Safiu cues comeback, 'Caps draw LA II 2-2


Showing signs of a rusty, disjointed team for the better part of an hour, WFC2 continued to show immense character as they erased a 2-0 second half deficit to salvage a point on the road against Los Angeles Galaxy II. Fatawu Safiu got the ‘Caps on the board with his first for the team before substitute Kyle Grieg tied the game with his third of the year minutes later. Marco Bustos and Erik Hurtado made their season debuts for the ‘Caps with the later contributing to the comeback with a pinpoint back post cross for Vancouver’s first goal. 

With four changes from their lineup against Sacramento and almost two weeks off since their last game, WFC2 looked lifeless for much of the first half. Last year’s star, Bustos, seemed unable to get into the rhythm of the USL game while Hurtado showed hustle and pace early on but little else as the visitors spent the half chasing. 

Spencer Richey, who got the start as well as the captain's’ armband thanks to Kyle Grieg being on the bench, kept the game scoreless by closing down well in the 36th before somehow keeping out a Jake McBean free kick out after it struck the crossbar minutes later. LA finally got on the board just before the stroke of halftime as Jose Villarreal whipped in free kick from 20 yards out just past Richey’s outstretched fingers.

The lead would be doubled just before the hour mark as Sem de Wit brought down Jamie Villarreal on the edge of the box leading to Jake McBean converting a penalty to give the home side a well deserved 2-0 lead. 

The goal seemed to bring WFC2 to life as Safiu came on for Alphonso Davies and made an immediate impact in only his second appearance with the club. Eight minutes after coming on, Safui coolly directed in Hurtado’s perfect back post cross for his first of the year. 

The Ghanian wasn’t done there.

Six minutes later Safiu was back at it again, this time slipping in substitute Kyle Greig with a splitting pass that sent the team’s leading scorer in on goal where he would make no mistake.

The two goal comeback ensured that the ‘Caps remain undefeated on the year and continue to show the depth needed to compete in the league, with tonight being Safiu’s turn to play hero. The dynamic Ghanaian made an instant impact off the bench and appears primed to pick up more minutes down in the coming games.

WFC2 continue their three game road trip on Wednesday when they visit the Swope Park Rangers. 

Scoring Summary
45'+1 - LA - Jose Villarreal
57' - LA - Jack McBean (penalty kick)
70' - VAN - Fatawu Safiu (Erik Hurtado)
76' - VAN - Kyle Greig (Fatawu Safiu)

Stats
Shots: LA 8 - VAN 5
Shots on goal: LA 3 - VAN 4
Corners: LA 5 - VAN 0

Cautions
42' - VAN - Alphonso Davies
44' - VAN - Cole Seiler
68' - LA - Alejandro Covarrubias
84' - VAN - Fatawu Safiu
84' - VAN - Erik Hurtado

Ejection
83' - LA - Byram Rebellon

LA Galaxy II
31.Clement Diop; 36.Oscor Sorto (47.Nathan Smith 45'), 72.Lee Nishanian, 69.Jeffrey Payeras, 29.Josh Turnley; 65.Jaime Villarreal, 52.Byram Rebellon, 57.Alejandro Covarrubias, 5.Jose Villarreal (40.Raul Mendiola 61'); 73.Adonis Amaya (15.Ariel Lassiter 61'), 32.Jack McBean

Substitutes not used
54.Bennett Sneddon, 48.Ryo Fujii, 51.Ethan Zubak, 62.John Neeskens

Whitecaps FC 2
39.Spencer Richey; 63.Kadin Chung (55.Chris Serban 78'), 51.Sem de Wit, 14.Cole Seiler, 46.Brett Levis; 20.Deybi Flores (58.Will Seymore 34'), 30.Ben McKendry (45.Giuliano Frano 62'); 56.Daniel Haber, 32.Marco Bustos (47.Kyle Greig 67'), 67.Alphonso Davies (49.Fatawu Safiu 62'); 19.Erik Hurtado

Substitutes not used
24.Marco Carducci, 41.Jackson Farmer