by Harris and another of Hassli’s goals.

The third goal for the Caps came through a set-piece when Russell Teibert’s kicked a free-kick landed at Harris’ feet who padded the lead with 64 minutes on the clock.

Hassli was again in the scene in 72nd minute when 69th minute replacement, Wes Knight assisted him with an easy pass that the Frenchman tapped in to score his second ever American career goal.

Maicon Santos’ tally two minutes later was a mere consolation as the remaining time till final whistle was kept goal-barren by the defence of both sides.

 

 

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