U-17 Boys lose final European tour game

Vancouver Whitecaps U-17 Boys Prospects ended their spring break European tour with a 4-3 defeat to Alemannia Aachen U-17 side in Dusseldorf, Germany, on Saturday afternoon. Bart Choufour's side made the day trip into Germany from their base in Nijmegen, Netherlands, to take on Alemannia, whose first team play in Bundesliga Two. Despite a sunny spring day, the Whitecaps were unable to hold on to a somewhat comfortable lead against Aachen in less than ideal playing conditions in Dusseldorf. In fact, it was Alemannia that took the lead early in the match from a corner before the Whitecaps struck back on 25 minutes from a corner of their own, as Ashley Ankiewicz was at the far post to head home. Vancouver had more goalscoring opportunities after pulling level, but they had to wait until just before halftime for Ankiewicz to strike his second goal after he latched on to a pinpoint long pass from Kyle Knees for a 2-1 lead at the break. The Whitecaps picked were they left off to start the second half, with Sahil Sandhu further extending their lead 20 minutes after the restart. Brandon Ho slipped a ball in behind the Alemannia defence for Sandhu, who rounded the keeper and calmly scored for 3-1. Seemingly looking like they were on their way to an impressive win, Alemannia struck back when Ben Hemphill brought down an Aachen player in the Whitecaps box for a penalty. The German youngsters converted the spot kick to make it 3-2. Alemannia then equalized with a close-range volleyed strike that beat Whitecaps goalkeeper Justin Baarts following an excellent Aachen cross from the right. With the game poised at 3-3, the Whitecaps still had opportunities to regain the lead, but it was Alemannia that claimed the victory when an Aachen player – who seemed to be in a clear offside position – was allowed to continue his run at the Vancouver goal before striking home for the 4-3 result. The Whitecaps U-17 Boys Prospects are due to return back to Vancouver from the Netherlands on Sunday afternoon.

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