VICTORIA, BC - Playing their third friendly match of the 2012 preseason, Vancouver Whitecaps FC (1W-0L-2D) defeated reigning Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) champions University of Victoria Vikes 2-1 in Victoria, BC, on Sunday afternoon.
A first-half penalty from Davide Chiumiento and a second-half strike from Matt Watson earned the Blue and White victory in the first-ever public meeting between an MLS club and a CIS team. The Vikes scored their consolation goal on a second-half penalty from Craig Gorman, as a crowd of 2,831 took in the weekend contest at UVic’s Centennial Stadium.
“It was an enjoyable occasion,” said Whitecaps FC head coach Martin Rennie after the match. “The event and the way it was run, as well as how our opposition played today, was excellent. I thought we were pretty comfortable today, though it might have been a bit tighter when we had a man sent off. We had a lot of possession and moved the ball well today, though we would have liked to have had more goals at the end of it, especially in the first half. A lot of our guys got 70 to 90 minutes of action today, so I’m pleased with that.”
On a cool and dry winter’s day in the British Columbia provincial capital, Whitecaps FC made a bright start, as Rennie’s young side looked sharp and fluid with their passing and movement in the first half. The visitors created chances inside the first five minutes through a Darren Mattocks header and a neat Chiumiento turn and shot that just missed the far post.
Whitecaps FC opened the scoring on 11 minutes from the penalty spot, with Chiumiento converting his spot kick at the second time of asking after Mattocks had been initially brought down in the UVic box by Vikes defender Gavin Barrett.
Wearing the captain’s armband, Chiumiento gave Victoria soccer fans a display of his trickery on 20 minutes. The Swiss playmaker lobbed the ball over the head of Vikes defender Toshi Hayashi on the home side’s byline before forcing UVic goalkeeper Elliot Mitrou into a good save at the near post.
To their credit, the CIS champions battled hard and applied some decent pressure before the break. On 33 minutes, Vikes striker Kyle Kostis headed Joel Gomez’s curling cross wide of the far post.
By halftime, Mitrou had been the busier of the two keepers, as the Vikes shot-stopper made saves from the Vancouver strike pairing of Omar Salgado on 35 minutes and Mattocks on 41 minutes. As a result, the Blue and White led by a single goal at the break.
The second half was a livelier affair, with both sides making substitutions and each adding to the scoresheet. Whitecaps FC claimed their match winner on 52 minutes, as they took advantage of a scramble in the UVic box. MLS Supplemental Draft pick Greg Klazura found Watson to the right of the Vikes goal. From a tight angle, the Englishman smashed his shot past Mitrou to make it 2-0 to the ‘Caps.
Despite being two goals down, UVic did well to get back into the friendly contest. On 65 minutes, the Vikes were awarded a penalty after Davidson pulled down UVic substitute Thomas Mallette in the Vancouver box. The Japanese midfielder was shown a second yellow card, and a subsequent red card, by match referee Ruben Similic before Gorman converted the penalty to make it 2-1.
The goal gave the hosts some life, and with Rennie’s side finishing the game with ten men, Bruce Wilson’s Vikes squad pushed for an equalizer. It was the lively Mallette that came closest to finding a second UVic goal, but his close-range shot from a Cam Hundal byline cutback sailed high and wide of the target on 78 minutes.
In the end, Whitecaps FC secured their first win of preseason, with Sunday’s result taking the club’s all-time record versus UVic to five wins, one defeat, and one draw since 2005.
Rennie’s squad will return to the Lower Mainland and prepare for Monday’s trip to Orlando, Florida, where they will take part in the Disney Pro Soccer Classic at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The ‘Caps will face Canadian arch-rivals and MLS expansion club Montreal Impact on Friday at 5 p.m. PT before meeting a second MLS Eastern Conference club in Houston Dynamo next Sunday at 10 a.m. PT. They wrap up their schedule with a match versus Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday, February 29, at 3 p.m. PT. On Sunday, March 4, Whitecaps FC will conclude their preseason schedule with a friendly versus Rennie’s former club Carolina RailHawks at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina, at 12 p.m. PT.
11’ – VAN - Davide Chiumiento (penalty kick)
52’ – VAN – Matt Watson (Greg Klazura)
67’ – UVIC - Craig Gorman (penalty kick)
Shots: UVic 10 - Vancouver 13
Saves: UVic 7 - Vancouver 1
Fouls: UVic 12 - Vancouver 8
Corners: UVic 3 - Vancouver 4
Offsides: UVic 2 - Vancouver 1
39’ – VAN - Jun Marques Davidson
53’ – VAN – Darren Mattocks
65’ – VAN - Jun Marques Davidson
65’ – VAN - Jun Marques Davidson
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
18.Brad Knighton; 39.Greg Klazura, 19.Carlyle Mitchell, 41.Suley Nuru, 3.Jordan Harvey; 28.Gershon Koffie (31.Russell Teibert 61’), 20.Davide Chiumiento (36.Bryce Alderson 70’), 27.Jun Marques Davidson, 16.Matt Watson (34.Caleb Clarke 84’); 22.Darren Mattocks (23.Long Tan 78'), 17.Omar Salgado (30.Bilal Duckett 70’)
Subs not used: 24.Callum Irving, 2.Michael Boxall
University of Victoria Vikes
29.Elliot Mitrou; 21.Gavin Barrett, 6.Toshi Hayashi (19.Alex Redpath 45’), 11.James Rhodes (10.Thomas Mallette 61’), 17.Andrew Ravenhill; 5.David Adams; 23.Cam Hundal, 16.Craig Taylor, 8.Joel Gomez (7.Wesley Barrett 45’), 27.Craig Gorman; 12.Kyle Kostis
Subs not used: 1.Michael Branion-Calles, 3.Spencer MacKinnon, 4.Colin Wilson, 14.Kurt Macaulay, 20.Connor Boag