David Ousted made gigantic save after gigantic save in the second half of the first leg of the conference semi-finals to keep his side, the Vancouver Whitecaps, held on to a 0-0 draw with the Portland Timbers that they will take back with them to BC Place.
Rodney Wallace provided the first half-chance of the afternoon, eight minutes into the first leg, as his cross found the feet of Lucas Melano. However, the latter had to slide down to the ground to get a touch on the ball that David Ousted saved comfortably. Good combination play between Kakuta Manneh and Octavio Rivero down the left before a first-time shot from Gershon Koffie barely missed the right post, in the tenth minute.
This time, Manneh tried his luck from outside of the box but his effort sailed comfortably into the arms of Jack Gleeson. The first bit of drama came 18 minutes in where the supporters were begging for handball inside the area. Much to the demise of the Portland faithful, the arm of Fernando Adi hit the ball as Vancouver regained possession as a result.
Ten minutes before the halftime interval, Rivero finally found himself inside the area and received a pass. He had time and space to settle himself down, instead, the forward rushed his effort and it went over the top of the cross bar. Vancouver started to really impose themselves on the Portland defense and the Gambian-born speedster tried to capitalize on a defensive miscue but did not get nearly enough power behind his sliding strike as he would have hoped.
Ousted came up big, ten minutes into the second half to keep things level at zero. Alvas Powell delivered a ball in towards the middle of the danger zone from 30 – 35 yards out, Adi got a slight touch on the ball but the Dane was quick to react and came up with a huge save.
Diego Valeri perhaps came up with the best opportunity to find the back of the net with only 19 minutes remaining in second half. Off of a set piece opportunity, he rifled his effort on target from 25 yards out and the Whitecaps shot stopper laid out to keep out the danger. One of the final opportunities for Portland came in the 85th minute, Maximiliano Urruti had a go from outside the penalty area but his shot on target was week and Ousted made a comfortable save.
Once more, Urruti found himself in the middle of the action with just over a minute left to go in the match when his left-footed effort ricocheted back off of the inside of the far post and Vancouver cleared their lines.
Caleb Porter will have felt that his side should have definitely managed to find the back of the net, with their six shots on target, at least once but the confidence will be flying high as the Whitecaps boast the worst home record of all the playoff clubs.