Thomas Sanner nets late winner as Whitecaps FC 2 defeat Sacramento Republic FC in 2-1 thriller

VANCOUVER, BC – Returning to their home turf, Whitecaps FC 2 (10W-4L-5D) defeated Sacramento Republic FC (8W-6L-5D) in a 2-1 thriller on Saturday afternoon at UBC Thunderbird Stadium.

Though Sacramento opened the scoring on a counterattack from Cameron Iwasa, a converted penalty kick by Marco Bustos in the first half and Thomas Sanner’s added-time game-winner pushed the ‘Caps to a tie with LA Galaxy II for first place in the Western Conference.

Spencer Richey made one save for his fourth win in net for WFC2 on the season.

Featuring eight starters that saw first-team action in last Tuesday’s friendly against Crystal Palace FC, the ‘Caps had the first real chance of the half in the 12th minute, when Alphonso Davies knocked a cross through to Bustos, who in turn played it on to Kyle Greig at the goal line. Sacramento Republic FC goalkeeper Evan Newton kept the ‘Caps off the board though with a quick reaction save off the line.

Two minutes later, it was Newton’s team that capitalized first. Iwasa got a breakaway down the left flank off a pass from captain Danny Barrera, past Sem de Wit to the top of the box. From there, a quick shot beat Richey into the bottom right corner to put the visitors ahead 1-0.

The lead would not last long though as the ‘Caps continued to test the Sacramento back line. Their efforts would pay off in the 22nd minute as Greig was taken down in the box. On the ensuing penalty kick, Bustos lasered the ball into the bottom left corner as Newton made a dive to the opposite direction.

Early in the second half, Iwasa rocketed a shot from the top of the six as he got on the end of a back pass from Matthew La Grassa. Richey got down to make the save, keeping the game at 1-1.

WFC2 broke through in the dying minutes of the match, with Sanner notching his first-ever professional goal in added time. Off a Daniel Haber pass, Sanner sent the ball past Newton to push the home side ahead with little time to spare as the ‘Caps celebrated their first win in three matches.

Whitecaps FC 2 now begin a two-match road swing on Friday, July 29 as they visit Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC. Watch the match live on Kickoff is at 6 p.m.

WFC2 are back at Thunderbird Stadium on Saturday, August 6 when they host Cascadia rival Seattle Sounders FC 2 for Super Sports Day. Tickets are available here.

Attendance: 1,948

Scoring Summary
14’ – SAC – Cameron Iwasa (Daniel Barrera)
22’ – VAN – Marco Bustos (Penalty kick)
90’+1’ – VAN – Thomas Sanner (Daniel Haber)

Shots: VAN 10 - SAC 5
Shots on Goal: VAN 8 - SAC 2
Saves: VAN 1 - SAC 6
Corners: VAN 5 - SAC 1

6’ – SAC – Jeffrey Koval
45’ – VAN – David Edgar
45’+1’ – SAC – Daniel Barrera
50’ – SAC – James Kiffe
69’ – SAC – Matthew La Grassa

Whitecaps FC 2
39.Spencer Richey; 63.Kadin Chung, 51.Sem de Wit, 18.David Edgar, 46.Brett Levis (62.Deklan Wynne 90’); 30.Ben McKendry, 38.Kianz Froese (58.Will Seymore 75’); 32.Marco Bustos (45.Giuliano Frano 79‘), 56.Daniel Haber, 67.Alphonso Davies (49.Fatawu Safiu 68‘); 47.Kyle Greig © (57.Thomas Sanner 86’)

Substitutes not used
40.Sean Melvin, 54.Elliot Green

Sacramento Republic FC
12.Evan Newton; 3.Michael da Fonte, 2.Derek Foran, 8.Christopher Christian, 27.Kip Colvey (16.Matthew La Grassa 60‘), 20.James Kiffe; 28.Jeremy Hall, 24.Jeffrey Koval (9.Harry Williams 78‘), 5.Daniel Barrera ©; 19.Mackenzie Pridham (13.Adam Jahn 52’), 14.Cameron Iwasa

Substitutes not used
1.Dominik Jakubek, 4.Felix Motagalvan, 7.Joaquin Rivas, 11.Max Alvarez

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

For more information, contact or call 604-484-7862.