Vancouver Whitecaps need to start matches better to make Playoffs, says Sartini

Vancouver Whitecaps head coach Vanni Sartini has called on his side to start matches better to help in their battle to make the MLS Cup Playoffs.

VWFC fell behind after just six minutes at home to the Houston Dynamo on Friday evening, with an unmarked Fafa Picault scoring inside the box as the Whitecaps failed to clear a corner.

For a long time, it looked like that might be enough to decide the tie, but the Whitecaps hit back in the 88th and 92nd minutes through substitutes Simon Becher and Lucas Cavallini.

It’s a vital win that leaves the Whitecaps just two points adrift of the Playoff line, but it’s the second time in quick succession the Canadian side have scored late to salvage a result after Javain Brown secured a 1-1 draw in the 87th minute against Nashville SC.

If the Whitecaps are to jump into the top seven and make the post-season, they must start dominating games from the start, according to Sartini.

“We need to be better in starting the game and be ourselves from the beginning,” the Italian manager said. “To be honest, we started the game well, but we conceded a goal that [was] kind of childish to concede …In order to go to the playoff, we need to have games where we are out in front at the end of the first half, for sure.”

Match-winner Cavallini agreed, adding: “I think we need to wake up more from the beginning,” Cavallini echoed. “It’s like we react when we concede a goal, and that’s something that really kills our game a little bit, because if it wasn’t for the two goals we scored to come back, who knows?”

Up next for Vancouver is a trip to an LA Galaxy side that have lost five of their last seven MLS matches.

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