SANDY, Utah — For goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau, the three points his side earned in a 2-0 win over CF Montreal on Saturday were extra special.
The 26-year-old from Greenfield, Que., had four saves to collect his second clean sheet of the season — and his first against the club he grew up with.
Crepeau worked his way through Montreal's academy system and played five seasons with the club before being acquirred by the 'Caps in December 2018.
“It feels really good," he said of Saturday's win. "It feels good just because this is my roots and I haven’t got the three points against them."
Cristian Dajome had a brace for the Whitecaps (2-1-1) on Saturday.
His first came in the 57th minute after Lucas Cavallini made a nice run into Montreal territory and sliced Dajome a pass as he wove into the box. Montreal's Kamal Miller took the speedy Colombian down setting up a penalty kick in the 57th minute.
Dajome said he just tried to relax as he stepped up to the box.
"Sometimes you’re thinking about a million things in your head about the game. But you just have to be calm, focus on the task at hand and put the ball away calmly," he said through a translator.
Dajome approached the spot, took a little stutter step, then sent a right-footed shot past the outstretched fingertips of the diving CF Montreal 'keeper Clement Diop.
He then capitalized in a corner kick in the 71st minute.
Stationed just outside the top of the six-yard box, Dajome got his head on the ball, directing it down into the bottom right corner of the net to put the 'Caps up 2-0.
Despite the final score, Montreal (1-1-2) controlled 60 per cent of possession through the game and outshot Vancouver 16-10 with four shots on target.
Diop stopped 2-of-4 on-target shots.
“It wasn’t a perfect game, far from that," said Whitecaps coach Marc Dos Santos. "But it was a game where the guys fought, kept a good energy, kept a good mentality and a great answer after (last week's 1-0 loss to the Colorado Rapids) where we felt we could get points from there."
Montreal put a shot into the Vancouver net late in the second half when Crepeau came out of the net to corral a bouncing ball.
Finnish midfielder Lappalainen stayed with it as he and the 'keeper battled on the grass, and eventually swept it in.
The 'Caps vocally protested, saying there was a handball on the play. After a video review, referee Rosendo Mendoza declared the ball had hit the arm of Montreal's Erik Hurtado before Lappalainen put it in.
“It falls between me, Jake (Nerwinski) and the striker. Then it’s kind of a pinball game. It bounces a little bit everywhere," Crepeau said of the play.
The result snapped a three-game undefeated streak for Montreal, which had a win and a pair of draws to start the season.
The club has not scored in its last two outings, but coach Wilfried Nancy said he's not concerned.
“We had a couple of chances and for me, this is the most important," he said. "Because if we didn’t have chances, yes, I would be very upset about the situation but we had a lot of chances. Now we want to be better in front of the net.”
The team knows they have the ability to find the back of the net because they scored six goals in their first two games of the season, Hurtado said.
"I don’t consider this a drought. We are confident as a team and are confident in each other," he said. "We have a big squad with a lot of guys that can contribute. We are professional athletes, and we will be ready for the next game.”
CF Montreal will be back at their temporary home DRV PNK Stadium on Wednesday, but as the visitors as they face Inter Miami CF. The two clubs are sharing the facility to start the season due to the closed U.S.-Canada border.
The Whitecaps will face Minnesota United in St. Paul, Minn. the same night.
NOTES: Vancouver's Leonard Owusu, Cavallini, Dajome and Ranko Veselinovic were all shown the yellow card. Montreal's Djorde Mihailovic also received a warning from the referee. … Owusu made his first appearance of the season for the Whitecaps, coming off the bench in the 80th minute. The Ghanaian midfielder missed the first three games of the season due to a hamstring injury. … Bjorn Johnson made his first start for Montreal, coming in for Mason Toye, who was injured in the club's 2-2 draw with Nashville SC on April 24. … Montreal defender Kiki Struna played his 50th MLS game.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 8, 2021.
The Canadian Press