U-17 Boys defeat Heerenveen 4-1
In what was a true test for Bart Choufour's side on their current Dutch tour, the Whitecaps overcame a team currently ranked sixth in the Dutch U-17 Eredivisie.
Immediately from the kick-off, Heerenveen played at a fast pace with sound positional play, good variation in attack and crisp ball movement, Despite their hosts qualities, the Whitecaps soon adapted to the speed of the game and took the lead on 11 minutes. Brayden Gant combined well with Ashley Ankiewicz before putting Ian Clark in the clear to hit the top corner of the goal for 1-0.
Heerenveen drew level from the penalty spot six minutes later after Whitecaps player Rhys Volkenant had brought down his opponent in the Vancouver box.
After changing the formation from a 4-3-3 to a 4-4-2 formation, Choufour's side started to handle Heerenveen's dangerous midfielders, and their dominance resulted in two more Whitecaps goals.
Ben Hemphill made it 2-1 on the rebound after the Heerenveen goalkeeper had initially stopped Sahil Sandhu's goal-bound strike. It became 3-1 when Volkenant made up for conceding the penalty with a header from a corner.
The in-form Hemphill then extended the Whitecaps lead three minutes before halftime, as Jordan Whitehead found him unmarked with a fine through ball. Hemphill calmly finished past the Heerenveen keeper to make it 4-1 at the break.
Expecting a Heerenveen fight-back, the Whitecaps contributed to a second half that had quality chances at both ends. Goalkeeper Justin Baarts, and his defensive back-line of Harry Lakhan, Stephen Woodruff, Volkenant, Kyle Knees, and substitute Phil Climie, made sure the scoreline remained in the Canadian team's favour.
In the end, a very satisfied Whitecaps team held on for a famous three-goal victory against one of the elite U-17 teams in the Netherlands.
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