WFC2 come up short in narrow 2-1 away loss against St. Louis CITY2

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ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI – Whitecaps FC 2 battled hard but came up just short as they fell 2-1 to St. Louis CITY2 on Sunday afternoon at CITYPARK in St. Louis, Missouri.

In the opening minutes of the match, both teams had great chances to grab the first goal of the match. 

St. Louis forward Caden Glover got on the end of a cross from John Klein, but saw his headed effort from close range go just over the bar. 

A minute later, WFC2 threatened the St. Louis goal as Antoine Coupland set up Giovanni Aguilar at the top of the box, with the American unleashing a thunderous half-volley that came off the far post to keep the match scoreless.

However, the match wouldn't stay scoreless for long.

The young 'Caps found themselves on the counter attack with J.C. Ngando dribbling past a pair of St. Louis defenders and then set up Coupland, who created an angle for himself and calmly found the bottom left corner of the goal to give WFC2 the 1-0 advantage.

St. Louis CITY2 found their equalizer eight minutes later, as winger Faysal Bettache got on the end of a loose ball in the final third and slotted home to tie the match at 1-1.

In the 28th minute, Bettache once again found a loose ball in the box but had his attempt parried away by 'Caps first team goalkeeper Isaac Boehmer to keep the match level.

Eight minutes later, WFC2 had a trio of chances to grab the lead. Ngando picked up the ball at the top of the CITY2 box and fired a left footed shot but was denied by St. Louis goalkeeper Christian Olivares. The rebound dropped to Levonte Johnson but he also saw his effort saved by Olivares. The ensuing ball fell to Coupland, who was able to get a shot off that bounced just wide of the near post.

Both sides would go into the break with the score level at 1-1.

After the halftime interval, Boehmer once again came up big as he saved Klein's effort from close range in the 52nd minute.

Shortly after, Jay Herdman came close to giving the young 'Caps the lead as his left-footed volley inside the box went just over the St. Louis goal.

Fast forward to the 73rd minute, Vasco Fry unleashed a strike from distance, which deflected towards goal and forced Olivares to parry the shot out for a corner.

Seconds later, Fry tested Olivares a second time from distance, curling his effort towards the top left corner but Olivares once again denied the young 'Caps of the go-ahead goal.

St. Louis would grab the lead in the 84th minute, as Max Schneider's free kick was deflected past Boehmer by Sergio Rivas to give the home side the eventual 2-1 victory.

WFC2 will now look ahead to their next match as they return to Swangard Stadium to host Houston Dynamo 2 next Sunday, May 7, with kickoff set for 6 p.m. PT. Tickets are complimentary for Whitecaps FC MLS season ticket members, or $10 at the gate.

- Antoine Coupland scored his second goal of the season
- J.C. Ngando recorded his second assist of the season
- Whitecaps FC BMO MLS Academy players Jeevan Badwal and David Ajagbe were both named to the bench for Sunday's match
- The young 'Caps continue to lead MLS NEXT Pro in goals scored with 16


Referee: Alejo Calume

Scoring Summary9’ – VAN – Antoine Coupland (J.C. Ngando)
17’ – STL – Faysal Bettache
84' – STL – Sergio Rivas (Max Schneider)

Possession: STL 56.8% – VAN 43.2%
Shots: STL 15 – VAN 13
Shots on Goal: STL 7 – VAN 4
Saves: STL 3 – VAN 5
Fouls: STL 17 – VAN 19
Offsides: STL 4 – VAN 2
Corners: STL 5 – VAN 6

11’ – STL – A.J. Palazzolo
33’ – STL – Owen O'Malley
56’ – STL – John Klein
82’ – VAN – Levonte Johnson
89’ – STL – Max Schneider
90+3' – STL – Mykhi Joyner

St. Louis CITY2
82.Christian Olivares; 18.Owen O'Malley, 40.Michael Wentzel ©, 23.Jonathan Bell, 42.Ezra Armstrong (53.Fritz Volmar 60'); 75.Wan Kuzain (64.Dida Armstrong 75'), 98.A.J. Palazzolo (19.Sergio Rivas 75'), 44.Max Schneider, 41.John Klein (59.Mykhi Joyner 75'); 77.Faysal Bettache, 46.Caden Glover (47.Ryley Gibbs 83')

Substitutes not used
20.Eric Walker, 48. Aaron Heard, 51.Josh Maher, 71.Nolan McGuire

Whitecaps FC 2
32.Isaac Boehmer; 57.Elage Bah (84.Christian Greco-Taylor 67'), 56.Lucas Dasovic, 61.Matteo Campagna, 54.Mihail Gherasimencov; 43.Antoine Coupland, 52.Vasco Fry, 66.Giovanni Aguilar ©, 92.Jay Herdman (30.Kamron Habibullah 67'); 26.J.C. Ngando, 28.Levonte Johnson

Substitutes not used
90.Cohen Park, 41.Malcolm Johnston, 53.Simone Masi, 59.Jeevan Badwal, 98.David Ajagbe