PDL 2014 Victoria
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Whitecaps FC U-23 draw 2-2 in Portland

PORTLAND, OR – Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23 (0W-1L-2D) battled to a 2-2 draw against Cascadia club rivals Portland Timbers U-23 (0W-0L-1D) on Thursday afternoon in front of 3,517 fans at Providence Park in Portland, Oregon.

The first few minutes saw the ‘Caps and Timbers trade relatively safe shots on goal. Though it was calm in the beginning, the match picked up on 15 minutes when, off of a Portland corner, midfielder Fatai Alashi found himself with an open look and sent a shot past Vancouver goalkeeper William Diaz.

Defender Nicolas Prasad answered for the Blue and White in the 27th minute, slamming home a nice ball from Marlon Ramirez off of a corner. The Blue and White took control of the contest in the 39th minute when an absolutely beautiful passing play between several ‘Caps broke down the Portland defecse and put Cody Cook in alone in front of Portland netminder Brendan Moore. The striker from Cranbrook, BC, made no mistake, burying a shot to put Whitecaps FC up 2-1. Brett Levis drew an assist on the play. 

After the first half ended at 2-1 in favour of the visitors, the pace in the early second half mirrored that of the early portion of the game. Play was moving back and forth, but no side really threatened the other. Over the course of the second half, the Timbers began to find their form and pressed the 'Caps with several quality chances, including a header by forward Kharlton Belmar that hit the crossbar in the 67th minute.

Pressure from the home side turned into the equalizer for Portland in the 83rd minute, when Belmar knocked one in off of yet another corner and tied up the score on 83 minutes.

The Timbers pressed hard in the final minutes, including five minutes of stoppage time, but Diaz and the ‘Caps defence held strong to preserve a 2-2 draw.

“Again, it was a tough, physical battle for the boys, and we were impressed with their performance and their attitude towards the game," Whitecaps FC U-23 assistant coach Steve Meadley told whitecapsfc.com. "Again, we continue to improve in our performances. The three points just seem to elude us right now, but we’re certainly performing to a level that is going to get us there.”

Scoring Summary:
15’ – POR – Fatai Alashe
27' –  VAN – Nicholas Prasad (Marlon Ramirez)
40' –  VAN – Cody Cook (Brett Levis)
83' –  POR – Kharlton Belmar (Jesse Garcia-Aguilar)
Match Stats:
Shots: Portland 12 – Vancouver 12
Saves: Portland 5 - Vancouver 4
Fouls: Portland 10 – Vancouver 14
Offsides: Portland 0 – Vancouver 2
Corners: Portland 7 – Vancouver 10
30’ - VAN - Henry Lakhan
34' - POR - David Rose
43’ - VAN – Chris Serban
59' - VAN - Louis Cross
80’ - VAN – Jordan Faharani
Vancouver FC U-23
13.William Diaz; 2.Colton O’Neill, 6.Jordan Farahani, 5.Nicholas Prasad (11.Jordan Hayes 60’), 27.Chris Serban; 7.Harpreet Lakhan, 23.Reynold Stewart, 24.Cody Cook (21.Ali Muse 75’), 25.Marlon Ramirez (30.Adam Jones 88’), 14.Brett Levis (4.Mark Baldisimo 84’); 9.Niall Cousens
Portland Timbers U-23
0.Brendan Moore; 5.Zach Hemer (16.Will Seymore 45’), 4.Louis Cross, 2.Kyle Fisher, 13.David Rose (9.Foster Langsdorf 80’); 23.Fatai Alashe, 18.Devon Fisher, 21.Sam Gainford (7.Jesse Garcia 80’), 8.Jose Ribas (17.Kenny Cunningham 73’); 9.Miguel Aguilar (28.Anthony Manchionne), 12.Kharlton Belmar