White's sliding finish in 74th sends Whitecaps past Austin

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Brian White had a sliding finish in the 74th minute to help the Vancouver Whitecaps beat Austin FC 2-1 on Wednesday night.

Vancouver (4-7-8) entered having drawn five straight matches — one shy of tying a MLS record. Austin (4-11-4) avoided a shutout for just the fourth time in its last 15 matches.

Whitecaps head coach Marc Dos Santos said his group started out the game on the front foot, but had some areas to tidy up heading into halftime.

"We addressed a little bit of things in our pressure from the front, we expanded a little bit more, took a little bit more risks but it gave us the opportunity to find key players in good spots to make good actions," he said.

Wednesday's result was a big one for a group that hasn't played in Vancouver yet this season, Dos Santos said.

"The mentality of these guys is road warriors I would say, they deserve it and every one that’s working hard in the club deserves it," he said.

Jake Nerwinski tied it at 1 for Vancouver in the 52nd minute by getting a foot on a loose ball in front of the net following a blocked header.

“I wanted to put an emphasis on trying to get more goals, trying to get assists, and really trying to help this team offensively," the veteran defender said.

Austin goalkeeper Brad Stuver came out of his area in the 74th minute to defend a counter attack, and Ryan Gauld slid it across the goal to an unmarked White at the back post for the winner.

Gauld was in his third game with the 'Caps since signing as a designated player late last month. He came on at halftime and had an immediate impact.

"I think most important was getting the win, it was a great feeling after getting a lot of consecutive draws but to be able to turn one into a victory is very good and I feel good I’ve settled into the team," he said. "It’s been a very easy group to settle into, I think everyone’s happy tonight.

Alexander Ring headed in Sebastián Driussi's corner kick in the 37th for Austin. It was the team's 14th goal this season.

The Whitecaps will host Los Angeles FC on Saturday. It will be the club's first game in front of home fans since March 2020.

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The Associated Press

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