VANCOUVER, BC – The comeback kids strike again.
Daniel Haber, one of 10 Canadians seeing pitchtime for Whitecaps FC 2, scored an 89th-minute match-winner for the home side to defeat Tulsa Roughnecks FC 3-2 on Star Wars Night at Thunderbird Stadium on Wednesday evening.
Kianz Froese and Kyle Greig also found the net for WFC2, who battled back from a goal deficit to earn a result for the third straight game. Roughnecks FC striker Sammy Ochoa scored both goals for the visitors.
Featuring seven players on loan from their MLS squad, Whitecaps FC 2 looked the livelier side to start the match, but were caught on a counterattack by the visitors in the 11th minute. Tulsa midfielder Carlos Martinez played a long, looping forward pass to Ochoa, who settled the ball down before finding the bottom left corner of the net to give Roughnecks FC the early lead.
Marco Bustos looked to respond for the 'Caps in the 20th minute, penetrating into the box but his short strike hit the right post. It would be Vancouver's best scoring chance in the first half as they went into halftime down 1-0.
Froese, seeing his first game action since Week 2 of the MLS season, would inject energy into the attack in the second half with a number of runs. The 'Caps would then draw level in the 67th minute off a crowd-pleasing move from 17-year-old Kadin Chung. Starting on the right side, the young 'Caps defender pirouetted his way into the box, splitting two Tulsa defenders before feeding Greig for a header for his team-leading fifth goal of the season.
Tulsa answered in the 79th minute and it would be Ochoa again, flicking in a corner kick from Adriano Pellegrino.
However, these young 'Caps just don't give in, equalizing in the 85th minute. 18-year-old Thomas Gardner initiated the action on the left side of the box, before Froese took possession at the top, skillfully evading a defender before launching into the net to open his 2016 WFC2 account.
Then, in the final minute of regulation time, Erik Hurtado made a beautiful one-touch pass to set up Haber for the dramatic match-winner, his third goal of the season.
19-year-old Marco Carducci made one save in his WFC2 season debut. Tulsa goalkeeper Jake Feener, also making his first appearance of the year, recorded four saves for Tulsa in the losing effort.
With the result, Whitecaps FC 2 remain undefeated with a 4W-0L-2D record while Tulsa Roughnecks FC drop to 1W-5L-1D.
Whitecaps FC 2 are back in action on Sunday, May 15 for a rematch against LA Galaxy II, after an exciting 2-2 comeback draw in Carson against the only other undefeated USL team two weeks ago. Tickets for the coming match are available here.
11’ – TUL – Sammy Ochoa (Carlos Martinez)
67’ – VAN – Kyle Greig (Kadin Chung)
79’ – TUL – Sammy Ochoa (Adriano Pellegrino)
85’ – VAN – Kianz Froese
90’ – VAN – Daniel Haber (Erik Hurtado)
Shots: VAN 18 – TUL 7
Saves: VAN 1 – TUL 4
Corners: VAN 6 – TUL 5
Fouls: VAN 10 – TUL 10
12’ – TUL – Henri Manhebo
45’+1' – VAN – Kianz Froese
Whitecaps FC 2
24.Marco Carducci; 63.Kadin Chung (49.Fatawu Safiu 81'), 51.Sem de Wit, 14.Cole Seiler, 3.Sam Adekugbe; 30.Ben McKendry, 38.Kianz Froese; 67.Alphonso Davies (56.Daniel Haber 59'), 32.Marco Bustos (64.Thomas Gardner 76'), 46.Brett Levis (47.Kyle Greig 66'); 19.Erik Hurtado
Substitutes not used
39.Spencer Richey, 41.Jackson Farmer, 58.Will Seymore
Tulsa Roughnecks FC
25.Jake Feener; 5.David Abidor, 4.Matt Whatley, 6.Anthony Peters, 2.Gary Cennerazzo; 12.Ballobi (24.Brady Ballew 34'), 7.Henri Manhebo, 11.Carlos Martinez (8.Taylor Morgan 73'), 22.Kyle MacLeod (14.Cristian Mata 81'); 23.Adriano Pellegrino, 9.Sammy Ochoa
Substitutes not used
1.Alex Mangels, 21.Mason Grimes
This year, every Tier 1 ‘Caps Club MLS membership includes three open tickets to WFC2 matches. Members can select their matches and theme days online through Account Manager. Information on theme days is available at whitecapsfc.com/wfc2/themedays.
Youth season passes are also available for $30 all in. For more information contact email@example.com or call 604-484-7862.