Whitecaps FC advance to Canadian Championship semifinal

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TORONTO, ON – Vancouver Whitecaps FC advanced in the Canadian Championship following a 4-1 victory over York United FC in the quarterfinal matchup on Wednesday evening at York Lions Stadium.

The road victory for the defending champions will see the 'Caps visit Pacific FC between May 23 to 25 in an all-BC semifinal at Starlight Stadium in Langford, BC. The winner will then host the final in early June.

The first half began with some pressure in the midfield from the ‘Caps. At the 38th minute of the match, attacking midfielder Ryan Gauld delivered a cross to forward Déiber Caicedo, his leaping header went just wide of the net. The first half ended scoreless with the ‘Caps outshooting York 12-2.

After the interval, Whitecaps FC continued to press and in the 65th minute, Ali Ahmed sent in a ball to Russell Teibert inside the area, the central midfielder’s shot struck the crossbar and bounced its way into the goal following a deflection off York midfielder Elijah Adekugbe.

The opportunities would continue for the Blue & White. York United FC goalkeeper Niko Giantsopoulos came out of his own area to head the ball; however, Simon Becher would win the possession back. The ‘Caps striker would neatly find the net to give his squad a 2-0 advantage in the 76th minute.

With the match nearing its finish line, goalkeeper Yohei Takaoka made a kick save off a Markiyan Voytsekhovskyy attempt. The ‘Caps would end up going on a quick counter attack where Pedro Vite fed a ball to Levonte Johnson on the left. The WFC2 forward did well to create space and hit a right-footed striker with the outside of his foot that found the back of the net in the 88th minute.

The home side found themselves on the scoreboard moments later. A strong strike from distance from Austin Ricci curled its way into the bottom corner in the 90th minute of the match.

Vancouver were then awarded a penalty kick in the 92nd minute, as Julian Gressel calmly converted from the spot in added time.

The 'Caps are set to travel on the road next, with MLS action at Portland Timbers on Saturday, May 13 and at FC Dallas on Wednesday, May 17.

Whitecaps FC are back at BC Place for Next Gen Night on Saturday, May 20 against Cascadia rivals Seattle Sounders FC. Tickets are available at whitecapsfc.com/tickets.

Referee: Drew Fischer

Scoring Summary
64’ – VAN – Elijah Adekugbe (own goal)
76’ – VAN – Simon Becher
88’ – VAN – Levonte Johnson (Pedro Vite)
90’ – YOK – Austin Ricci (Lassana Faye)
90’+2’ – VAN – Julian Gressel (penalty kick)

YOK 47.4% – VAN 52.6%
Shots: YOK 6 – VAN 27
Shots on Goal: YOK 5 – VAN 7
Saves: YOK 5 – VAN 4
Fouls: YOK 11 – VAN 13
Offsides: YOK 2 – VAN 1
Corners: YOK 6 – VAN 4

90+1' – YOK – Brem Soumaoro
90+3' – VAN – Yohei Takaoka

York United FC
1.Niko Giantsopoulos; 2.Paris Gee, 3.Tass Mourdoukoutas, 6.Roger Thompson © (33.Matthew Baldisimo 25’), 43.Lassana Faye; 8.Elijah Adekugbe, 32.Brem Soumaoro; 16.Max Ferrari (12.Clément Bayiha 69’), 10.Oussama Alou (22.Austin Ricci 69’), 11.Kevin Santos (70.Markiyan Voytsekhovskyy 77’); 24.Osaze De Rosario (9.Brian Wright 69’)

Substitutes not used
67.Eleias Himaras, 23.Noah Abatneh

Vancouver Whitecaps FC
18.Yohei Takaoka; 2.Mathías Laborda, 4.Ranko Veselinović, 6.Tristan Blackmon (12.Karifa Yao 82’), 27.Ryan Raposo; 22.Ali Ahmed (28.Levonte Johnson 73’), 16.Sebastian Berhalter, 31.Russell Teibert © (26.J.C. Ngando 82’); 25.Ryan Gauld (19.Julian Gressel 68’); 29.Simon Becher, 7.Déiber Caicedo (45.Pedro Vite 68’)

Substitutes not used
1.Thomas Hasal, 23.Javain Brown