Vancouver, BC (SportsNetwork.com) - Vancouver Whitecaps FC will attempt to halt a two-match losing streak on Saturday when the club welcomes Western Conference rivals Real Salt Lake to BC Place.
Vancouver has been a pleasant surprise around the league for most of the season, and were flying high after a dominating 3-0 win over the Philadelphia Union on May 9, but since that win, the club has suffered a 2-0 defeat to Cascadia rivals Seattle Sounders FC and a 1-0 loss to the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park last week.
Colorado goalkeeper Clint Irwin produced quality saves on Kekuta Manneh and Mauro Rosales in the opening half before the Whitecaps nearly scored on the stroke of halftime when Octavio Rivero headed a corner kick off the crossbar.
There was a brief lightning delay at halftime that kept the teams in the dressing room a bit longer, but it was the home side that came out stronger after the break.
Midfielder Gabriel Torres set up the lone tally when he popped a ball up inside the box for Lucas Pittinari to volley past goalkeeper David Ousted.
The Vancouver netminder did well to keep out a powerful long-range effort from Dillon Powers before he produced an even better stop on Luis Solignac's shot from 12 yards by tipping the ball past the far post.
Substitute Pedro Morales thought he had rescued a point for his side in the 81st with a well-struck free kick, but the debatable decision denied the visitors a point.
"It was a great finish by (Pittinari)," Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson stated. "Fair play to him. It was great technique, it was a super strike and it's a great goal. I'll give him a lot of credit for that, but if you're asking me if there was a foul in the build-up, yes there was."
Real Salt Lake, meanwhile, will aim to get back on the winning track after suffering a 1-0 loss to heated rivals the Los Angeles Galaxy on Wednesday.
The Galaxy struck first in the seventh minute when Juninho converted from the penalty spot with a right footed shot that beat Real goalkeeper Nick Rimando to the lower left corner.
Salt Lake had a great chance in the 25th minute when Olmes Garcia took a shot from the right side of the box on a set piece but missed the right side of the net.
Salt Lake only had one quality chance in the second half and it came in the 84th minute. Javier Morales' right-footed shot from outside the box just missed high and wide to the right as the Galaxy collected three points.
"I think we lost the game in the first 10 minutes, anytime you are giving away a penalty kick, it is a goal that is really not earned, it is kind of given to them," said RSL head coach Jeff Cassar. "We gifted them one, after that I thought we settled down, applied pressure, and it was a game that if our final balls were just a hare better, or we are receiving the final balls just a hare better it could be a different night because I thought we put ourselves in some decent spots to get opportunities, it just didn't have it tonight."