Gauld's penalty shot lifts Whitecaps to 2-1 victory over Real Salt Lake

·3 min read

VANCOUVER — An injury-time penalty shot by Ryan Gauld lifted the Vancouver Whitecaps to a 2-1 victory over Real Salt Lake on Saturday.

The goal was Gauld's second of the Major League Soccer season and added to a first-half strike by Ranko Veselinovic.

Real Salt Lake (7-4-4) replied with a goal from Justin Meram in the 61st minute.

After failing to register a single on-target shot in the first half, the visitors kept 'Caps (5-7-2) goalkeeper Cody Cropper busy in the second, forcing him to make three saves.

Zac MacMath stopped two of three on-target shots for Salt Lake.

Vancouver was awarded a penalty shot in injury time when RSL's Aaron Herrera tripped Brian White as he streaked into the box.

Gauld stepped up to take the kick in the third minute of added time and sent a shot high into the top right corner of the net to seal the win.

Tossaint Ricketts appeared to give Vancouver a 2-1 lead in the 83rd minute with a sliding shot from the top of the box but the goal was ruled offside.

Cropper put in a big performance for the 'Caps, including a pair of major stops in the 61st minute. First, he swatted a long shot by Jefferson Savarino out of harm's way, then dove to deny substitute Sergio Cordova on a point-blank attempt from the side of the net.

The netminder preserved Vancouver's lead in the 52nd minute, stopping another point-blank header by Cordova. But his teammates couldn't get the ball out of their own end and it ended up on Meram's foot.

The veteran winger sent a rolling right-footed shot into the bottom left corner of the net for the equalizer. The goal was Meram's second of the season.

A well-executed throw-in opened the scoring in the 31st minute.

Jake Nerwinski — wearing the captain's armband in place of the injured Russell Teibert (eye) — sent a long toss into the box where 'Caps defender Florian Jungwirth headed it to the front of the net.

Veselinovic got a right foot on the ball, sending it bouncing past the outstretched hands of the diving MacMath for his first goal of the year.

Salt Lake controlled 59.6 per cent of the possession across the first half but didn't get a single shot on target. Vancouver outshot the visitors 4-2 across the first 45 minutes of the game and 2-0 in shots on target.

Maikel Chang had RSL's best chance of the first half when he sailed a shot well over the crossbar following some chaotic 'Caps play in the penalty area.

The 'Caps tested MacMath early. Just four minutes in, Cristian Gutierrez sent a long cross in and Sebastian Berhalter blasted a shot from the top of the box, forcing MacMath — a former 'Caps 'keeper — to make a leaping save.

The Whitecaps will be back in action on June 14 when they face the Sounders in Seattle. Salt Lake will host the San Jose Earthquakes on June 18.

FOOT NOTES: Midfielder Caio Alexandre played his first game at B.C. Place. The 23-year-old Brazilian signed with the Whitecaps in March 2021. … The game was the only one on MLS's weekend schedule due to an international break. … The 'Caps hosted 17,134 fans at their second annual Indigenous Peoples match.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 4, 2022.

Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press

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