The 24 year-old fired in the game winner in the 89th minute to give WFC2 a dramatic 3-2 victory over the Oklahoma City Energy in the Western Conference Semifinals.
Home cooking will never taste sweeter for WFC2 as they return home this weeks after a disappointing month on the road.
The 'Caps dropped their second straight match in Texas, this time losing 2-0 to San Antonio FC after getting dropped 4-0 two nights earlier in Rio Grande. Kye Grieg had an early penalty saved by Matt Cardone, who was making his first professional start for San Antonio. Rafael Castillo converted a penalty of his just past the hour mark for the home side. Frank Tayou added an insurance marker in stoppage time as San Antonio pushed their unbeaten streak to six.
Vancouver finishes their season long road trip 1W-2L-1D, which is not disastrous by any means, but the weariness was apparent in their last two defeats signalled an ideal end to the trip. The shot attempts were 23-5 in favour of San Antonio, including 9-1 on target.If not for Spencer Richey in the Vancouver goal, this game could have been the second lopsided scoreline of the week for WFC2. The sophomore from Seattle was the 'Caps best player, making a number of crucial saves including a fantastic save on Cesar Elizondo just prior to the hour mark to keep the game scoreless.
WFC2 had the best chance of the first half as Marco Bustos was brought down in the box as he tried to get loose on a free kick. Grieg, who has been perfect from the spot so far this season, had his unconvincing low penalty saved comfortably by San Antonio’s rookie keeper.
The back to back losses will be a major test for the squad's resolve as they enter a crucial section of the season. WFC2 are still tied atop the West with Los Angeles but the ultra competitive Western Conference is ensuring that the pressure will continue to mount on the leaders. The 'Caps welcome the fourth placed Sacramento FC to Thunderbird Stadium next weekend before heading out on the road for another two games, including one at Colorado Springs, who could take over top spot in the Conference by the end of the weekend.
64’ – SA – Rafael Castillo (penalty kick)
90’+3 – SA – Franck Tayou
Shots: SA 23 – VAN 5
Shots on Goal: SA 9 – VAN 1
Saves: SA 1 – VAN 7
Corners: SA 8 – VAN 1
18’ – SA – Miguel Salazar
41’ – VAN – Kyle Greig
69’ – SA – Carlos Alvarez
76’ – SA – Sebastian Thuriere
77’ – VAN – Kianz Froese
90’ – VAN – Marco Bustos
San Antonio FC
0.Matt Cardone; 2.Milton Palacios, 15.Stephen McCarthy, 14.Biko Bradnock-Brennan, 20.Greg Cochrane; 28.Miguel Salazar (6.Sebastian Thuriere 23’); 10.Carlos Alvarez (24.Franck Tayou 73’), 16.Rafael Castillo (11.Daniel Garcia 89’), 8.Michael Reed, 18.Jason Johnson; 12.Taylor Morgan (5.Cesar Elizondo 55’)
13.Lee Johnston, 4.Sam McBride, 23.Fejiro Okiomah
Whitecaps FC 2
39.Spencer Richey; 50.Sahil Sandhu (65.Matthew Baldisimo HT), 51.Sem de Wit, 41.Jackson Farmer (57.Thomas Sanner 77’), 45.Giuliano Frano (66.Nicolas Apostol 82’); 58.Will Seymore, 38.Kianz Froese (73.Joel Harrison 86’); 56.Daniel Haber (62.Deklan Wynne 70’), 32.Marco Bustos, 49.Fatawu Safiu; 47.Kyle Greig
40.Sean Melvin, 68.Alan Camacho