IRVINE, CALIFORNIA – With the amount of fireworks at the Whitecaps FC 2 and Orange County Blues FC match on Saturday, you would think it was already Canada Day.
Goalkeeper Spencer Richey, who made five saves in last week's win against Timbers 2, was tested early and often. In the fifth minute, Blues FC striker Chris Cortez launched a shot from just outside the box, but Richey was equal to the attempt with a leaping save.
However, it was a different story just a minute after. Orange County striker Christofer Ramirez initiated the attack with an attempt from the right side that went past a sprawling Richey. An opportunistic Didier Crettenand was waiting on the other side and gamely slotted in the ball to give the home side the opening goal.
The Blues stayed on the attack in the ninth minute when Ramirez received a throw-in inside the box and slipped the ball past the WFC2 defenders for an early 2-0 lead for Orange County.
But these young 'Caps are a resilient bunch.
WFC2 answered in the 32nd minute when Levis played a brilliant throughball which Clarke calmly guided past Blues FC goalkeeper Pepe Miranda to put WFC2 on the board. The score gives Clarke six goals on the year, highest on the team.
Three minutes after, it was Levis making things happen again. After possessing the ball on the left flank, the Saskatoon native dodged a Blues FC defender as he toed the 18-yard line before blasting a right-foot strike that Miranda had no chance of stopping to draw the match level at 2-2.
In the 42nd minute, Orange County was awarded a penalty kick after WFC2 midfielder Ian Christianson was called for a foul while marking Blues FC midfielder Ryan Felix inside the box. Crettenand stepped up and slotted home the ensuing penalty kick, giving the Blues a 3-2 lead going into halftime.
Crettenand came inches from recording a hat trick in 58th minute when he took a free kick from 25 feet, but his slicing strike clanged off the post.
Whitecaps FC 2 threatened again in the second half, with substitutes Victor Blasco, Billy Schuler and Sahil Sandhu each creating chances, but the 'Caps would not able to add to their tally for the evening.
Clarke had a last-ditch effort in added time but his free kick sailed high of the net.
The final whistle capped a strong but losing effort from the 'Caps, who now look forward to hosting Cascadia rival Seattle Sounders FC 2 at Thunderbird Stadium on Saturday, July 4.
Come and see the next generation of Whitecaps FC stars as USL arrives in Vancouver. WFC2 matches are a unique and affordable experience for fans, families, students, and supporters. Flex packs are available to fit your schedule – get seven tickets to use any way you want, to any matches you want. For more information on all WFC2 ticket options, call 604-484-7862 or e-mail email@example.com.
6’ – OC – Didier Crettenand (Christofer Ramirez)
9’ – OC – Christofer Ramirez (Christopher Santana)
32’ – VAN – Caleb Clarke (Brett Levis)
35’ – VAN – Brett Levis (Marco Bustos)
42’ – OC – Dider Crettenand (Penalty kick)
Shots: OC 11 – VAN 9
Saves: OC 2 – VAN 4
Corners: OC 4 – VAN 5
90’+4 – OC – Mehrshad Momeni
Orange County Blues FC
30. Pepe Miranda; 29.Jefrey Payeras (20.Jack McCracken 45'), 5.Beto Navarro; 23.Brenton Griffiths, 14.Josh Suggs; 31.Ryan Felix; 10.Luka Petricevic (17.Nikola Iuch 86'), 21. Didier Crettenand; 7.Christopher Santana (6.Jimmy Turner 90'), 9.Chris Cortez (12.Amani Walker 65'); 22.Christofer Ramirez (13.Mehrshad Momeni 59')
Substitutes not used
1.Aaron Perez, 8.Jiovanni Santana
Whitecaps FC 2
39.Spencer Richey; 27.Ethen Sampson, 41.Jackson Farmer, 54.Craig Nitti, 22.Christian Dean; 45.Tyler Rosenlund (50.Sahil Sandhu 87'), 56.Ian Christianson (51.Billy Schuler 67'); 30.Ben McKendry, 32.Marco Bustos (47.Jovan Blagojevic 80'), 46. Brett Levis (48.Victor Blasco 73'); 34.Caleb Clarke
Substitutes not used
24.Marco Carducci, 49.Mackenzie Pridham