TUKWILA, WA - Whitecaps FC 2 captured their first MLS NEXT Pro victory on Sunday with a 2-1 away win over Cascadia rivals Tacoma Defiance at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, Washington.
Head coach Nick Dasovic made five changes to the side that started against Timbers2 last weekend as Ben Alexander, Elage Bah, Emiliano Brienza and Filip Rakic replaced Isaac Boehmer, Eric White, Jay Herdman and Simon Becher in the starting lineup.
'Caps first team centre back Érik Godoy also stepped into the lineup, in place of Matteo Campagna, making his return from a calf injury as he works his way back to full fitness.
WFC2 got off to a bright start, moving the ball around nicely and creating some decent half chances.
However, Tacoma Defiance would have the first big chance of the game in the 21st minute, as WFC2 goalkeeper Ben Alexander denied Defiance winger Reed Baker-Whiting’s headed effort from close range to keep the match scoreless.
Six minutes later, WFC2’s energetic start to the match paid off as wingback Elage Bah whipped a ball into the box for midfielder Pípé Fernandez-Salvador, who headed in his first MLS NEXT Pro goal to give the away side the 1-0 lead.
Shortly after, Tacoma would tie the match up through defender Eric Kinzner, who headed the ball past Alexander off a free kick from Defiance attacking midfielder Marlon Vargas.
Fast forward to the 72nd minute, WFC2 would almost take the lead as forward Emiliano Brienza drove a shot from the top of the box just wide of the Tacoma goal.
The young ‘Caps would once again have a chance to take the lead in the 83rd minute as substitute Simon Becher received the ball in midfield, drove past a couple defenders and almost found the back of the net with a right footed shot.
WFC2’s pressure would pay off as Filip Rakic whipped a ball into the box and deflected into the path of an onrushing Brienza, who volleyed home his first MLS NEXT Pro goal to give the away side the 2-1 lead late on.
The team would hold on to clinch their first MLS NEXT Pro win and their first win over a Cascadia rival in the league.
Next up for WFC2 are back-to-back home matches at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby, BC, with the first coming against Sporting KC II next Sunday, April 24. Kick-off is set for 4 p.m. PT and will be available to watch at www.mlsnextpro.com.
Referee: Brad Jensen
27’ – VAN – Pípé Fernandez-Salvador (Elage Bah)
33’ – TAC – Eric Kinzner (Marlon Vargas)
86’ – VAN – Emiliano Brienza (Simon Becher, Filip Rakic)
Possession: TAC 50.6% – VAN 49.4%*
Shots:* TAC 10 – VAN 11*
Shots on Goal:* TAC 5 – VAN 4*
Saves:* TAC 2 – VAN 4*
Fouls:* TAC 16 – VAN 8
Offsides: TAC 3 – VAN 3*
Corners:* TAC 2 – VAN 2
36’ – TAC – Marlon Vargas
46’ – TAC – Joe Hafferty
63’ – TAC – Sota Kitahara
26.Andrew Thomas; 82.Joe Hafferty, 32.Hal Uderitz, 72.Eric Kinzner (31.Travian Sousa 88’), 34.Randy Mendoza; 88.Adolfo Ovalle, 77.Sota Kitahara; 21.Reed Baker-Whiting (80.Valentin Sabella 69’), 39.Marlon Vargas, 14.Samuel Adeniran (97.Juan Alvarez 60’); 87.Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez
Substitutes not used
36.Wallis Lapsley, 68.Levi Bieber, 90.Achille Robin, 91.Georgi Minoungou, 93.Alfred Gombe-Fei
Whitecaps FC 2
40.Ben Alexander; 53.Simone Masi (95.Joshué Ndakala 31’), 22.Érik Godoy © (44.Chris Lee HT), 64.Cristian Campagna; 57.Elage Bah (68.Owen Antoniuk 66’), 47.Pipé Fernandez-Salvador, 52.Vasco Fry, 66.Giovanni Aguilar (29.Simon Becher 66’), 51.Ali Ahmed; 49.Emiliano Brienza (76.Joe Hanson 90+2’), 46.Filip Rakic
Substitutes not used
70.Harrison Gough, 83.Finn Linder