Photo courtesy of Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2
VANCOUVER – Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2’s leading goal-scorer from a year ago Marco Bustos finally opened his 2016 goal-scoring account, and he did so with authority. Bustos tallied two goals in the first 23 minutes as WFC2 held on late to defeat the Swope Park Rangers 3-2 on Sunday at UBC Thunderbird Stadium. Vancouver’s 15-year-old prodigy Alphonso Davies tallied in the 80th minute, a crisp left-footed strike into the upper left of the frame, for his second tally of the year and ultimately the game-winner. Vancouver ended a two-game skid after it had opened league play with a 6-0-4 record. WFC2 moved ahead of Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC and back into sole possession of first place in the Western Conference with a 7-2-4 record and 25 points. Swope falls to 4-6-2 (14 points), but the side made things incredibly interesting at the close with late goals from Mark Anthony Gonzalez and Kris Tyrpak. Vancouver goalkeeper Marco Carducci was the savior at the end, making a glove save that ricocheted off of the left post to help his side grab the three points on the final sequence of the game. WFC2 wins the season series against the Rangers, previously earning a 2-1 win on April 27 at Swope Soccer Village.
5’ – VAN – Marcos Bustos (Brett Levis)
23’ – VAN – Marco Bustos
80’ – VAN – Alphonso Davies (Daniel Haber)
86’ – SPR – Mark Anthony Gonzalez (Ualefi)
88’ – SPR – Kris Tyrpak (Tommy Meyer)
Three Things That Mattered:
1. Vancouver’s second USL campaign has for the most part been an incredibly positive one across the board. However, one player who hadn’t been able to replicate last year’s bright performance was Marco Bustos, who led the 2015 side with seven goals. Perhaps Sunday was a massive turning point as he finally netted his first two goals of the season in the fifth and 23rd minutes. Bustos’ first finish capped off a nice buildup from WFC2 as Sem de Wit changed the point of attack from right to left. Ultimately it was Brett Levis with the setup from the left corner and Bustos slotted it home left-footed from a difficult angle for a 1-0 lead. Bustos’ second goal went unassisted as his first attempt was turned away by Swope goalkeeper Zac Lubin, but Bustos was there to tap in the rebound for a two-goal advantage.
2. USL all-time goal-scoring leader Dane Kelly made his first appearance since a hamstring injury he suffered two games into the season. Kelly was subbed in to open the second half for the Rangers. Swope Head Coach Marc Dos Santos made four of his five allotted substitutions immediately following the halftime break to try and find some sort of offensive spark. Kelly wasn’t able to find the back of the net, but he showed some flashes with his speed and attacking prowess. Vancouver Marco Carducci alertly rushed off his line to beat Kelly to the ball in the 59th minute, and Kelly volleyed a shot that was a shade wide right two minutes later.
3. Swope was nonexistent offensively in the opening 45 minutes. The lone shot was a 31st-minute, long-distance prayer that missed well wide right. The lack of attack was certainly a bit of a surprise, especially coming off its best offensive performance of the season, a dominant 4-0 victory against Rio Grande Valley FC on Wednesday. The Rangers found some life down the stretch on two incredibly late tallies, and Kevin Oliveira had an opportunity for the equalizer deep into second-half stoppage time with a close-range free kick. He fired toward the left of the frame and Marco Carducci dove to his right for a glove save that deflected the ball just enough that it caromed off of the left post as the final whistle sounded just after.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match:
Marco Bustos, Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 – Bustos’ first two goals of the season were a welcome sight for WFC2 as he showed some pep to his step in both halves Sunday.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 vs. Portland Timbers 2 – June 19, 5 p.m. ET, UBC Thunderbird Stadium
Swope Park Rangers vs. OKC Energy FC – June 18, 8:30 p.m. ET, Children’s Mercy Victory Field at Swope Soccer Village