Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder Ion Erice (6) fights for control of the ball with Los Angeles FC forward Latif Blessing (7) during the first half of MLS soccer action in Vancouver, B.C. Wednesday, April 17, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Hwang’s first MLS goal lifts Whitecaps to 1-0 win over LAFC

Vancouver picks up first victory of season

VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Whitecaps won their first game of the season, topping Los Angeles FC 1-0 on Wednesday.

The victory was a feat for the ‘Caps (1-4-2), who had been winless through the first six games of the season and were taking on the league’s top team.

L.A. (6-1-1) went into Wednesday’s game undefeated and on a four-match win streak.

Vancouver midfielder Hwang Inbeom scored the game’s lone goal, marking his first tally in Major League Soccer.

Whitecaps goalie Maxime Crepeau put up four stops to earn his second clean sheet of the season.

LAFC ‘keeper Tyler Miller had three saves.

Hwang’s goal came in the 27th minute after Vancouver winger Victory Giro popped a shot off the post. The rebound ricocheted to Hwang and the 22-year-old South Korean took a quick shot, sailing a low ball past Miller.

The LAFC netminder had already made some tough stops, starting in the 14th minute after Hwang booted in a corner kick.

Vancouver defender Doneil Henry received the ball, heading it over to Yordy Reyna. The striker fired a right-footed shot from the right side of the box, forcing Miller to make a diving save.

L.A.’s first chance of the night came on a free kick in the 22nd minute after Henry took out Latif Blessing with a sliding tackle.

The move earned Henry a yellow card and Blessing spent several minutes writhing on the field before eventually getting back up and continuing to play.

L.A.’s star striker Carlos Vela took the free kick, sending a left-footed shot wide of the net.

Officials showed Giro the yellow in the 39th minute after he, too, made contact with Blessing.

Crepeau made a beautiful stop on a right-footed shot from Vela in the 45th minute to keep the ‘Caps up going into the half. It’s the first time this season that Vancouver has ended the first half of a game with a lead.

LAFC pushed hard in the second half, dominating possession and forcing the ‘Caps to defend hard.

The squad outshot Vancouver eight-to-five across the game’s final 45 minutes.

RELATED:Galaxy’s Ibrahimovic shines in 2-0 win over Whitecaps

The Whitecaps will be back in action on Saturday when they visit Orlando City SC.

LAFC host the Seattle Sounders on Sunday.

NOTES: LAFC’s Danilo Silva and Mohamed El-Munir each received yellow cards. Vancouver’s Hwang was also given a caution in the 72nd minute for unsporting behaviour. … Whitecaps midfielder Russell Teibert got his 100th MLS start.

THE CANADIAN PRESS

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