VANCOUVER, BC – Whitecaps FC Reserves were rewarded for a dominant display with a 2-0 victory against Real Salt Lake at Thunderbird Stadium on Sunday. Goals in either half from captain Jordan Harvey and Erik Hurtado sealed the win.
Despite early Whitecaps dominance, Real Salt Lake had the first clear opening as a freekick fell kindly to John Stertzer but he couldn’t get enough power behind his header to trouble Brad Knighton on 7 minutes.
The lively Kekuta Manneh beat his man on the left flank on 24 minutes and found Tommy Heinemann open in the area. The striker struck a first time effort that beat Josh Saunders but cannoned back off the post. A minute later a rifled corner from Hurtado found Johnny Leveron in the box but the Honduran couldn’t hit the target with his header.
A good exchange between Hurtado and Manneh on the left flank on 37 minutes gave Manneh the chance to take on the Real Salt Lake fullback. The winger beat his man but shot wide of the near post from a tight angle.
Real Salt Lake threatened again on 40 minutes when fullback Abdoulie Mansally bombed down the left flank and, after some good footwork, played in Olmes Garcia who struck a fierce first time effort into the side netting. Whitecaps FC immediately countered with Heinemann finding space in the Real Salt Lake half. The striker took a left-footed shot from 25 yards that went narrowly wide with Saunders rooted to the spot.
With halftime looming Whitecaps FC won a freekick outside the area, which was swung into the box by Manneh. The delivery found Heinemann whose header was blocked, but the ball fell kindly to Harvey who slammed home from close range to open the scoring on 44 minutes.
Following a quiet opening to the second half, Vancouver came close to a second on 57 minutes when Koffie played in Matt Watson in the area who drilled an inviting cross across the box. Heinemann failed to make meaningful contact with the goal at his mercy.
Real Salt Lake carved out their clearest chance on 64 minutes when Enzo Martinez wriggled free in the area and got a shot off but Knighton pulled off a smart stop to preserve the’ Caps’ lead.
Vancouver were enjoying the majority of the pressure sought a deserved second on 78 minutes when Klazura got to the byline and drilled the ball across the box. Heinemann chested the ball into the path of Harvey who unleashed a powerful effort that was deflected just wide of the post.
Whitecaps FC eventually did double their lead on 85 minutes when Watson found Hurtado with a pinpoint long-range pass. The young forward beat two defenders before finishing past Saunders with a composed effort to wrap up the 2-0 victory.
Next up for Whitecaps FC Reserves is a scrimmage against University of Washington this coming Tuesday, April 16. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. PT at Thunderbird Stadium.
Referee: Paul Ward
44' - VAN - Jordan Harvey
85' - VAN - Erik Hurtado
Shots: Vancouver 10 - Real Salt Lake 12
Shots on Goal: Vancouver 3 - Real Salt Lake 6
Saves: Vancouver 6 - Real Salt Lake 1
Fouls: Vancouver 4 - Real Salt Lake 8
Offsides: Vancouver 1 - Real Salt Lake 2
Corners: Vancouver 11 - Real Salt Lake 1
27 - VAN - Gershon Koffie
Vancouver Whitecaps FC Reserves
18.Brad Knighton; 32.Greg Klazura, 43.Ethen Sampson+, 16.Johnny Leveron, 2.Jordan Harvey©; 28.Gershon Koffie, 20.Aminu Abdallah* (36.Bryce Alderson 62'), 8.Matt Watson; 19.Erik Hurtado, 29.Tommy Heinemann (34.Caleb Clarke 79'), 23.Kekuta Manneh (17.Omar Salgado 69')
Substitutes not used:
39.Simon Thomas, 25.Sam Adekugbe#, 33.Adam Clement
+ Whitecaps FC U-23 (USL PDL) - # Whitecaps FC U-18 (USSDA) - • Trailist
Real Salt Lake Reserves
45.Josh Saunders; 3.Kwame Watson-Siriboe, 4.Aaron Maund, 17.Chris Wingert, 29.Abdoulie Mansally (25.Rich Balchan 45'); 16.Carlos Salcedo (43.Andrew Brody# 78'), 19.Enzo Martinez, 23.Khari Stephenson (42.Jose Navarro# 78'), 27.John Stertzer; 13.Olmes Garcia (22.David Viana 45'), 49.Devon Sandoval
Substitutes not used:
# Real Salt Lake U-18 (USSDA)