When Thomas Sanner dreamt of his first professional goal, it probably wasn’t far off from what played out on Sunday afternoon.
The 6’4” striker made the most of his late substitution, outmuscling the Sacramento defender to get on the end of Daniel Haber’s whipped in cross two minutes into stoppage time.
“Have to give credit to Daniel Haber, said Sanner as he recalled his moment. “He laid in perfect ball, I was able to time it just right and I just wanted to get my head on it across goal.
Sanner’s injury time header capped a cagey 2-1 win for WFC2 over the visiting Sacramento Republic, who came into the day trailing the West leading ‘Caps by three in the standings. Marco Bustos’ well taken penalty cancelled out Cameron Iwasa’s goal for the visitors after twenty minutes.
“It was a 50-50 game, I think they created a couple chances, we created a couple chances,” said head coach Alan Koch. “The game started to fade away in the second half, a little lack of energy potentially from both groups, it’s obviously bloody hot out there to be honest, but fantastic to see Thomas Sanner get his first professional goal and to get the three points.
The game was a massive one in the Western Conference standings, as the Republic entered Sunday hot on the heels of the suddenly struggling Whitecaps 2. After dropping two straight on the back end of a four game road trip, WFC2 needed a bounceback performance on home soil and they got it.
“Sacramento is as good as it gets in the USL so it’s nice for us, coming off of a couple rough performances, to get a big three points at home and solidify ourselves at the top of the table, said WFC2’s Spencer Richey.”
Buoyed by a full strength team that included newest Whitecap David Edgar in the starting eleven, the ‘Caps played with a confidence that was lacking on the back end of the road trip, especially in the first half.
Against the run of play Sacramento snached the lead in the 14th minute as Iwasa latched onto a perfect through ball before sliding it past Richey for the early advantage.
Vancouver would equalize in the 21st as Kyle Greig was dragged down as he attempted to get on the end of a Kadin Chung cross. Bustos stepped up and calmly finished bottom left with the keeper going to the wrong way.
15 year-old phenom Alphonso Davies nearly found himself on highlight reels across the country in the 27th minute but his breathtaking run, that formed out of nothing included taking on five Sacramento defenders, was stymied in close by Evan Newton, who closed down well in the Sacramento net.
Sacramento had the best chance of a tight lipped second half but Richey got down well to smother a low drive in the 76th.