MATCH ANALYSIS: Cavalry FC again beat Whitecaps at BC Place, but eliminated from Canadian Championship on away goals
Canadian Premier League

Final Score: Vancouver Whitecaps 0-1 Cavalry FC (2-2 agg., Whitecaps advance on away goals)
Goalscorers:  Veselinović 32′ (o.g.)
2024 TELUS Canadian Championship — Quarter-Final (Leg 2)

Match in a minute or less

Cavalry FC defeated the Vancouver Whitecaps 1-0 at BC Place on Tuesday night in the Canadian Championship, but lost the quarter-final series on away goals after the Caps won 2-1 in the opening leg in Calgary.

An own goal from Whitecaps defender Ranko Veselinović ignited Cavalry’s hopes, knowing scoring just one more would have seen them advance. The goal came after good work from William Akio down the left flank, and it was his low cross that was redirected into the back of his own net by Veselinović.

Cavalry came tremendously close to adding a second in the 78th minute with a lovely turn and shot in the box from Jesse Daley that forced an excellent save from Whitecaps goalkeeper Isaac Boehmer.

But in the end, the back-to-back Canadian Champions, the Vancouver Whitecaps, are moving on to the semifinals — where they will look to continue their run to a threepeat.

Three Observations

Whitecaps advance to semis after surviving significant scare from Cavalry FC

The Vancouver Whitecaps may be the side moving on to the next round, but they were hardly thrilled with the manner in which it happened on Tuesday night after being outworked and outplayed at home by a Cavalry FC side up for the challenge.

Whitecaps head coach Vanni Sartini was incredibly critical of his side’s performance after the match, feeling that especially in the second half they lacked the intensity befitting of a cup quarter-final.

“I think we need to apologize to our fans for our performance, that was shameful,” said Sartini, later adding, “When one of the teams tries to win, them, and the other team is very casual, that’s a recipe for the game that happened here.”

The Whitecaps head coach has long made his opinions on the importance of this competition clear. He literally wears it on his sleeve with the Voyageurs Cup trophy tattooed on his arm, representing the Whitecaps’ wins in 2022 and 2023.

In the lead-up to the match, in press conferences and otherwise he showed significant respect and understanding for Cavalry’s players and tactical identity. He did all of this while trying to make it clear to his players that they could not afford to look ahead to a clash with Inter Miami and Lionel Messi this weekend at BC Place in league action.

For large moments of Tuesday night’s clash, however, it very much felt like the Whitecaps took their eyes off the Canadian Championship prize — and it nearly cost them. The Caps made uncharacteristic mistakes throughout and never really matched the intensity or commitment of the visiting side.

After allowing Cavalry to score in the first half, Sartini was forced to make a pair of substitutions at the half, bringing on first-choice attackers Ryan Gauld and Brian White. But that didn’t truly shift the momentum, and Vancouver in the end were forced to hold on for an unconvincing aggregate victory.

“They deserve to win the game, and we qualify only because we were better in Calgary than them, especially in the second half,” said Sartini.

“Now it’s up to us to deserve the luck that we have today,” he added. “We need to deserve the luck playing a fantastic semi-final.”

Cavalry at their best during a tremendous team performance

Cavalry FC team huddle (Photo: Cavalry FC)

Despite the disappointment of elimination, Cavalry FC can step off the turf at BC Place with their heads held high following a tremendous team effort and performance that saw them take the back-to-back defending Canadian Champions to the brink.

“I think right now what I’m feeling is proud,” said Cavalry FC manager Tommy Wheeldon Jr. “Probably the disappointment will come through when I watch the game again how close it could have been. We just needed one more goal. One more goal. The reality is we’ve been separated by the worldie from Johnson in the first leg.”

For the vast majority of the players on this Cavalry side, they played their best match of the season on Tuesday. Marco Carducci was tremendous in keeping a clean sheet, making five saves including some truly world-class stops. In front of him, the centre-back pairing of Daan Klomp and Callum Montgomery made key defensive play after play as they kept some of the most dangerous attackers in MLS off the score sheet.

“What that does is it inspires the rest in front of them,” said Wheeldon Jr. “And with Jesse Daley, Charlie [Trafford], Sergio [Camargo] they all chipped in, and that for me is the sign of a quality side.”

Attackers were consistently seen making tracking runs defensively to cut out chances and eliminate numerical advantages in attack for the Whitecaps. As Cavalry return to league action on Sunday and beyond, they can take immense confidence from what they showed on the pitch on Tuesday night on both and individual and collective level. It was an impressive advertisement of the level of play Canadian Premier League sides are capable of reaching.

With the win in the match, Cavalry FC become the first team to defeat the Vancouver Whitecaps at BC Place in the Canadian Championship since they last did it back in 2019. This time, however, it doesn’t come with quite the same happy ending.

“I think what we saw with the Whitecaps is we knew it was going to be a Herculean effort to try to beat them, and we did,” said Wheeldon Jr. “But we just didn’t score that second goal which would have been remarkable I think.”

Daan Klomp shows significant pedigree during outstanding match at BC Place

The Canadian Premier League’s 2023 Player of the Year was the best player on the pitch on Tuesday night at BC Place with a tremendous performance against the Vancouver Whitecaps that showed the range of his abilities.

Klomp was critical in breaking the intense Vancouver Whitecaps throughout the match. He did so both with his outstanding passing range, and his movement to present an option beyond the initial Whitecaps line.

When they were secure in possession, Klomp moved even further forward to provide another option in the centre of midfield. On some opportunities, given his tremendous aerial ability, he even found himself rushing forward into the Vancouver box on occasions when his side had the ball out wide.

Somehow, despite putting in the extra yards to join the attack, Klomp still showed a consistent ability to get back and be in the perfect position to make critical defensive interventions. He made six clearances, two tackles and won six of ten duels and came up with some huge blocks as well in front of Carducci’s net.

“I thought Daan Klomp was outstanding,” said Wheeldon Jr. “For me, he was the best player on the pitch by a country mile. He got on the end of everything and progressed the ball very, very well.”

Klomp’s touch map below, demonstrating his team-leading 86 touches, shows just how much of the field he covered during this match.

Daan Klomp’s touchmap vs. Vancouver FC (Courtesy: Opta) Player of the Match

Daan Klomp, Cavalry FC

The 25-year-old Dutch defender showed every facet of his tremendous skillset on Tuesday at BC Place during a performance that just underlined why he is one of the Canadian Premier League’s best.

Box Score


Vancouver Whitecaps: Boehmer; Laborda (Gauld 46′), Veselinović, Utvik; Bovalina (Priso 77′), Vite, Berhalter (Schöpf 61′), Martins, Ahmed; Johnson (Raposo 61′), Kachwele (White 46′) 

Cavalry FC: Carducci; Kamdem, Montgomery, Klomp, Aird; Trafford (Kobza 88′), Daley (Dias 88′); Akio (Gutiérrez 66′), Camargo (Musse 66′), Brooks (Warschewski 73′); Shaw


32′ — Ranko Veselinović (Vancouver Whitecaps) (Own goal) 


7′ — Yellow: Jesse Daley (Cavalry FC)
22′ — Yellow: Pedro Vite (Vancouver Whitecaps)
44′ — Yellow: Lleyton Brooks (Cavalry FC)
45′ — Yellow: Ali Ahmed (Vancouver Whitecaps)
57′ — Yellow: Daan Klomp (Cavalry FC)
60′ — Yellow: Sergio Camargo (Cavalry FC) 

What’s next?

The Vancouver Whitecaps advance to the home-and-away semifinal round, and await a May 29 draw, and the results of the other quarter-finals, to determine their opponent.

In Canadian Premier League action, Cavalry FC are back in action on Sunday in the Tonybet Match of the Week against Valour FC (3 p.m. MT/5 p.m. ET).

Watch all TELUS Canadian Championship matches live on OneSoccer. In addition to its website and app, OneSoccer is now available on TELUS channel 980 and on Fubo TV. Call your local cable provider to ask for OneSoccer today.