Whitecaps FC Residency teams were back in action on Saturday, taking on Crossfire Premier at the National Soccer Development Centre (NSDC).
It was a tale of two halves for the ‘Caps as they fell 4-3 to their cross-border counterparts.
The Blue and White took a first half lead when Noah Verhoeven found Michael Baldisimo, who hit a low left foot shot that fooled the keeper to make it 1-0.
Baldisimo and Verhoeven played a part in the second goal on 49 minutes, with Theo Bair finishing it with a right foot smash inside the box.
The ‘Caps scored their final goal a minute later as Jake Ruby found Georges Mukumbilwa, who then crossed it back post for Ethan Gopaul to head home.
But Crossfire came roaring back five minutes later, scoring three goals in 15 minutes to tie the match. In the 74th minute, Jalen Watson was shown a red card, and on 85 minutes Crossfire scored one more goal to steal the victory.
“The first half we dominated and created numerous chances,” assistant coach Niall Thompson told whitecapsfc.com after the match. “Baldisimo and Verhoeven were very effective in the midfield, and we were unlucky not to score a few more goals. We started the second half brightly, but after we went up 3-0 our mindset changed and we gave away cheap fouls which resulted in Crossfire delivering quality crosses that we didn’t deal well with. We’re disappointed with the loss, as I thought we played some good football. But we’ll learn and develop from this.”
The U-17s came out firing in a 5-0 win over Crossfire Premier.
Chance Carter opened the scoring 20 minutes in with a top corner strike from 20 yards out. Patrick Ruszczyk doubled the advantage to 2-0 with a neat left foot finish inside the box on 33 minute.
Crossfire had a chance to get back into the match on 43 minutes, but goalkeeper Darlington Murasiranwa came up with a big save to keep the two-goal advantage.
Simon Colyn then scored a pair of goals on either side of halftime, first with an exquisite volley from a perfectly weighted Christopher Lee cross, then early in the second half on a great play and slip pass from Damiano Pecile.
On 62 minutes, Matteo de Brienne finished off the scoring with a great run down the left and good finish.
“Overall it was a good day for the boys,” noted U-17 head coach Adam Day. “We played well with the ball and pressed efficiently without it. Crossfire are a difficult side to play against. All credit to the players on a good end to the week. We have a few weeks now to prepare for our next league games, so we’ll get back on the training pitch and raise the level again. The boys are coming together very well.”
In the same score line as the U-19s, the ‘Caps fell to a 4-3 defeat.
Crossfire jumped out to an early 2-0 lead after the first 20 minutes before the Blue and White started to respond and come into the match. The improved play was rewarded with an excellent individual effort from Paul Amedume, making the score 2-1 at the break.
The ‘Caps came out flying in the second half and scored two great goals. First, Brandon Torresan struck a superb volley, then Kam Habibullah found the back of the net as the boys took control.
However a lapse in concentration allowed Crossfire to level the match off of a quick counter attack.
In the final minute, Crossfire were awarded a penalty kick on an alleged handball in the box. Goalkeeper Emil Gazdov came up with a massive save on the spot kick, but Crossfire got to the rebound first to score the late winner.
“Overall it was an inconsistent and disappointing performance from us,” said head coach James Merriman after the match. “We did learn a valuable lesson this week and will only continue to grow and get better from it.”
The youngest 'Caps played an older Fusion FC side on the weekend.
Theo Afework scored the goal for the 'Caps in a 2-1 final score.
"Fusion set up different from the other groups we have played so far this year and caused us some problems early with some well orchestrated movements," noted U-14 head coach Scott Howey. "These are the stresses we want the players to be under weekly in order to grow. The more variables we can expose them to, the more they will develop a tactical understanding of the game."