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Vancouver edges Columbus to stay perfect

10:35 PM, Mar 9, 2013   |    comments
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Vancouver, BC (Sports Network) - Vancouver Whitecaps FC maintained its perfect start to the 2013 MLS season by claiming a 2-1 win over the Columbus Crew at BC Place on Saturday.

The Whitecaps opened the season with a 1-0 home win over Toronto FC, and they looked a strong bet to continue that roll when Daigo Kobayashi gave them the lead early on in Saturday's tilt.

Jairo Arrieta pulled Columbus level early in the second half, but Kenny Miller struck just before the hour mark to help Vancouver (2-0-0) collect a total of six points from its opening two games. Columbus (1-1-0) remains on three points following its comfortable defeat of Chivas USA last weekend.

The Whitecaps grabbed the opener through Kobayashi's sensational sixth-minute strike. The Japanese midfielder collected a pass from Darren Mattocks and fired a shot over the head of Andy Gruenebaum, finding the upper corner of the net from 35 yards out.

Vancouver nearly doubled its advantage on three separate occasions in the final six minutes of the opening period.

The first came as a result of a well-worked move down the left flank. Alain Rochat laid the ball off for Miller, whose shot was parried aside by Gruenebaum. Nigel Reo-Coker was left with an open look at goal but he sent his attempt over the frame.

Miller had another fine opportunity to extend Vancouver's lead moments later, but his shot from close range was turned out for a corner kick. The ensuing delivery from Kobayashi was met by Brad Rusin, who sent his header off the post. Columbus cleared their lines and retreated to the locker room for halftime, fortunate to be trailing by just one goal.

The 'Caps were left to rue those misses as the Crew leveled the score less than a minute into the second half. Ben Speas threaded a through ball into the path of Arrieta, who fired a low shot that unbalanced Joe Cannon and ended up in the back of the net.

Vancouver battled back and eventually restored its one-goal lead when Miller dispossessed Glauber in the 57th minute and promptly slotted a shot past the on-rushing Gruenebaum.

The 'Caps thought they had wrapped up the affair 11 minutes from time when Erik Hurtado turned in a square pass from Miller, but the goal was disallowed as the rookie striker was ruled offside.

The Sports Network

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