Dajome pots pair in Whitecaps win
Goalie Crepeau says he `feels really good' stopping 16 shots to blank his former team
Beating his former team wasn't just another game for Maxime Crepeau.
“I won't lie to you — it feels really good,” the Vancouver Whitecaps goalie said after his squad recorded a 2-0 triumph over CF Montreal in Major League Soccer action Saturday afternoon at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah.
Crepeau came to the Whitecaps in a 2018 trade with Montreal. They are his hometown team — he's from Montreal suburb of Candiac — and he had first signed on with their youth academy in 2010.
“It feels really good because of all of my friends, my family,” he continued. “I've been through their system. From 15 to 23 years old, I was in that organization. I know a lot of people. It feels good, because at some point this is my roots.”
Vancouver (2-1-1) got a goal on a penalty kick in the 57th minute from Cristian Dajome and then another from Dajome in the 71st minute when he headed home a corner kick from Deiber Caicedo.
Montreal (1-1-2) had the run of the play until that first marker. They had a glorious chance to take the lead in the 29th minute, but Crepeau dove to his left to foil a wide-open Bjorn Johnsen from the top of the box after a turnover by Vancouver defender Jake Nerwinski deep in Whitecaps territory.
Montreal had 61 per cent of possession on the game, and they had a 16-10 edge in shots on Vancouver.
“The save on Johnsen was very important,” Whitecaps coach Marc Dos Santos said. “Max is in a good moment right now. Max is ready.
“Max is doing a good job because of the competition he has. When he comes to training and Youssef (Dahha, the Whitecaps goalkeepers coach) works with the three goalkeepers, Thomas (Hasal) and Evan (Newton) are really good, too.”
Crepeau's only other outing against Montreal was a 2-1 road loss on Aug. 28, 2019.
Here's what we learned:
Dajome was taken down by Montreal's
Kamal Miller in the box, which led to the penalty. On his try from the spot, Dajome stutter stepped and then hammered one past Montreal's Clement Diop to the goalkeepers' left.
“I was just thinking about being calm,” he said, through a translator, of his penalty kick goal. “Sometimes you're thinking about a million things in your head. You just have to be calm and think about the task at hand and put the ball away.”
He's up to three goals on the season. He had three in 23 games with Vancouver last season.
Montreal looked to have gotten on the board late in the 89th minute when Lassi Lappalainen slotted one past Crepeau in a scramble but it was called back after video review due to a hand ball by Montreal's Erik Hurtado. Crepeau felt the play was offside as well.
A WARY EYE
The game was the first of three in nine days for Vancouver, who are at Minnesota United on Wednesday and at Sporting Kansas City on Sunday.
Dos Santo said that scheduling didn't play into his strategy on Saturday. He held off on bringing in substitutes until the 74th minute. He used three subs for the game.
“What I think is important to do in this league is to go game by game,” Dos Santo said. “We managed the substitutions thinking about this game and how do we get three points against Montreal. To look too much ahead, in football or in life, I don't think it's a good thing. I think it was important for us to manage the game now.”
Minnesota United was given the go-ahead by state officials on Thursday to fill Allianz Field up to its 19,600 capacity moving forward this season. They previously could only have 4,100 fans in attendance for the games this season.
Just how many people will be in the seats Wednesday remains to be seen. Dos Santos maintains he won't affected regardless.
“I look forward to having Vancouver fans, to having our fans,” he said. “I don't care too much about the fans from the opponent.”