BREMERTON, WA – In the third of five consecutive matches against Washington state sides, Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23 (4W-3L-1D) played to a 2-2 draw against Kitsap Pumas (1W-2L-4D) at Bremerton Memorial Stadium.
It took only five minutes for the first goal, as Kitsap midfielder Kasy Kiarash calmly finished around Vancouver 'keeper Simon Thomas.
On 37 minutes, the ‘Caps leveled the match at 1-1 after a nice through ball from midfielder Cam Hundal to Harry Lakhan.
On the stroke of halftime, a failure to clear the line by the 'Caps led to the home side taking the advantage just before the break with Kiarash scoring his second goal of the match.
The second half was filled with end-to-end action, with both sides having multiple chances to score. Solid defensive play from defenders Colton O’Neill and James Farenhorst kept the Pumas lead to just 2-1.
On 71 minutes, the ‘Caps equalized as Niall Cousens got a ball in the penalty area from Yassin Essa and fired in a shot to level the match at 2-2 with 20 minutes to go.
Despite pressure from Kitsap for the remainder of the second half, Vancouver held their own and walked away with a point.
Head of high performance Stuart Neely was pleased with his team’s weekend despite not getting a second win in as many days.
“It was a home-opening weekend for Kitsap, so they had a tremendous amount of support here,” commented Neely. “We got in late, because of traffic, and we got off to a bit of a slow start. Our boys were fatigued from the night before, and it showed tonight. The good part was that we fought against a hard, fast side tonight. We feel like we lost points, but we have to be happy with the overall weekend, getting four of six points.”
Next up, Whitecaps FC continue their road trek when they face Washington Crossfire on Wednesday, June 12 at Redmond High School in Redmond, Washington. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. PT.
5’ – Kasy Kiarash (Sebastiaan Jansen)
37’ – Harry Lakhan (Cam Hundal)
45’ – Kasy Kiarash
71’ – Niall Cousens (Yassin Essa)