2021 Major League Soccer, Regular Season
  • Ryan Gauld (23')
  • Russell Teibert (36')
  • Johnny Russell (43')

Vancouver keeps playoff pace with win over Sporting KC

Russell curls one home to cut the deficit for Sporting KC (0:42)

Johnny Russell puts Sporting KC on the board right before half with long-range effort. (0:42)

Ryan Gauld scored his third goal since his summer signing, Russell Teibert added his first of the season and the Vancouver Whitecaps held on to their early lead in a 2-1 victory over visiting Sporting Kansas City on Sunday night.

For Vancouver (10-9-10, 40 points), leading scorer Brian White assisted on both first-half goals as the Whitecaps kept pace in a crowded Western Conference playoff race, moving back into eighth in the pursuit of seven spots.

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After their third consecutive home victory, the 'Caps are a point back of Minnesota and two behind the LA Galaxy and Salt Lake, all of whom also won this weekend.

Johnny Russell pulled a goal back with his 11th goal shortly before halftime for second-place Kansas City (15-7-7, 52 points), which remained five points back of West leader Seattle with five matches remaining.

Russell has now scored in six consecutive games for Sporting KC, which could have mathematically clinched its postseason place with a win or draw.

But after winning four of their previous five, they'll have to wait after the Whitecaps put together one of their better performances of the season, especially before halftime.

The hosts were deserving leaders when Gauld put them in front in the 23rd minute.

Javain Brown created the danger when he curled in an outswinging cross from the left toward White at the back post.

White retreated slightly to meet the cross, and instead of sending a weak header toward goal, he guided the ball across the 6-yard box. Gauld reached it first and hammered a low and hard finish past SKC goalkeeper Tim Melia.

Teibert doubled the lead 13 minutes later on an attack that began when he won a turnover in midfield.

Teibert found Gauld, who played White wide on the right. White circled his run and then crossed back to Teibert near the top of the box.

Teibert's first touch bounced up slightly on the BC Place turf, allowing him to hammer a half-volley with his second that dipped beyond Melia's dive and caromed off the inside of the right post on its way across the line.