VANCOUVER, BC - the Vancouver Whitecaps FC2 (W6-L8-D5) continued their march towards a playoff spot in the USL Western Conference after drawing two-all with the Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC (W10-L6-D1) on Wednesday evening at UBC Thunderbird Stadium.
Despite several early chances for WFC2 it was the Switchbacks who drew first blood when Josh Phillips poked home Shintaro Harada's corner kick in the tenth minute.
WFC2 were not to be deterred, and were rewarded with a goal of their own in the eighteenth minute when Victor Blasco forced Switchbacks FC goalkeeper Samir Badr to make a poor clearance. The ball landed at the feet of WFC2 midfielder Marco Bustos, who calmly chipped the ball into the net from about twenty yards out.
Both sides continued to trade chances, and on the stroke of half time centre back Diego Rodriguez, who was on loan from the Caps' MLS team, fouled Colorado's Saeed Robinson just inside the area. Aaron King scored from the spot for the visitors, who went into the locker room at half time with a 2-1 lead.
It was a case of déjà-vu for the Thundercaps going into the break trailing their opponent for the second straight match. In a scene reminiscent of last Friday's match versus T2, it took WFC2 a matter of minutes after the restart to draw level, this time thanks to Andre Lewis, who scored in the fiftieth minute.
In the final ten minutes of the match WFC2 had two opportunities to find a winning goal, and keep all three points for themselves, but it was not to be.
Firstly, Blasco played a nice ball forward for Bustos, but the Vancouver midfielder was unable to beat Badr for his second goal of the match.
Then just a few minutes from full time centre back Craig Nitti saw his free kick from just outside the Colorado Springs area miss at the far post.
In the end the match ended in a two-all draw, and WFC2 extended their unbeaten run to three matches.
The seventh place Thundercaps are level on twenty-three points with the Orange County Blues FC, who currently hold the sixth, and final, playoff berth in the Western Conference by virtue of goal differential.
WFC2 next play at 7PM this Sunday evening when they face the Portland Timbers FC2 at Merlo Field in Portland, OR.
The next WFC2 home match is at 7PM PT on Friday, July 24th at UBC Thunderbird Stadium when they host the first leg of a home-and-home series with the Tulsa Roughnecks FC.
10' - COL - Josh Phillips (Shintaro Harada)
18' - VAN - Marco Bustos
45' - COL - Aaron King (Penalty kick)
50' - VAN - Andre Lewis (Victor Blasco)
Shots: VAN 23 - COL 11
Saves: VAN 5 - COL 6
Corners: VAN 3 - COL 4
44' - VAN - Diego Rodriguez
73' - VAN - Ben McKendry
Whitecaps FC 2
39.Spencer Richey; 27.Ethen Sampson, 54.Craig Nitti, 18.Diego Rodriguez (58.Will Seymore 45'), 55.Chris Serban; 45. Tyler Rosenlund, 30. Ben McKendry; 25.Andre Lewis, 32.Marco Bustos, 48.Victor Blasco (47.Jovan Blagojevic 79'); 51.Billy Schuler (49. Mackenzie Pridham 75')
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
23.Samir Badr; 5.Jamie McGuinness (12.Mike Seth 75'), 17.Kareem Smith, 2.Josh Phillips (34.JJ Greer 45'), 30.Kley Bejarano; 21.Shintaro Harada (25.Jordan Burt 64'), 6.Davy Armstrong, 13.Kevin Durr (8.Rony Argueta 53'); 11.Saeed Robinson, 18.Aaron King, 7.Nate Robinson
Substitutes not used