Haber scores late to push WFC2 to 1-0 win over rival Timbers 2

VANCOUVER, BC – Notching their third win against Timbers 2 this season, Whitecaps FC 2 defeated their Cascadia rival 1-0 on Sunday afternoon at Thunderbird Stadium.  

A tight match between the two sides, Whitecaps FC 2 got the upper hand late in the match with Daniel Haber finding the back of the net in the 87th minute. His goal would be the lone goal in the match, pushing WFC2 to their second win in seven days.

Goalkeeper Marco Carducci tallied his third win in as may starts in the Whitecaps FC 2 net, recording his first professional clean sheet while wearing the captain's armband in the absence of striker Kyle Greig.

This weekend’s match marked a bit of a change to the WFC2 lineup, with Brett Levis and Sem de Wit taking a well-deserved day off after playing in every USL match for the side so far this season. The back line instead saw Sahil Sandhu, Jackson Farmer, Cole Seiler and Jordan Haynes take the defensive reins.

WFC2 also saw a new face join their lineup for the first time in striker Thomas Sanner. After being selected 36th overall in this year’s MLS SuperDraft, Sanner returned to Princeton University to finish his degree. Now finished with classes, Sanner joined the ‘Caps for his professional debut, coming on as a late substitute.

After a slow start, the ‘Caps picked up the pace in the 17th minute. After some nifty one-touch passing between the central midfielders, Ben McKendry bent the ball just wide of the Timbers 2 net for WFC2’s most convincing attack of the first half.

At intermission, WFC2 brought some fresh legs into the lineup. Will Seymore joined the midfield, while central defender Elliot Green marked his first extended minutes with the side. Before Sunday’s match, the Englishman had played just one minute with the side in their 1-0 win over Orange County Blues FC on March 26. 

Early in the second, Kianz Froese brought the crowd to life, bringing the ball into Portland’s box and just overstepping the ball as he made his way past diving Portland’s defenders. He couldn’t pull it back as he was one on one with goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh, and the ball went out past the touch line.

The Winnipeg native brought the ball back into the box on 62 minutes, passing it off to Bustos deep in Portland’s area. With some fancy footwork, Bustos found himself within feet of Portland’s net, but was held off by the T2 defence. Froese latched onto a short back pass from his fellow ‘Caps central midfielder, but his attempt in close was again blocked by Portland, and cleared out of harm’s way.

A close call in the 80th minute almost but Portland ahead, with some quick passing deep in the ‘Caps box ending in a point blank shot from Neco Brett. Though he found the back of the net, the play was called offside and the sides remained scoreless.

In the 87th minute, Haber finally got the ‘Caps on the board, and notched the game-winner. With Deybi Flores combining along the touchline with Fatawu Safiu, a perfectly placed cross through Portland’s six-yard box found Haber’s foot, and the Toronto native slotted a shot into Portland’s net. It was his fourth goal of the season, and third against T2.

With the final whistle, WFC2 move another three points up in the Western Conference standings, sitting in first place with 28 points and an 8W-2L-4D record. Timbers 2 slid to 5W-8L-2D.

The ‘Caps head out on a four-game road trip next weekend. Their first stop of the trip is at Taft Stadium in Oklahoma City to face Energy FC. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 25. Catch the match at whitecapsfc2.com

WFC2 are back at Thunderbird Stadium on Sunday, July 24 when WFC2 host Sacramento Republic FC for Game at the Game. Tickets are available here.

Attendance: 1,541

Scoring Summary
87’ – VAN – Daniel Haber (Fatawu Safiu)

Shots: VAN 12 - POR 6
Shots on Goal: VAN 2 - POR 2
Saves: VAN 2 - POR 1
Corners: VAN 4 - POR 4

35’ – POR – Neco Brett
84’ – POR – Chris Klute
90’+1’ – POR – Alvas Powell

Whitecaps FC 2
24.Marco Carducci ©; 50.Sahil Sandhu, 41.Jackson Farmer, 14.Cole Seiler (54.Elliot Green HT), 42.Jordan Haynes; 20.Deybi Flores, 30.Ben McKendry (58.Will Seymore HT); 45.Giuliano Frano (49.Fatawu Safiu 64‘), 32.Marco Bustos (64.Thomas Gardner 84‘), 38.Kianz Froese (57.Thomas Sanner 83‘); 56.Daniel Haber

Substitutes not used
40.Sean Melvin, 65.Matthew Baldisimo

Timbers 2
43.Kendall McIntosh; 2.Alvas Powell ©, 32.Trevor Morley (55.Brent Richards 90’), 50.Michael Gallagher, 15.Chris Klute; 27.Nick Besler (84.Seth Casiple 40‘), 77.Andre Lewis, 46.Villyan Bijev (19.Ben Polk 80‘); 25.Neco Brett, 30.Kharlton Belmar, 96.Blake Bodily (73.Victor Arboleda 75‘)

Substitutes not used
29.Justin Luthy, 28.Andy Thoma

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.

For more information, contact wfc2@whitecapsfc.com or call 604-484-7862.