TULSA, OKLAHOMA – Whitecaps FC 2 (7W-10L-5D) began their month-long road trip on a high note on Friday evening with an impressive 3-1 victory over Tulsa Roughnecks FC (7W-9L-4D) behind two goals by Marco Bustos and one from Victor Blasco.
The Roughnecks looked to be the livelier team to start as midfielder Brady Ballew had two golden opportunities from the right side of the box in the first four minutes. WFC2 goalkeeper Marco Carducci deflected the first attempt while the next try sailed over the crossbar.
On the other end, the 'Caps capitalized on their first chance. In the 14th minute, Andre Lewis dispossessed a Roughnecks defender inside the Tulsa box and the Jamaican midfielder found a wide-open Bustos on the other side for an easy goal to open the scoring.
Lewis continued in his fine form with brilliant ball control and vision to get the Vancouver side more looks in the first half. In the 29th minute, his well-placed corner kick found Craig Nitti, but the towering defender's header was off target. Moments after, a Lewis through ball earned Caleb Clarke a shot that was parried away by goalkeeper Jake Feener.
In the 32nd minute, Lewis played the ball inside to Billy Schuler and the former San Jose Earthquakes striker was fouled by a Tulsa defender to earn a penalty kick. Bustos converted on the ensuing penalty kick, sending Feener the wrong way before slotting the ball into the bottom left corner.
Tulsa had chances to cut down the lead before the half but Cristian Mata's goal was called off as he was offside. Iarfhlaith Davoren attempted a direct shot off a free kick from just outside the box but it failed to find the target.
The Roughnecks got on the board early in the second half when WFC2 defender Jackson Farmer was called for a foul on Mata inside the box, leading to a Lucas Cordeiro score off the ensuing penalty kick.
The celebration at ONEOK Field would be short-lived however, as Blasco broke away on the counter-attack barely a minute later, eluding Tulsa defenders and blasting one into the top of the net to make the score 3-1 for Vancouver.
It was an impressive bounce-back performance for the Whitecaps FC 2 backline, denying repeated attempts by the home side in the second half to preserve the win for the Blue and White.
With the crucial three points, WFC2 find themselves in seventh place and just a point outside the playoff picture in the Western Conference.
Whitecaps FC 2 continue their last road trip of the season with a visit to Cascadia rival Seattle Sounders FC 2 on Saturday, August 8. 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.
NEWS AND NOTES: Whitecaps FC Academy call-up Terran Campbell made his first USL appearance as a 90th-minute substitute... Blasco now has four goals and two assists in the last six matches... The last Whitecaps FC 2 road win was on April 1 at Austin Aztex... Bustos is the second WFC2 player to record a brace this season. Blasco found the net twice in the 3-1 win over Seattle Sounders FC 2 on July 4.
14' – VAN – Marco Bustos (Andre Lewis)
32' – VAN – Marco Bustos (Penalty kick)
51' – TUL – Lucas Cordeiro (Penalty kick)
52' – VAN – Victor Blasco (Caleb Clarke)
Shots: TUL 18 – VAN 11
Saves: TUL 5 – VAN 6
Fouls: TUL 7– VAN 11
Corners: TUL 10 – VAN 4
36’ – TUL – Oscar Jimenez
Tulsa Roughnecks FC
25.Jake Feener; 17.Ben Brewster (14.Adam Black 57'), 6.Ryan Price, 5.Kyle Venter, 3.Iarfhlaith Davoren; 24.Brady Ballew (7.Gibson Bardsley 71'), 19.Oscar Jimenez (4.Laurie Bell 82'), 2.Henri Manhebo, 13.Steven Miller; 10.Lucas Cordeiro (11.Kyrian Kidd 64'), 20.Cristian Mata
Substitutes not used
1.Zac Lubin, 21.Mason Grimes, 23.Eli Galbraith-Knapp
Whitecaps FC 2
24.Marco Carducci; 50.Sahil Sandhu, 41.Jackson Farmer, 54.Craig Nitti, 42.Jordan Haynes; 58.Will Seymore, 32.Marco Bustos, 51.Billy Schuler; 25.Andre Lewis (61.Terran Campbell 90'), 48.Victor Blasco (47.Jovan Blagojevic 86'); 34.Caleb Clarke (49.Mackenzie Pridham 76')
Substitutes not used