VANCOUVER, BC – Whitecaps FC 2 claimed two hard-earned points on Sunday afternoon, defeating Austin FC II in a penalty shootout at BC Place.
Austin FC II would have an electric start, with Bobosi Byaruhanga rocketing a volley off the crossbar from just outside the 'Caps box inside the first five minutes. The away side would continue to retain possession and pile on the pressure throughout the opening stages, forcing Max Anchor into some smart saves to keep the affair level.
WFC2 would hit back on the counter at the half-hour mark, with Lowell Wright hitting the crossbar after an audacious first-time curled effort from just outside the 18. His follow-up shot would be parried away safely by Austin FC II goalkeeper Damien Las.
In the 38th minute, Anchor would get dispossessed in the box, giving Micah Burton a fantastic opportunity to score but his shot would clip the outside of the bar and out. He would make up for it a few minutes later by pulling out a diving save on a long shot from Valentin Noël.
Moments later, Antoine Coupland was inches off from taking the lead, with his curled effort just missing the top-left corner. That chance would prove to be the last of the half, with both teams going into the break level.
Austin FC II would start the second half as they did the first, with Anchor being forced to make a snapshot save on Sebastien Pineau.
The 'Caps would hold firm up until the 60th minute, where Noël would pounce on a loose ball just inside the box and slot it into the net to give Austin the lead.
Anchor would be called into action once more with a quarter of the game to go, this time on Christo Vela. The midfielder would turn cleverly past his marker to try to chip Anchor, but the Canadian keeper would deny him and keep the deficit at just one.
In the 87th minute, WFC2 found their equalizer. Mihail Gherasimencov unleashed a stunning free-kick past Las, with his pinpoint strike hitting the underside of the crossbar and in. Both Austin FC II and the young 'Caps would have a last-gasp opportunity to steal the victory from set-pieces, but both efforts would go over the net, meaning the game would have to go to penalties to decide the winner.
Anchor would make a big save on Austin’s first penalty to give substitute Marcus Simmons the chance to win the game in the fifth round. Simmons stepped up and powered his shot past Las to earn his team two points.
The young 'Caps are back in action on Friday, August 25 at BC Place against North Texas SC at 7:30pm PT. Tickets are complimentary for Whitecaps FC MLS season ticket members, or $10 online. All youth 18 and under get free access to the match. Season Ticket Members need to get tickets through Universeand use their account number as their access key at checkout.
Referee: Mazzen Black
62’ – ATX – Valentin Noël
87’ – VAN – Mihail Gherasimencov
Possession: VAN 37.3% - ATX 62.7%
Shots: VAN 10 - ATX 21
Shots on Goal: VAN 4 - ATX 8
Saves: VAN 7 - ATX 3
Fouls: VAN 13 - ATX 13
Offsides: VAN 0 - ATX 3
Corners: VAN 2 - ATX 6
25’ – ATX – Sebastien Pineau
51’ – VAN – Malcom Simmons
68’ – ATX – Christo Vela
78’ – ATX – Cheick Touré
Vancouver Whitecaps 2
50.Max Anchor; 61.Matteo Campagna, 83.Finn Linder, 56.Lucas Dasovic, 57.Elage Bah (54.Mihail Gherasimencov 72’); 59.Jeevan Badwal (48.Malcolm Simmons 46’), 66.Giovanni Aguilar ©️, 84.Christian Greco-Taylor (46.Darko Ilić 56’); 43.Antoine Coupland, 29.Simon Becher, 42.Lowell Wright
Substitutes not used
90.Cohen Park, 58.Amoni Thomas, 62.Luca Chen, 93.Mario Lefevre, 96.Mateo Clark, 97.Liam Mackenzie
Austin FC II
12.Damien Las; 2.Cheick Touré, 22.Joe Haffery, 5.Salvatore Mazzaferro, 25.Anthony De Anda; 7.Micah Burton, 23.Alonso Ramírez, 21.Valentin Noël (35.Bryan Arellano 73’), 11.Emmanuel Johnson (99.Christo Vela 65’); 18. Bobosi Byaruhanga, 9.Sebastien Pineau (28.Alfonso Ocampo-Chávez 85’)
Substitutes not used
30.Spencer Sanderson, 13.Leo Torres, 14.Jonathan Santillan, 26.Charlie Asensio, 77.Christopher Pinkham,