Photo courtesy Bob Frid / Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2
VANCOUVER, B.C. – Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 scored in stoppage time as Thomas Sanner notched his first professional goal to take a 2-1 victory against Sacramento Republic FC on Sunday afternoon at Thunderbird Stadium. WFC2 had the upper hand early, but Sacramento took the lead in the 14th minute when Danny Barrera slipped Cameron Iwasa in behind Vancouver’s defense for a good finish to the right corner. WFC2 hit back seven minutes later from the penalty spot, however, as Marco Bustos converted following a foul on Kyle Greig in the penalty area. WFC2 continued to have the better of the game until the halftime break, but as the game wore on Sacramento started creating more chances. Republic FC substitute Adam Jahn volleyed just over, and a low shot by Iwasa forced a good save by Vancouver’s Spencer Richey, but it was WFC2 that grabbed victory as Sanner headed home a cross by Daniel Haber to earn his side all three points.
14’ – SAC – Cameron Iwasa (Danny Barrera)
21’ – VAN – Marco Bustos (PK)
90+’ – VAN – Thomas Sanner (Daniel Haber)
Three Things That Matter:
1. After a week off, WFC2 got back to the sharp, attacking play that had helped the side claim first place in the Western Conference in recent weeks on Sunday, and despite the early setback deserved the equalizer it found from the penalty spot from Marco Bustos midway through the first half. Bustos, Ben McKendry and Alphonso Davies were all key to this, as the young Canadian trio came close to giving the hosts the lead before the halftime break.
2. Sacramento’s goal was against the run of play, but it illustrated once again what a difference-maker Danny Barrera is for the side. Finding a nice pocket of space, Barrera’s vision to pick out Cameron Iwasa’s well-timed run in behind the defense and weight a perfect pass was delightful, and resulted in his USL-leading seventh assist of the season. Republic FC’s opponents likely know how dangerous Barrera is, but finding ways to diminish his impact on a game is a very difficult task.
3. The game appeared to be petering out to a draw as the game entered stoppage time, but Vancouver found a way to take victory on a brilliant goal by Thomas Sanner, whose first professional goal was a memorable one. Fatawu Safiu began the move as his pass down the right flank found Daniel Haber, and Sanner won the race to the near post for a flicked header into the left corner of the net that restored Vancouver to the top of the Western Conference standings, and left Republic FC stunned.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Thomas Sanner, Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 – Sanner’s first professional goal made the difference in stoppage time as the hosts bounced back from a two-game losing streak to take victory at the death.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 at Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC – July 20, 9 p.m. ET, Switchbacks Stadium
Sacramento Republic FC at Rio Grande Valley FC – July 30, 8:30 p.m. ET, Toro Stadium