July 8, 2012: Victoria Highlanders @ Vancouver Whitecaps U-23

Whitecaps U-23 Victoria
1 GK Nolan Wirth 29 GK Elliott Mitrou
11 DF Reynold Stewart 18 DF Liam Davis out 64'
2 DF James Farenhorst 14 DF Kevan Brown
4 DF Shawn Parkes 2 DF Kalem Scott
9 DF Alex Marello 15 DF Andrew Ravenhill
3 MF Kianz Froese out 70' 16 MF Sourosh Amani out 79'
5 MF Bobby Jhutty 20 MF Tommy Mallette out 59'
16 MF Gagandeep Dosanjh 26 MF Sam Prette out 59'
18 MF Cam Hundal goal 66' 24 MF Gareth Langdon
21 FW Michael Marousek out 45' 17 FW Jordie Hughes
17 FW Coulton Jackson out 67' 10 FW Ashley Burbeary goal 6' 15'
6 FW Carlos Marquez in 45' 19 MF Jared Stephens in 59'
19 FW Sang Hwang in 67' 11 FW Craig Gorman in 59'
12 DF Declan Rodriguez in 70' 12 MF Sasa Plavsic in 64'
23 MF Bryan Taylor in 79'

Under a blazing sun at Minoru Park in Richmond, British Columbia, the Victoria Highlanders simultaneously ended the Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23's playoff hopes and kept their own chances in the Juan de Fuca Plate alive with a 2-1 road win; their second victory in two days.

For the Highlanders, who have long been out of playoff contention, it was a chance to play spoiler against a rival. The Whitecaps had played on Friday evening themselves so both teams were tired, and Vancouver was missing six key players due to call-ups for the Canadian national U-20 team training camp in Mexico. So shorthanded was Vancouver that two sixteen-year-olds started for the Whitecaps: goalkeeper Nolan Wirth and midfielder Kianz Froese.

A good contingent of a half-dozen Lake Side Buoys made the trip to Richmond, piping and cheering their squad on, while the Vancouver Southsiders were of course also represented; it was the Victoria fans who had more to cheer early, though. Just six minutes in, Ashley Burbeary got his foot on a Jordie Hughes pass and half-volleyed a perfect touch past Wirth to give Victoria a 1-0 lead. Then less than ten minutes later Burbeary struck again, this time hitting a perfect 33-yard free kick that went around the wall and just over the hand of a leaping Wirth.

The Whitecaps had chances of their own and the lion's share of the first half possession but were unable to break down a tenacious Victoria defense or force Victoria goalkeeper Elliott Mitrou into a dangerous save. The team was unable to even get shots away from a good scoring position, and a memorable scramble late in the first half where the Whitecaps bossed the ball Gagandeep Dosanjh, Cam Hundal, Coulton Jackson, and Michael Marousek all seemed to have excellent looks at goal ended without a shot on target. Their best chance was a Marousek free kick that didn't get over the crossbar by much. On the other side, a quick break by Victoria saw Jordie Hughes get a glorious chance he put not far wide.

Victoria didn't play conservatively in the second half, bringing on substitutes that included leading Juan de Fuca Plate scorer Craig Gorman. This meant that both teams traded chances and, at last, the Whitecaps pulled one back. Cam Hundal received a clever pass from Dosanjh and strolled in on goal largely unmarked. He took a step into the box and hit a low shot which beat Mitrou to pull Vancouver within one. Minutes later, Carlos Marquez was clattered in the box by a Victoria defender, and the diminuitive Marquez demanded a penalty that was not given.

That was as close as Vancouver would get, and the best chance of the game late came from Victoria: Ashley Burbeary, with the ball out wide right and looking for his hat trick, neatly dribbled past Declan Rodriguez and chipped an excellent shot over a charging Nolan Wirth that bounced off the crossbar. Less than five minutes later, Jared Stephans also hit the post with a power shot from medium range. The Highlanders held on for the 2-1 victory, sending the Juan de Fuca Plate to the final game Wednesday between Vancouver and Fraser Valley at Swangard Stadium.

Scoring Summary

6': 0-1 Victoria Highlanders. Ashley Burbeary [1] (Jordie Hughes)
15': 0-2 Victoria Highlanders. Ashley Burbeary [2]
66': 1-2 Vancouver Whitecaps U-23. Cam Hundal [2] (Gagandeep Dosanjh)

Match Reports

Vancouver Whitecaps: Whitecaps FC U-23 fall 2-1 to Highlanders FC
Victoria Highlanders: PDL Men End Season with a Pair of Wins