VANCOUVER, BC - Vancouver Whitecaps FC Reserves (MLS Reserve League 3W-2L-3D) fell just short in their bid to end Richmond Kickers' (USL PRO 13W-0L-8D) 21-match unbeaten streak, losing 2-1 Tuesday at UBC’s Thunderbird Stadium.
It was the second time the teams met in the 2013 season, having previously played to a 1-1 draw on June 23 at City Stadium in Richmond, Virginia. Just as he did on that occasion, rookie striker Kekuta Manneh scored the lone goal for the 'Caps. The 18-year-old Gambian has now scored in three of his last four MLS Reserve League apperances.
Five minutes in, former Whitecaps FC midfielder Philippe Davies took out 'Caps U-18 midfielder Marco Bustos. On the ensuing free kick, midfielder Daigo Kobayashi tested Kickers keeper Andrew Dykstra from 30 yards out but the loaned D.C. United shot-stopper managed to keep the match scoreless.
Four minutes later, the ‘Caps had their first real opportunity of the match stemming from open play when a confident Erik Hurtado dribbled his way past a handful of Richmond defenders before firing a shot that was nicely stopped by Dykstra.
Against the run of play, the Kickers opened the scoring on 15 minutes when midfielder Sascha Goerres crossed the ball into striker Matthew Delicate, who flicked his header into the top left corner just out of ‘Caps keeper David Ousted’s reach.
A couple of minutes later, Hurtado had another opportunity to score, but his shot from a tight angle inside the box went just wide.
On 32 minutes, midfielder Aminu Abdallah lobbed a through ball into the path of Kobayashi. The Japanese midfielder beat Dykstra but his shot was cleared by Kickers defender Collin Martin.
Throughout the rest of the first half, the ‘Caps enjoyed long spells of possession inside Kickers' territory, but were unable to find the final ball that would lead to an equalizer. The Kickers went into the break with the 1-0 lead.
After an uneventful opening 15 minutes of the second half, Richmond withstood a flurry of chances from the Blue and White around the hour mark.
First, Hurtado had a very similar play to his first half opportunity, beating several defenders off the dribble before firing a shot that was saved by Dykstra. Then, defender Greg Klazura also saw his shot parried by Dykstra. In the last of the string of chances, Manneh showed off his pace in carrying the ball from midfield into Richmond’s box, before laying it off to striker Corey Hertzog. Unfortunately for the ‘Caps, the striker’s shot was just wide.
Minutes later, again against the run of play, Richmond found the back of the net and doubled their advantage as Conor Shanosky headed in Nate Robinson’s free kick in the 63rd minute.
Vancouver continued to press the play and finally found the back of the net in the first minute of added time. Manneh received a pass from Kobayashi in the middle of the park, beat two defenders, before slotting his shot into the bottom left corner. The young striker also scored the lone goal in the matchup between the two teams last month.
It was a case of too little, too late for the ‘Caps, however, as they were unable to find another goal to salvage a point before the referee blew the contest to a halt.
Next up for the 'Caps Reserves is a visit to Portland to face the Timbers Reserve side on August 4 at 2 p.m. PT.
15' - RIC - Matthew Delicate (Sascha Goerres)
63' - RIC - Conor Shanosky (Nate Robinson)
90'+1 - VAN - Kekuta Manneh (Daigo Kobayashi)
Shots: Vancouver 17 - Richmond 4
Shots on Goal: Vancouver 9 - Richmond 2
Saves: Vancouver 0 - Richmond 7
Fouls: Vancouver 10 - Richmond 12
Offsides: Vancouver 1 - Richmond 0
Corners: Vancouver 7 - Richmond 3
Vancouver Whitecaps FC Reserves
22.David Ousted; 8.Matt Watson, 33.Jackson Farmer^ , 43.Ethen Sampson*, 32.Greg Klazura; 20.Aminu Abdallah (35.Marlon Ramirez* 77'), 14.Daigo Kobayashi; 23.Kekuta Manneh, 37.Marco Bustos, 19.Erik Hurtado (38.Kianz Froese 70'); 26.Corey Hertzog
* Whitecaps FC U-23 -- ^ Whitecaps FC U-18
50.Andrew Dykstra; 18.Alex Lee, 3.Shane Johnson, 2.William Yomby, 23.Sascha Goerres (10.David Bulow 88'); 4.Luke Vercollone, 20.Philippe Davies (5.Michael Callahan 62'), 21.Conor Shanosky, 24.Collin Martin (99.Stanley Nyazamba 85'); 7.Matthew Delicate (12.Brian Ownby 62'), 29.Michael Seaton (14.Nate Robinson 62')