LANCING, ENGLAND – The Whitecaps FC Development Squad played the second match of their England trip on Friday, falling 2-1 versus the host Brighton & Hove Albion U-23 team in a lively and entertaining match at the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre.
"It was an excellent match of football all around from both sides, a real joy to watch," noted head coach Nick Dasovic. "The first half was the best half of football that we have played so far. We were fluid in our possession and created a number of quality scoring chances."
The ‘Caps knew they were in for a stiff test, facing one of the top Premier League 2 sides in England this year, as the Seagulls currently sit second place in their chase for the title.
Dasovic made three changes to the starting lineup from the previous match versus AFC Bournemouth on Tuesday. Gabriel Escobar stepped in for Jalen Watson at left back, Damiano Pecile came on for David Norman in central midfield, and Nicholas Fussell started in place of Kamron Habibullah on the front line. Norman was left out of the lineup after suffering an injury in the opening match against Bournemouth. In total, seven teenagers started the match, with 17-year-old Simon Colyn and 16-year-old Pecile coming in as the youngest.
They will be looking to build off of their last match vs. @OfficialBHAFC— Whitecaps FC Academy (@WFCAcademy) April 1, 2019
Some terrific football was played at times, including this 20-pass build-up from the back that led to a Georges Mukumbilwa shot off the post#VWFC pic.twitter.com/Fqiksq1weP
With less than 10 minutes before halftime, a mistake at the back from the ‘Caps led to a breakaway for Connolly as he slipped by Hasal and finished to make it 1-0.
- MATCH REPORT: brightonandhovealbion.com
Hasal came up with a few more excellent saves for the ‘Caps in the second half. However on 73 minutes, after another fine save, he could not keep out the second chance from Serbian U-19 international striker Bojan Radulovic as Brighton scored their second.
Though an equalizer would not come, the match was an effort that Dasovic's young side could be proud of.
"We started getting a bit of tired legs in the second half and made some substitutions, but the boys kept fighting hard," added Dasovic. "All in all, the group continues feeling better and better about themselves, and we continue to improve every week. Brighton have been unbelievable hosts, so we thank them for having us here at their facilities and wish them the very best for the remainder of their season."
60: A competitive start to the half - we still lead.— Brighton & Hove Albion ⚽️ (@OfficialBHAFC) March 29, 2019
😱 Archie Davies went close to doubling our lead a few moments ago.
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🔵 #BHAFC 1-0 #VWFC pic.twitter.com/RTKP4Max6v