Photo courtesy of Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2
LANGLEY, B.C. – Playing up a man, Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 eventually took full advantage as Thomas Sanner scored three goals in the final 10 minutes and second-half stoppage time to lead WFC2 to a 3-1 victory against Arizona United SC on Sunday at McLeod Athletic Park. Arizona's Tyler Blackwood netted his eighth goal of the season in the first half and it was looking good for the visiting side until Blair Gavin picked up his second yellow card in the 58th minute. United played the remainder of the match down a man and WFC2 waited until the final stretch to rally. With the win, Vancouver improves to 11-6-7 (40 points) overall and 6-2-3 at home. Arizona drops its second straight match, falling to 8-10-6 (30 points) overall and 4-7-2 on the road. Vancouver, this was the first of three home matches at McLeod as WFC2 will split between there and Thunderbird Stadium the rest of the way. Sunday’s game was the second and final regular-season match between WFC2 and Arizona. United earned a 3-2 win against Vancouver on Aug. 3 at the Peoria Sports Complex.
17’ – AZ – Tyler Blackwood
84’ – VAN – Thomas Sanner (Thomas Gardner)
87’ – VAN – Thomas Sanner
90’+ – VAN – Thomas Sanner (Kyle Greig)
Three Things That Mattered:
1. Thomas Sanner entered Sunday’s match with one goal in limited minutes (232) this season. He left a lasting impression against Arizona when the team needed his efforts most. Sanner’s hat trick was an about-face for a WFC2 side that had so much difficulty with either the final pass or the final touch throughout the game. He tallied an equalizer off of a great individual effort from Thomas Gardner who eluded several Arizona defenders on the left side, crossed in and connected with Sanner for an 84th-minute equalizer. The winner came three minutes later as Kyle Greig crossed the ball in from the left. Sanner headed the ball and United goalkeeper Carl Woszczynski saved the first attempt. He then followed with the right-footed shot for a 2-1 lead. In stoppage time, Greig and Sanner had numbers against United’s defense and the veteran Greig left the ball for Sanner to his left and he finished for the third score. Sanner now has four goals on the season.
2. After seeing its three-game winning streak come to a close this past Wednesday at San Antonio FC, United was looking to get things back on track heading into the weekend. An early goal on the road certainly was a helpful recipe, and it came after a poor giveaway by WFC2. Sem de Wit made an errant pass as he was looking to play the ball out to his fellow defense on the right flank, but Tyler Blackwood alertly stepped up. Blackwood did all the rest with an open path in front of him and slotted it home for a 1-0 Arizona lead. With his eighth tally of the season, Blackwood is now tied with Long Tan for the team lead.
3. Arizona hit a hurdle early in the second half when Blair Gavin picked up his second yellow card of the match in the 58th minute and subsequently was sent off. Gavin was issued his second caution for intentionally standing in the way of WFC2’s dead ball. Vancouver wanted to play a quick free kick near midfield, but Gavin got in front of the ball and was quickly shown the yellow card. That gave Vancouver a lifeline as the host side had not generated too many chances prior to Gavin’s sending off.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match:
Thomas Sanner, Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 – Three goals in the final 10 minutes and stoppage time led WFC2 from a potential loss to an important victory.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 at Sacramento Republic FC – Aug. 27, 11 p.m. ET, Bonney Field
Arizona United SC vs. Real Monarchs SLC – Aug. 27, 10:30 p.m. ET, Peoria Sports Complex