Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Cannon, Whitecaps Defence Come Up Big in 0-0 Draw with Chivas USA

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Cannon, Whitecaps Defence Come Up Big in 0-0 Draw with Chivas USA

Article excerpt

Cannon, Whitecaps defence come up big in draw


CARSON, Calif. - Joe Cannon came up big when it mattered Saturday night. The Vancouver Whitecaps' attacking players, not so much.

It led to a scoreless draw with Chivas USA, an appropriate result in a game that lacked scoring opportunities and was defined by the inability of both teams to create a coherent offence.

Cannon denied back-to-back free kicks by Juan Pablo Angel and Paolo Cardozo with about 20 minutes to go, Ben Zemanski volleyed over the crossbar from close range in the 88th minute, and the Whitecaps' defence got in the way of two Jorge his defence got in the way of two Jorge Villafana shots in stoppage time to claim a point in front of 11,659 at Home Depot Center.

Vancouver might have gotten more from the match had there been greater urgency up front. The Whitecaps (8-4-6) found their way into dangerous positions four times in the first 15 minutes and couldn't get off a decent shot.

"In the first half we played quite well," said Vancouver coach Martin Rennie, whose team posted its ninth clean sheet of the season -- its second against Chivas in L.A. -- and extended its shutout streak to 184 minutes. "We moved the ball well and created some good chances. Disappointed that we didn't maybe have a couple shots when we were on the edge of the box and could have -- or should have."

The Whitecaps clearly missed rookie Darren Mattocks' pace and dynamism up front, but he wasn't available, suspended after a late yellow card in Wednesday's victory over Colorado.

New Designated Player Barry Robson, who made his Major League Soccer debut in Colorado, went the full 90 minutes. He got better as the game proceeded, taking the reins from Davide Chiumiento and generating much of the second-half attack.

"That's the big thing, he's wanting the ball all the time," Rennie said. "It will take him a couple more games to get his touch clean and to integrate into the team, but he drove us on."

Vancouver had a numerical advantage in midfield through the first half, with three in the middle, and it was more pronounced with Chivas' dominant holding midfielder, Oswaldo Minda, sitting out with his second yellow card-accumulation suspension of the season. …

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