VANCOUVER — Teenager Alphonso Davies scored his first career Major League Soccer goal and set up another by veteran striker Kei Kamara as the Vancouver Whitecaps opened their season with a 2-1 win over the Montreal Impact on Sunday.
Forward Matteo Mancosu scored in the 81st minute for Montreal.
Davies, who doesn’t turn 18 until November but is already in his third season with the Whitecaps, scored in the 70th minute off a pass from Cristian Techera. Impact goalkeeper Evan Bush got his fingers on the ball, but it rolled into the net.
Just seven minutes earlier Davies had sent a crossing pass that Kamara, a two-time MLS all-star who Vancouver acquired in an off-season trade from New England, headed into the Montreal goal. Kamara was mobbed by his teammates and made the sign of a heart to the cheering crowd of 27,837 at BC Place Stadium.
The Whitecaps’ previous best crowd for a MLS season-opening game was 22,592 for their first match in 2011.
Mancosu scored off a header from the side of the net after a long pass from Daniel Lovitz. Mancosu had a chance to tie the game in the 85th minute, sending a ball just wide of the goal.
The Whitecaps controlled most of the play during the first half, but their efforts were not rewarded on the scoreboard.
Kamara, the 33-year-old native of Sierra Leone, made his presence felt.
In the 28th minute he plucked the ball off the feet of Montreal midfielder Samuel Piette, then launched a right-footed shot that Bush stopped.
The Impact, who came into the game with a roster riddled with injury, had trouble moving the ball out of their own zone, giving the Whitecaps several good scoring chances.
In the 18th minute Yordy Reyna drew a free kick after being knocked down by defender Victor Cabrera. Techera took the kick, narrowly missing at the side of the net.
A few minutes later Davies made a pretty pass that set up Reyna outside the box. His right-footed shot was wide to the left.
It was the third time Vancouver and Montreal met in a MLS season-opening game. Vancouver has won twice.
The Whitecaps finished third in the Western Conference last year with a 15-12-7 record before losing in the semifinals to Seattle.
The Impact missed the playoffs, finishing ninth in the East with a 11-17-6 record.
NOTES: During the off-season 17 players were moved from the Whitecaps roster. …The Whitecaps were 0-2-1 in their last three MLS season-opening games, with their last win March 8, 2014, against the New York Red Bulls. …During the second half Olympians from the Pyeongchang Games, including Cassie Sharpe, gold medallist in ski halfpipe, Meghan Agosta, of the silver-medal winning women’s hockey team, and figure skater Patrick Chan, were recognized.
Jim Morris, The Canadian Press