VANCOUVER, BC – Whitecaps FC 2 (6W-10L-5D) hosted Beach Night at Thunderbird Stadium on Friday evening but the visiting Tulsa Roughnecks FC (7W-8L-4D) spoiled the party, coming away with a 4-0 decision.
Sammy Ochoa, Steven Miller, Brady Ballew and Kyrian Kidd provided the scoring for the visitors, who passed WFC2 in the Western Conference standings and take the sixth and final playoff slot. The 'Caps are two points outside the playoff picture with another chance next week when the two sides meet again at ONEOK Field in Tulsa.
Head coach Alan Koch's side appeared to have the livelier legs to start the match, resulting in a pair of Marco Bustos 19-yard attempts. The first sailed over the crossbar and the second attempt was stopped low by Roughnecks FC goalkeeper Jake Feener.
On the other end, Tulsa got an opportunity in the 22nd minute when a corner kick found centre back Ryan Price for a header, but the attempt was read well by WFC2 goalkeeper Paolo Tornaghi, who was making his sixth USL start this season.
Tornaghi would stand tall again in the 30th minute when Tulsa midfielder Chad Bond aimed a direct free kick into the top right corner of the net, but the Italian first-teamer would leap to punch the threat off his line.
Caleb Clarke, inserted to replace a hobbled Ben McKendry in the 33rd minute, would not wait long to announce his arrival in the match, making a beautiful turn to avoid a defender but his left-footed strike missed wide left of the goal to keep the match scoreless as the two sides headed into intermission.
The Roughnecks looked destined to pull ahead early in the 48th minute when striker Oscar Jimenez released for a breakaway chance but Tornaghi played his angles well and came up huge to snuff the attempt.
It was a different story from there onwards. In the 51st minute, Ballew initiated the attack when he whipped a cross to Miller on the left byline, who then set the table up for Ochoa for a left-foot half-volley that found the back of the net to open the scoring for the visitors.
Five minutes later, the Tulsa offence would begin with Ballew on the right side again, this time when he placed a cross perfectly in the box for Miller to head home to pad the Roughnecks lead to 2-0.
The Roughnecks would add two more scores in the dying minutes. Ballew capped off a productive night when he found space on the right side and placed the ball past Tornaghi on the far post. Kidd would put the exclamation point on the 4-0 Tulsa win on a breakway opportunity in the 88th minute.
Feener earned the shutout, finishing with four saves. Tornaghi registered three in the losing effort.
Next Friday's rematch with Tulsa Roughnecks FC is the first of four straight contests on the road for Whitecaps FC 2. They are back home on Sunday, September 6 when they host defending USL champion Sacramento Republic FC at Thunderbird Stadium. For more ticket information, visit whitecapsfc2.com.
51’ – TUL – Sammy Ochoa (Steven Miller)
56’ – TUL – Steven Miller (Brady Ballew)
86’ – TUL – Brady Ballew
88' – TUL – Kyrian Kidd
Shots: VAN 10 – TUL 14
Saves: VAN 3 – TUL 4
Fouls: VAN 18 – TUL 12
Corners: VAN 2 – TUL 3
33’ – VAN – Tyler Rosenlund
39’ – VAN – Billy Schuler
45’+1' – TUL – Sammy Ochoa
73’ – TUL – Chad Bond
Whitecaps FC 2
70.Paulo Tornaghi; 41.Jackson Farmer (42.Jordan Haynes 80'), 58.Will Seymore, 18.Diego Rodriguez, 27.Ethen Sampson; 45.Tyler Rosenlund ©, 30.Ben McKendry (34.Caleb Clarke 33'); 25.Andre Lewis (50.Sahil Sandhu 69'), 32.Marco Bustos, 48.Victor Blasco (47.Jovan Blagojevic 69'); 51.Billy Schuler (49.Mackenzie Pridham 69')
Substitutes not used
24.Marco Carducci, 54.Craig Nitti
Tulsa Roughnecks FC
25.Jake Feener; 17.Ben Brewster, 6.Ryan Price, 5.Kyle Venter, 3.Iarfhlaith Davoren; 24.Brady Ballew (21.Mason Grimes 90'+2'), 8.Chad Bond, 2.Henri Manhebo (4.Laurie Bell 88'), 13.Steven Miller; 19.Oscar Jimenez (20.Cristian Mata 70'), 9.Sammy Ochoa (11.Kyrian Kidd 70')