League1 BC: ‘Caps earn all three points in thrilling 3-1 win over Harbourside FC


NANAIMO, BC – It was a big bounce-back for Vancouver Whitecaps FC MLS Academy as they secured a 3-2 victory in an enthralling match against Harbourside FC, with the goals flying in in the second half.

The game began in level fashion as both teams settled into the game. Whitecaps FC nearly opened the scoring inside 10 minutes had it not been for a goal-line clearance by Fergus Hall after Callum Weir got dispossessed trying to deal with a long ball.

Harbourside got the next shot on goal as Charlie Purcell got a chance in the 16th minute, going one-on-one after a good touch in the box, but was denied by Ben Alexander from short range. Ben Creswick then tried his luck with a shot just a few minutes later, but Alexander pushed it away for a corner.

Billy Bagiopoulos nearly caught Whitecaps FC out in the 35th minute by intercepting a ball across the goal from the ‘Caps defence, but was unable to put it on target to put his side ahead.

David Ajagbe had a fantastic opportunity to get on the board with five minutes left in the half to play, as he latched onto a lofted ball straight through the middle, but his ensuing volleyed effort soared over the net.

Moments later, Amoni Thomas got on the end of an incredible cross at the back post for a header, but was denied at point-blank by Weir to keep the match level. But right at the end of the half, Ajagbe managed to poach the first goal of the match after capitalizing on Weir spilling a shot in the box and tapping it home to give his side the lead going into the break.

The second-half began brightly for Whitecaps FC, as Thomas put a dangerous ball across goal, but no one was able to get there to tap it in.

Weir was called into action for Harbourside twice in quick succession around the 56th minute, denying both Sydney Wathuta and Cristiano Da Silva with shots inside the box.

Harbourside were a whisker away from equalizing in the 65th minute, after Suka Behery looked to have put it on a plate for Purcell to poke it home, but the forward was just a half-step behind the pass. In the end, the home side did manage to get their goal just a couple minutes later, as Behery drove a pass across goal for Billy Bagiopoulos, and Bagioploulos would not miss the goal twice as he tapped it in for the leveler.

Elijah Bean, fresh off the subs bench, nearly got the ‘Caps ahead immediately afterwards, trying to curl a shot past Weir from close angle, but the Harbourside ‘keeper did well to push it out of danger. Bagiopoulos tried to get his second of the match with less than 15 minutes to go, but caught the top of the ball for a tame effort on goal, making it easy for Alexander to collect.

Whitecaps FC won back the lead in the closing stages of the match, as Angelo Zhu played Riley Ferraro in behind. Ferraro, with a diving shot, slipped the ball past Weir as it trickled into the back of the net for the go-ahead goal.

Ferraro nearly got the insurance goal in the 90th minute, as he went one-on-one against Weir but the ‘keeper did well to make himself big and deny Ferraro his second and Whitecaps FC their third. However, Weir could not deny Ferraro two minutes later, as Wathuta flicked on a pass to put Ferraro clean on goal and this time beat Weir to earn him his brace.

Harbourside did pull one back right at the end as a long ball by Weir found Bagiopoulos in behind the Whitecaps FC defence, allowing Bagiopoulos to cooly slot it past Alexander to make it 3-2. But that was the last action of the match, meaning that the ‘Caps would come away as worthy victors of this encounter.

Whitecaps FC are back in action facing Burnaby FC in Burnaby on Wednesday, May 15 at 5:30 p.m. PT.


Referee: David Schmidt-Schweda

Scoring Summary
45’+1 - VAN - David Ajagbe
68’ - HFC - Billy Bagiopoulos (Suka Behery)
84’ - VAN - Riley Ferraro (Angelo Zhu)
90’+2 - VAN - Riley Ferraro (Sydney Wathuta)
90’+6 - HFC - Billy Bagiopoulos (Callum Weir)
*45’ - HFC - Suka Behery
84’ - HFC - Fergus Hall

Harbourside FC
1.Cal Weir; 2.Joseph Ferris Chiari (5.Cam Shaw 64’), 6.Fergus Hall, 4.Wyatt Lyon; 15.Ashton Bryant (11.Jonathan McKenzie 61’), 16.Michael Hepelle (12.Senay Haile 64’), 8.Ben Creswick (9.Andres Tovar 74’), 3.Yusuf Osman; 10.Billy Bagiopoulos, 17.Charlie Purcell, 7.Suka Behery

Substitutes not used
30.Matthew Scott, 21.Matthew Coburn, 22.Tristan Cornwall

Vancouver Whitecaps FC MLS Academy
90.Ben Alexander; 87.Sahai Williams (89.Elijah Bean 69’), 73.Benjamin Lee ©, 72.Nikos Clarke-Tosczak; 84.Amoni Thomas (55.Isaac Charbonneau 86’), 68.Cristiano Da Silva, 95.Markus Rukavina (34.Riley Ferraro 79’), 88.Angelo Zhu; 23.Amir Ghasemi (65.Mario Lefevre 69’), 98.David Ajagbe (85.Sydney Wathuta 45’), 79.Matteo Samori (74.Aidan Fong 45’)

Substitutes not used
80.Alex Milosevic