Victory Shocks Champs With First Franchise Win
SAN FRANCISCO (June 7, 2007) -- The California Victory recorded its first win of the season -- and its first in franchise history -- by stunning champions and league leaders Vancouver Whitecaps 1-0 at Kezar Stadium Thursday night.
Though not resounding, the win was well deserved as California marshaled the game throughout to take advantage of a lackluster Vancouver side missing several key players through injury.
But the expansion Victory will relish the famous win over arguably the best in the USL, and the three points taken sets up an exciting encounter with the Minnesota Thunder Saturday, who sit only a single point above bottom-place California.
The game's only goal came late in the first half when Yuri Morales looked to head in a corner at the near post, though the final touch may have come off a Vancouver defender.
The home side could have twice doubled the score in the second half, but Ricardo Sanchez couldn't get his chip over oncoming Vancouver 'keeper Tony Caig in the 77th minute, and Josh Hansen, who was tenacious and brilliant up front, dragged his shot just wide three minutes later.
The Whitecaps had their own chances and kept the game interesting with a flurry of shots from Tony Donatelli and Alfredo Valenti midway through the second half, but the Victory defense and 'keeper Eric Reed stood firm.
Reed was a rock in the Victory goal, recording six vital saves on the night including a superb reaction block in the 76th minute from a close range strike.
But it was a trademark Ricardo Sanchez corner in the first half that produced the winning goal.
His 41st-minute in-swinger from the right was difficult to defend, leaving Morales to sneak in and meet the ball at the near post to notch his second goal in two games.
The win will certainly boost the morale of the brand-new USL First Division side, who looked elated at the final whistle to pick up a victory in front of a home crowd.
California moves to 1-4-2 with 5 points (12th place). Vancouver (5-2-3) remains top, two points above fellow-Canadians Montreal.
Next Victory game: versus Minnesota Thunder (1-5-3, 11th place) on Saturday, June 9 at 7 p.m. For more information go to www.californiavictorysoccer.com.
Victory: Reed, Schwarze, Aguilar, Suarez, McKlung, Retiz, Aguayo (Kim 64), Mira (Fitzgerald 45), Sanchez (Herron 90), Morales (Muñoz 85), Hansen.
Vancouver: Caig, Cann, Kindel, Tchumi (McLaughlin 70), Martin (Valente 54), Clarke, Alberts (Leslie 76), Donatelli, Morris (Kamberre 78), Gjertsen, Testo (Bailey 57).
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USL First Division Stories from June 8, 2007
- Gregor Helps Timbers To 1-0 Win In Montreal - Portland Timbers
- Railhawks And Rhinos Tie at 2-2 - North Carolina FC
- Victory v Minnesota - California Victory
- Thunder And Lightning Hit The Road This Weekend In Search Of More Points - Minnesota Thunder
- AC Milan Unveils U-21 Travel Roster For Portland Match - Portland Timbers
- Battery to play Jamaica's Village United Saturday at Blackbaud - Charleston Battery
- Victory Shocks Champs With First Franchise Win - California Victory
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