'Caps squander lead in Arizona, fall to United 3-2

This one could sting a bit. 

WFC2 surrendered a 2-0 second half lead on the road in Arizona, ultimately dropping a 3-2 decision on Chris Cortez’s winner in the waning seconds of stoppage time. The ‘Caps got well taken goals from Daniel Haber and Fatawu Safiu on either side of the break to take the initial lead. Sean Melvin did his best to keep the reeling ‘Caps in the lead, stopping a Long Tan penalty in the 71st minute to keep the score 2-1.

Vancouver entered the match shorthanded, after watching a number of their leading men, including Spencer Richey, Kyle Greig, and Brett Levis, received call ups to the MLS squad in the Whitecaps 1-0 win in on Tuesday in the opening match of the CONCACAF Champions League. Alan Koch was forced to make six changes from their last match in Colorado Springs, including giving Thomas Sanner and Declan Wynne their first starts of the season.

The ‘Caps opened the scoring in the 45th minute as Will Seymore picked out Haber with a delicate through ball at the edge of the area. Still with work to do, Haber rounded the keeper and made no mistake for his sixth of the year.

Safiu would double the lead nine minutes after halftime.  The Ghanaian collected a long ball over the top from Jackson Farmer before cutting inside and burying into the near post.

Despite the 2-0 lead, the ‘Caps were never comfortable. The scorching heat of the Arizona desert began to take a toll as WFC2 limped towards the finish. Luke Rooney brought a goal back for the home side in the 65th as he found room just inside the area and curled the 2-1 goal into the bottom corner.

Rooney was back at it again in the 78th, this time for the equalizer. Long Tan got in behind Jordan Haynes was able to cut the ball back to Rooney, whose low shot deflected off of Farmer and past a helpless Melvin.

Hanging on for dear life as the last few minutes ticked away, Arizona capitalized on some sloppy defending to snatch the three points at the death. Cortez corralled a bouncing ball in the Vancouver area and somehow turned between Farmer and Elliott Green before beating Melvin from close range.

The loss is WFC2’s third in their last four matches, and sees them potentially give up top spot in the West as Los Angeles now sit a point back but with a game in hand.