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Whitecaps blank St. Louis City to clinch playoff spot

Brian White, Sebastian Berhalter and Richie Laryea scored goals and the Vancouver Whitecaps clinched a playoff spot with a solid 3-0 victory over visiting St. Louis City on Wednesday night.

White’s goal was his 15th of the season as he continues to be in the mix for the Golden Boot, given to the leading goal-scorer in MLS.

Yohei Takaoka had two saves while posting his seventh shutout of the season for Vancouver (12-10-10, 46 points). The Whitecaps snapped a four-match winless stretch (0-2-2) and moved into a tie for fourth place in the Western Conference.

Ben Lundt made four saves for St. Louis City in his MLS debut. Goalkeeper of the Year candidate Roman Burki was given the night off with St. Louis (17-11-5, 56 points) having already clinched first place in the West.

St. Louis remains one point away from the single-season points record for an expansion side set by Los Angeles FC in 2018.

Vancouver had a 19-6 edge in shots and placed seven on target to St. Louis’ two.

White scored in the 58th minute after setting up his own breakaway by heading the ball forward in the midfield and running it down. Lundt came out to challenge White, and the Vancouver star chipped it past him and it bounced into the net.

Berhalter scored an insurance goal in the 82nd minute as he unleashed a left-footed shot from outside the box that sailed into the left corner of the net. It was Berhalter’s second goal of the season.

Laryea capped Vancouver’s strong performance by putting a left-footer in the net in the sixth minute of second-half stoppage time. It was his third overall goal of the season and first in 10 matches for the Whitecaps.

Vancouver had an 8-1 edge in first-half shots, but none were on target.

St. Louis’ lone shot was a header by Nicholas Gioacchini in the 32nd minute that was stopped by Takaoka.

In the 37th minute, Vancouver’s Ryan Gauld had a loose ball come to him and he sent a right-footer into the net. However, a video review ruled that Gauld was offside on the play.

–Field Level Media

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