BURNABY, BC – Whitecaps FC 2 recorded a 2-1 win against Western Conference side Portland Timbers2 to open up their 2023 MLS NEXT Pro campaign this Sunday evening at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby, BC.
The first half began with a strong attempt from Kamron Habibullah, as the forward saw his shot from outside the box roll just wide of the net in the 14th minute of the match.
Moments later, the Blue & White continued to push. Wingback Elage Bah would see his strong attempt parried away by goalkeeper Ryan Bilichuk in the 37th minute.
The second half began quickly for the young ‘Caps. Habibullah converted a direct free kick attempt to open the scoring in the 47th minute of the match.
Timbers2 would respond back with an opportunity of their own in the 50th minute, as Ian Shaul’s strong attempt at goal was parried away by goalkeeper Max Anchor.
Moments later, the away side won the ball back in their midfield. Noel Caliskan’s shot from distance would find its way into the net to even the match in the 55th minute.
With the half progressing, WFC2 would grab the lead in the 57th minute. Habibullah connected with Antoine Coupland for a quick one touch play, with the latter's left footed strike finding the back of the net to give the young 'Caps a 2-1 advantage.
Timbers2 continued to build chances in their attacking half. Blake Pope’s right footed effort was parried away by Anchor in the 73rd minute.
In the end, WFC2 would see out the match to claim their first win of the season in their opening match of the campaign.
Up next for the young ‘Caps is a match away from home as they face LAFC2 at Titan Stadium in Fullerton, California next Sunday, April 2, with kickoff set for 7 p.m. PT.
Referee: Alain Ruch
47’ – VAN – Kamron Habibullah
55’ – POR – Noel Caliskan
57’ – VAN – Antoine Coupland (Kamron Habibullah)
Possession: VAN 48.9% – POR 51.1%
Shots: VAN 15 – POR 14
Shots on Goal: VAN 4 – POR 5
Saves: VAN 4 – POR 2
Fouls: VAN 18 – POR 9
Offsides: VAN 2 – POR 1
Corners: VAN 4 – POR 4
69’ – VAN – Gloire Amanda
Whitecaps FC 2
50.Max Anchor; 57.Elage Bah (59.Jeevan Badwal 90’), 61.Matteo Campagna, 56.Lucas Dasovic, 54.Mihail Gherasimencov; 52.Vasco Fry (84.Christian Greco-Taylor 75’), 66.Giovanni Aguilar ©; 43.Antoine Coupland, 30.Kamron Habibullah (42.Lowell Wright 82’), 28.Levonte Johnson; 44.Gloire Amanda (76.Joe Hanson 75’)
Substitutes not used
90.Cohen Park, 62.Luca Chen, 78.Edwin Espinal, 95.Joshué Ndakala
36.Ryan Bilichuk; 39.Tyler Clegg, 40.Keesean Ferdinand, 72.Julian Bravo, 35.Tristan Weber ©; 80.Jaden Jones-Riley (45.Blake Pope 65’), 56.Adrian Pelayo, 43.Ian Shaul, 92.Noel Caliskan; 49.Ryan Zellefrow (42.Alexis Moreno 90’), 70.Josh Penn (77.Selmir Miscic 71’)
Substitutes not used
96.Carver Miller, 37.Diego Elizalde, 38.Volodymyr Kubrakov, 46.Sean McDowd, 47.Michael Dunne