VANCOUVER, BC – After a tough 3-2 loss on the road against Seattle Sounders FC 2 on Thursday night, Whitecaps FC 2 got back to winning ways on Sunday with a close 3-2 win over Swope Park Rangers at Thunderbird Stadium.
With a brace from Marco Bustos early in the first and a goal from 15-year-old Alphonso Davies, the ‘Caps held on for a tight 3-2 win over Swope Park, despite a quick two goals from the visitors late in the match.
The 'Caps made five changes from Thursday’s lineup against Sounders FC 2. Cole Seiler returned to central defence, with Sam Adekugbe joining him on the back line at left back. Kianz Froese and Deybi Flores returned to the midfield, and 19-year-old Marco Carducci made his second start of the year in net for WFC2.
Of the 11 starters, six are graduates of the Whitecaps FC Residency program: Carducci, Adekugbe, Froese, Bustos, Ben McKendry, and Kadin Chung.
The ‘Caps opened the scoring early with Bustos notching his first goal of the season for WFC2 in the fifth minute. Starting the play on the right side of the field with some one touch passing, Sem de Wit lofted the ball over to Adekugbe, who played it up for Brett Levis to chase. Getting on the end of the pass, Levis sent a quick cross through the box, which Bustos latched onto at the top of the six. The Winnipeg native pinpointed his shot over top of Swope Park’s keeper Zac Lubin, finding the back of the net for the home side.
In the 23rd minute, Bustos scored his second goal of the match after netting his own rebound. The ‘Caps played the ball into Swope Park’s box, and Bustos capitalized on his own fancy footwork through the Ranger’s defence, placing the ball over top of Swope Park’s downed keeper to up WFC2’s lead to two.
The tension started to rise late in the first, with a handful of fouls in Swope Park’s half. Nothing came of any ensuing plays though, and the ‘Caps headed to the dressing rooms without conceding a single shot on target, and leading 2-0 from Bustos’s early goals.
With four subs at half for the Rangers, their new-look attack got their first convincing chance in the 68th minute, with Dane Kelly putting a shot off the inside of the left post. With a scramble in front of the net off the rebound, the Rangers couldn’t convert and a foul on WFC2 sent the ball out to safety.
Carducci came up big just 6 minutes later, getting his hands on a low cross into the box. Kelly followed up, drawing a foul as he ran into the ‘Caps keeper. Coming to their goalkeeper's defence, the ‘Caps found themselves in a bit of a pushing match with the Rangers attacking line, with two yellow cards on the play: one to Rangers’ full back Jimmy Mulligan, and one to ‘Caps fullback Adekugbe.
It was the ‘Caps who would find the back of the net next though. In the 80th minute, 15-year-old substitute Alphonso Davies, back from Amway Canadian Championship duties with the first team, scored his second goal of the season. He blasted a shot from just inside the Ranger’s box, putting it into the top left corner.
Late in the half, Swope Park finally got on the board in the 86th minute with Mark Anthony Gonzalez rocketing a shot up into the top left corner from outside the ‘Caps box. With little to do but watch the bulls-eye shot hit the back netting, the ‘Caps now had to defend a two goal lead.
A lapse in concentration late by WFC2 brought Swope Park within one with just three minutes left in the match, as Kris Tyrpak took a quick shot in the six-yard box, his second of the season and his second against the ‘Caps this year.
A last minute free kick was tipped by Carducci and clattered off the inside of the post for Swope Park, allowing the ‘Caps to narrowly escape a late comeback from the visiting side.
Instead, the match ended with WFC2 adding a win to their season tally. The side now sits at 7W-2L-4D for the season, while Swope Park Rangers move to 4W-6L-2D.
The ‘Caps play their next match at Thunderbird Stadium on Sunday, June 19 against Cascadia rivals Portland Timbers 2, with kickoff set for 2 p.m. PT. With it being Father’s Day, get your dad’s ticket free with the purchase of a regular ticket, available here!
5’ – VAN – Marco Bustos (Brett Levis)
23’ – VAN – Marco Bustos
80’ – VAN – Alphonso Davies (Daniel Haber)
86’ – SPR – Mark Anthony Gonzalez (Ualefi)
88’ – SPR – Kris Tyrpak (Tommy Meyer)
Shots: VAN 10 – SPR 15
Shots on Goal: VAN 7 – SPR 4
Saves: VAN 2 – SPR 4
Corners: VAN 3 - SPR 3
15’ – SPR – Ayrton
26’ – SPR – Ualefi
38’ – VAN – Kyle Greig
57’ – VAN – Ben McKendry
77’ – SPR – Jimmy Mulligan
77’ – VAN – Sam Adekugbe
Whitecaps FC 2
24.Marco Carducci; 63.Kadin Chung, 51.Sem de Wit, 14.Cole Seiler, 3.Sam Adekugbe; 20.Deybi Flores (45.Giuliano Frano 60'), 30.Ben McKendry (65.Matthew Baldisimo 81'); 38.Kianz Froese (56.Daniel Haber 65'), 32.Marco Bustos (64.Thomas Gardner 86'), 46.Brett Levis (67.Alphonso Davies 72'); 47.Kyle Greig
40.Sean Melvin, 41.Jackson Farmer
Swope Park Rangers
28.Zac Lubin; 90.Johnny Grant (74.Jimmy Mulligan 46'), 26.Tommy Meyer, 55.Amer Didic (88.Kevin Oliveira 46'), 33.Jacob VanCompernolle (50.Kris Tyrpak 46'); 44.Tomas Granitto (99.Dane Kelly 46'), 35.Ualefi, 45.Ayrton; 31.Nansel Selbol, 47.Mark Anthony Gonzalez, 32.Christian Duke
1.Jon Kempin, 56.Ezra Armstrong, 67.Jaylin Lindsey