What a match! Everything you could want from a semi-final, including your team winning at the end of it all, as WFC2 came away with a last gasp 3-2 victory over OKC Energy at Thunderbird Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
It was a game that saw momentum swing dramatically.
Kianz Froese had put the ‘Caps one up at the half, and when Kyle Greig added a second three minutes after the restart, you’d be forgiven for thinking WFC2 had one foot in next week’s Western Conference final. But full credit to OKC Energy, who bombarded the Vancouver box with wave after wave of aerial threat and attacks. They paid off as two goals tied things up with ten minutes remaining and looked to be clearly the team in the ascendency.
But step up Canadian international Daniel Haber, who showed tremendous composure in the box to fire home the last minute winner, sending the players and fans into ecstasy and leaving WFC2 just two games from USL Championship glory.
Can they do it? Turn up or tune in next week to find out!
AFTN photographer Tom Ewasiuk was there to capture all the action before, during and after the game and here’s our “Story In Pictures”, with a full Flickr slideshow at the end.[Also check out Tom’s website www.residualimagephotography.com for more of his photos and work].
A soggy Southsiders brunch tailgate draws a good crowd
Thank heavens for plastic pitches as the game is on
The most Vancouver anthem ever just makes Arielle more awesome
Will Seymore pick up an early yellow that I was worried may have been a red
But Michael Thomas’ lunge on Kyle Greig definitely should have been, but also wasn’t
Kianz Froese’s 27th minute free kick deceives everyone (including Tom) and settles in the back of the OKC net
A disappointing crowd of only 1,308. It was a semi-final people and there’s a roof!
Three minutes into the second half, great work by Kadin Chung as he tears into the box
Setting up Kyle Greig
Who strokes it home for his second in two games to make it 2-0 ‘Caps
Danny Konig thinks he’s pulled one back soon after but it’s offside. Phew!
Spencer Richey with one of a number of big stops in the game
But when the ball comes to Danny Konig at the back of the six yard box on the hour mark, there’s nothing he can do to keep it out
And OKC are back in the match at 2-1. Squeaky bum time!
Spencer Richey continues his excellent game
The coolest man in the stadium as Christopher Diaz clears a goalbound deflection of the line at the last possible moment
Before Spencer Richey comes up with another cracking save
But with ten minutes remaining, the ball comes out to OKC’s Timo Pitter at the edge of the box
He lets rip, beating Richey all ends up
And making it 2-2 with the goal of the game (and one of the season)
Causing sheer, unbridled joy on the Energy bench
But there’s still time… and in the last minute the ball breaks to Daniel Haber in the box after some great work out wide by Thomas Sanner
And the Canadian international shows great composure to find his footing in the wet conditions and make room for himself in the box, before firing through the legs of two OKC defenders and into the net for the game winning goal
Pile on! But don’t injure him, we need him for two finals
And the supporters go wild!
The most beautiful looking scoreboard ever seen at UBC?
It’s over!!! The ‘Caps are going to a Western Conference final. Get it done boys!
You can see all of Tom’s photos from the game HERE and in our full Flickr slideshow below: