Playoff-Bound WFC2 Suffer 2-0 Loss to T2
VANCOUVER, BC - Villyan Bijev tallied a goal and an assist to lead Timbers 2 (11W-14L-4D) to a 2-0 victory over Whitecaps FC 2 (11W-9L-9D) at Thunderbird Stadium on Sunday afternoon.Having already clinched a spot in the USL Cup Playoffs, the fifth-place 'Caps remain in contention for a top-four finish and a home playoff date despite the loss, and get another chance at improving their positioning on Wednesday when they close out regular season play against Oklahoma City Energy FC at McLeod Athletic Park in Langley. Tickets are available here.
The victory keeps Portland's postseason hopes alive as they jump to ninth place and just one spot outside the playoff picture.
With a lineup featuring five players involved in the first team's historic CONCACAF Champions League win last Tuesday, the 'Caps got a chance just five minutes into the match when Daniel Haber played a throughball to an advancing Kyle Greig, but T2 goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh was alert to meet the early threat.
Timbers 2 would open the scoring in the 13th minute. After receiving a quick free kick, Bijev played the ball to midfielder Neco Brett on the left side of the box, who converted on the opportunity with a right-footed strike into the WFC2 net to give the visitors the 1-0 lead. The assist was the Bulgarian forward's ninth on the season, tied for first in the league.
Bijev was at it again in the 42nd minute, doubling the T2 lead going into halftime when he capitalized on a miscue in the 'Caps backline, intercepting a back pass intended for the goalkeeper, before calmly putting the ball into the back of the net for his sixth goal on the year.
The two rivals each kept their foot on the gas pedal in the second half. Dylan Damraoui momentarily appeared to have headed in T2's third goal off a well-placed cross but the score was waved off as the Portland midfielder was whistled for a foul against WFC2 goalkeeper Marco Carducci.
Haber, Greig, and substitute Fatawu Safiu each had opportunities at cutting into the T2 lead but neither would be able to solve McIntosh on the afternoon, who recorded five saves and picked up his fourth clean sheet of the season.
Whitecaps FC fans in Langley get another chance to cheer on WFC2 in Wednesday's regular season finale and will be treated to an amazing fire performance by AcroFire Entertainment at halftime.
The USL Cup Playoffs begin on the weekend of September 30 to October 2. Once confirmed, schedule, venue and ticket information for specific playoff matches will be announced on whitecapsfc2.com.
Scoring Summary 13' - POR - Neco Brett (Villyan Bijev) 42' - POR - Villyan Bijev
Stats Shots: VAN 13 - POR 12 Shots on Goal: VAN 5 - POR 4 Saves: VAN 2 - POR 5 Corners: VAN 7 - POR 3
Caution 8' - VAN - Ben McKendry 10' - POR - Andy Thoma 34' - POR - Villyan Bijev
Whitecaps FC 2 24.Marco Carducci; 48.Christopher Diaz (49.Fatawu Safiu 69'), 14.Cole Seiler, 54.Elliot Green, 63.Kadin Chung; 30.Ben McKendry (64.Thomas Gardner HT), 38.Kianz Froese (42.Jordan Haynes HT); 56.Daniel Haber (61.Terran Campbell 82'), 32.Marco Bustos (57.Thomas Sanner HT), 46.Brett Levis; 47.Kyle Greig
Substitutes not used 53.Mark Village, 41.Jackson Farmer
Timbers 2 43.Kendall McIntosh; 55.Brent Richards, 47.Rennico Clarke, 32.Trevor Morley, 28.Andy Thoma; 73.Victor Arboleda (96.Blake Bodily HT), 77.Andre Lewis; 70.Dylan Damraoui (27.Nick Besler 66'), 25.Neco Brett (19.Ben Polk 86'); 46.Villyan Bijev (84.Seth Casiple 86'), 80.Augustine Williams (30.Kharlton Belmar 86'),
Substitutes not used 29.Justin Luthy, 50.Michael Gallagher
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