Vancouver Whitecaps FC’s U-13 group wrapped up their trip to Mexico City on Friday with two more matches against international competition.
In a mini-tournament featuring 40-minute matches, the ‘Caps played Nicaraguan team Real Esteli in one semifinal, while fellow Canadian club Montreal Impact took on Mexican team Buhos de Hermosillo FC in the other semifinal.
Battling through tired legs from a long week of action, the ‘Caps found a winning goal in the second half off the foot of Niko Sigur. The young player made a tight turn and struck a 25-yard shot into the top corner for the winning goal in a 1-0 result against Real Esteli.
Hermosillo won 2-1 over Montreal in the other match to meet Vancouver in a final encounter.
After a brief 10-minute break, the final match kicked off. The Mexican team came out strong and took an early 2-0 lead. The ‘Caps played themselves back into the match and had a pair of chances early in the second half. Massud Habibullah continued his strong play and rattled a shot off the crossbar, but it stayed out as his brother Kameron Habibullah was unable to put in the rebound. Hermosillo put in a couple more quality finishes for a 4-0 final.
“It’s been a tremendous learning experience for everyone involved in the team,” head coach James Merriman told whitecapsfc.com after the final day on the field. “We’re very excited to continue to work with this group.”