Whitecaps down Cavalry FC in penalty kicks in Canadian Championship quarterfinal

Vancouver Whitecaps defender Cristian Gutierrez celebrates his game-winning goal with teammates in a shoot out over the Calgary Cavalry during soccer action in the Canadian Championship quarter-finals. (Jeff McIntosh/CP)

Cristian Gutierrez scored on a penalty kick to give the Vancouver Whitecaps of Major League Soccer a win over Cavalry FC of the Canadian Premier League in an exciting quarterfinal match of the Canadian Championships at ATCO Field.

Gutierrez’s goal came after Vancouver goalkeeper Cody Cropper had made a diving save to stop a shot from Cavalry’s Ali Musse.

Mayer Bevan gave Cavalry a 1-0 lead in the 72nd minute with a rocket of a shot from distance that went over Cropper’s fingertips.

Vancouver’s Erik Godoy tied the match in the 85th minute, heading in a corner kick from Deiber Caicedo. That came just a few minutes after a Cavalry defender had cleared a Whitecaps shot off the goal line.

With the scored tied after regulation the game went directly to penalty shots.

After a slow start Cavalry began to take over the match in the second half. Bevan turned an innocent looking play into a goal with a blistering shot. It was Bevan’s third goal of the tournament.

Vancouver now faces York United FC on June 21.

The win also helped exorcise some ghosts for the Whitecaps.

During the 2019 Canadian Championships Cavalry upset the Whitecaps with a 2-1 aggregate win, the first victory for a CPL team over an MLS opponent.

Earlier Wednesday, MLS side CF Montreal defeated CPL’s Forge FC 3-0.

The Whitecaps showed how seriously they were taking the match with a starting lineup that featured MLS veterans like forward Lucas Cavallini, midfielders Russell Teibert and midfielder Ryan Gauld and defenders Erik Godoy and Javain Brown.

The teams were tied 0-0 after the first half despite the Whitecaps holding an advantage of play. The Whitecaps led 9-3 in shots and were 2-0 with shots on goal.

Cavallini, one of the players being considered for Canada’s World Cup team, had a pair of great scoring chances. Early in the half he headed a pass from Cristian Gutierrez that Cavalry goalkeeper Marco Carducci stopped. Later, Cavallini was left open in front of the net but a Cavalry defender was able to get his foot on the shot, sending it over the net.

Late in the opening half Gauld sent a shot just wide of the corner of the net.

Cavalry threatened early in the second half off a corner kick. Daan Klomp took the ball and fired a shot through a maze of players that Cropper, who just came of COVID-19 protocol, was able to grab.

In the 69th minute Cavalry’s Victor Loturi fired a left-footed shot over top of the Vancouver net.

It was a physical match with both teams dealing out some heavy tackles. Teibert left the match early in the second half being hit in the face by the ball with just a few minutes left in the opening half.

The Whitecaps lost 2-1 to Charlotte Sunday and currently sit at the bottom of the MLS Western Conference standings with a 3-7-2 record.

Cavalry came into the game unbeaten in its last four CPL appearances (3-0-1) and sitting second in the league standings with a 3-2-2 record.

NOTES: Teibert was playing in his 11th edition of the Canadian Championship, more than any other player … Vancouver is winless in six road games in MLS … The Whitecaps defeated Valour FC in 2-0 in the Canadian Championship's opening round, while Cavalry beat Edmonton FC 2-1.

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