Greig, Frano Score But WFC2 Comeback Effort Falls Short in Wild Cascadia Derby Match
TUKWILA, WASHINGTON - Whitecaps FC 2 fell 3-2 to Seattle Sounders FC 2 in another wild Cascadia rivalry affair that saw a long-distance wonder goal, six yellow cards and two penalty kick goals at Starfire Sports Complex on Thursday evening.
Kyle Greig netted his 10th goal for the season, while Giuliano Frano came off the Vancouver bench to score against his former team. Seattle native Spencer Richey recorded three saves in the losing effort for WFC2.
Featuring seven Canadians in their starting XI, the 'Caps looked the livelier side in the opening half and dominated the possession battle early. The visiting side almost cashed in a glorious chance from Daniel Haber, but the eighth-minute attempt was cleared off the line by S2 defender Nouhou Tolo, who slid into the scene at just the right moment.
The 'Caps attack took turns testing the S2 defence, with Brett Levis, Fatawu Safiu, Marco Bustos, and Ben McKendry registering shots in the opening half, but Seattle goalkeeper Tyler Miller, who finished with eight saves on the evening, was equal to the task each time.
Things got testy just before the half. Levis was whistled for a foul inside the Vancouver box, resulting in an Andy Craven penalty kick goal in the 41st minute, and an early exit for WFC2 head coach Alan Koch, who was sent off by the official. But it did not take long for Vancouver to draw level, as McKendry earned WFC2 a penalty kick goal of their own, allowing Greig to equalize from the spot just before intermission.
Seattle came out of the gates firing in the second half, with Victor Mansaray finding the net less than a minute in off a clean throughball from Zach Mathers.
Greig tried to respond five minutes later, skying high to meet McKendry's cross but the crossbar denied the striker of his second goal.
Sounders FC 2 would capitalize in the 56th minute, doubling their lead with an absolute rocket from Lorenzo Ramos from beyond 25 yards.
Seriously?! If you don't watch this blast from @SoundersFC2 just #DeleteYourAccount ... #SEAvVAN #USLhttps://t.co/aZRvVDKAQz
- USL (@USL) June 10, 2016
The Seattle lead would have swelled further if it were not for Richey's heady goalkeeping 10 minutes later, as the hometown kid came up with a double save, first on a Mathers blast from just inside the box, then on Craven's ensuing putback attempt.
WFC2, who came back from deficits against Tulsa Roughnecks FC and LA Galaxy II to notch points earlier in the season, kept pushing, as Frano came on to burn his former team, scoring his first goal of the year to cut the lead down to 3-2.
Substitute Sahil Sandhu had a chance at a late equalizer for Vancouver but his shot hit the post as the Whitecaps FC 2 comeback bid ran out of time.
The 'Caps now fall to 6W-2L-4D but remain tied with idle Colorado Spring Switchbacks FC for first place in the Western Conference with 22 points. Seattle Sounders FC 2 improve to 2W-7L-4D.
The 'Caps return home on Sunday, June 12, to face Swope Park Rangers at 2 p.m. for Bark at the 'Bird. Fans are encouraged to bring their favourite canine companions to the match.
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