ANCOUVER, BC – Playing a rare Wednesday night match at Thunderbird Stadium, Whitecaps FC 2 (10W-6L-7D) suffered a tough 1-0 home loss as Orange County Blues FC (9W-10L-4D) found the back of the net in the 88th minute.
For the first time this season, WFC2 had an unchanged starting 11 as head coach Alan Koch fielded the same lineup from Saturday’s encounter against Seattle Sounders FC 2. Of the unchanged lineup, three starters were both Whitecaps FC Residency program graduates and first team loans: Marco Carducci, Ben McKendry, and Marco Bustos – the latter of whom assisted on last weekend’s lone goal.
Though both teams made some creative combinations to get the ball up field, neither side managed to find the back of the net in the first half. The closest attempt came in the 22nd minute, when ‘Caps central midfielder Will Seymore brought the ball down with his chest in Orange County’s box. He twisted his way through the Blues’ defence and managed to get a quick shot off, but it was smothered by Orange County goalkeeper Joshua Cohen.
At the start of the second half, it was Orange County who got the first promising chance on net. With Christopher Santana sending in a cross, Andrew Gray managed to get on the end of the ball and launch a shot towards net. His attempt went just over the bar though, keeping the visitor’s off the scoreboard.
Minutes later, the Blues again made a move forward, with Verneri Valimaa sending a cross into the box this time, looking for the awaiting Orange County strikers at the top of the six. But ‘Caps goalkeeper Marco Carducci made a quick run out of his net and punched the ball out, killing the Blues attack.
It wasn’t until the 88th minute that a team finally got on the scoreboard. Orange County Blues were the team to break the deadlock as centre back Brenton Griffiths directed a header into WFC2’s goal off a corner kick.
Whitecaps FC 2 substitute Thomas Sanner would try to get the goal back for the ‘Caps late in added time, sending a header towards the Blues net only to see it just miss the right post.
With the final whistle, the ‘Caps found themselves in defeat as they head into their final seven matches of the season.
The ‘Caps now have an 11 day break before their next match, their first Langley Road Trip against Arizona United SC. Come cheer on your WFC2 at McLeod Athletic Park at 3 p.m. on Sunday, August 21, and enjoy an afternoon out in the Fraser Valley!
88′ – ORC – Brenton Griffiths
Shots: ORC 7 – VAN 7
Shots on Goal: ORC 2 – VAN 1
Saves: ORC 1 – VAN 1
Corners: ORC 3 – VAN 4
9′ – ORC – Brenton Griffiths
Whitecaps FC 2
24.Marco Carducci; 45.Giuliano Frano, 51.Sem de Wit, 54.Elliot Green, 46.Brett Levis; 58.Will Seymore (65.Matthew Baldisimo), 30.Ben McKendry; 56.Daniel Haber, 32.Marco Bustos, 49.Fatawu Safiu (62.Deklan Wynne 63′); 47.Kyle Greig © (57.Thomas Sanner 80′)
Substitutes not used
40.Sean Melvin, 41.Jackson Farmer, 42.Jordan Haynes, 64.Thomas Gardner
Orange County Blues FC
1.Joshua Cohen; 13.Matthew Sheldon, 3.Kwame Watson-Siriboe, 23.Brenton Griffiths, 37.Roy Meeus; 20.Oriol Cortes (4.Jonathan Howe 87′), 17.Verneri Valimaa, 24.Andrew Gray (12.Andrae Campbell 82′), 7.Christopher Santana (27.Orr Barouch 57′); 14.Awafei Ajeakwa (5.Nikola Ilich 89′), 8.Pablo Cruz (9.Trevor Caesar 57′)
Substitutes not used
33.Brandon Miller, 15.Ryan Felix