Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency made a fine start to their Gordon Jago U-19 Super Group campaign at Dr Pepper Dallas Cup XXXII with an impressive 3-2 victory over Brazil's Sport Club Corinthians Paulista on Sunday afternoon.
A hat-trick by Vancouver, BC, native Ben Fisk set Richard Grootscholten's young side on their way to a valuable win in their Bracket C opener at Pizza Hut Park Field #6 in Frisco, Texas. Though Corinthians scored two late goals, the young 'Caps held on for an important victory.
Although this is the fourth straight year that Whitecaps FC Residency have played in the Dallas Cup Super Group, most of Grootscholten's squad are making their first appearances in the tournament's showpiece event. Vancouver made a fine start to Sunday's match, as they took full advantage of the strong Texas winds that were behind their backs in the first half.
On eight minutes, the 'Caps took the lead straight from a corner, as Fisk used the windy conditions to his advantage by hitting an inswinging set-piece past the Corinthians goalkeeper and into the net for a 1-0 Residency lead.
Whitecaps FC remained dangerous on the counter-attack, as their South American opponents struggled to deal with the conditions, despite their attempts to push forward in search of an equalizer. They also found the Residency's defensive rearguard in solid form, with defender Daniel Stanese doing well to cut out a dangerous Corinthians free kick set-piece on 35 minutes, while fellow centre back Derrick Bassi also put in a strong performance as Residency captain.
'Caps goalkeeper Brian Sylvestre was also in good form on Sunday, with United States U-20 international making an important save just before halftime to maintain Vancouver's one-goal lead at the break.
That allowed Fisk to increase the Residency team's lead on 54 minutes. Midfielder Kevin Cobby played a through ball that allowed the Canadian U-20 international to split Corinthians' centre backs before finishing through the legs of the Brazilian club's goalkeeper for his second goal of the match.
As the match entered the dying stages, Corinthians got more frustrated with their attempts to try and get back into the game. Their plight was made even more daunting on 75 minutes when Fisk completed a fine day with his third goal. Caleb Clarke made a forward run from the left before squaring a pass to Fisk, who made no mistake from close range to make it 3-0.
Facing a heavy defeat, Corinthians continued to battle and quickly got a goal back on 78 minutes, as the Brazilians broke into Vancouver's box and finished past Sylvestre for 3-1. Then in four minutes of time added on, Corinthians made the scoreline respectable with a second goal off a corner after sending most of their players forward.
Despite the late rally from the young Brazilians, the Residency squad held on for a very notable 3-2 result. "It's always good to win the first game in this tournament," Grootscholten told whitecapsfc.com after Sunday's victory. "We want to challenge these quality teams and see where we are on this level. We saw a lot of good things from the players today. They worked hard and did everything to get the result today. We scored our goals at the right moments, so it was a very good day."
Whitecaps FC Residency return to Dallas Cup action on Monday, as they take on Mexico's Tigres de la Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León (Tigres UANL) at Pizza Hut Park Field #7 in Frisco, Texas at 10 a.m. PT. Both the 'Caps and Tigres UANL have three points from their opening Bracket C games after the Mexicans defeated Real Salt Lake U-17/U-18 Academy 3-1 in Sunday afternoon.
Whitecaps FC Residency - line-up vs. Sport Club Corinthians Paulista (Dallas Cup XXXII)
1.Brian Sylvestre; 14.Adam Polakiewicz, 3.Derrick Bassi, 17.Daniel Stanese, 15.Declan Rodriguez; 2.Bryce Alderson (21.Ben McKendry 85'), 6.Kevin Cobby (16.Alex Rowley 66'), 12.Carlos Marquez (10.Tim Hickson 53'); 8.Ben Fisk, 5.Caleb Clarke (18.Doudou Toure 84'), 9.Bedri Gashi (7.Spencer DeBoice 41')