RIDGEFIELD, WA— Vancouver Victory FC took a 3-0 lead over the visiting Hoppers of Yakima United before eventually scoring a 4-2 win on a scorching Saturday June 24 at Ridgefield Stadium. The heat index was 108 degrees on the pitch at kickoff.
The match was well played with the Victory controlling the ball and dictating play most of the match. The home side got on the board in the 16th minute when Reed Baez picked up a loose ball 20 yards out, made one move and slotted a low drive to the far post.
Vancouver continued to press and created more scoring chances. They broke through again in the 37th minute when Bobby Hutchin penetrated the Yakima defense down the left side, cut in and found Jake Brady on the back post. Jake drove in the shot against the grain and the Victory led 2-0 going into halftime.
The home side came out in the 2nd half and pressed the visitors. The Victory had 2-3 chances to score but could not get one in until the 57th minute when Jake Brady broke through on the right side, made the goalie commit and then slotted the ball across the goal to a wide open Stefan Wutte who pushed it in.
Yakima did not lay down and die in the heat. They pushed forward and committed numbers to their attack. It paid off 4 minutes later when a mix up between the Victory goalie Miguel Martin and centerback Drew Boyd created a loose ball at the top of the box. Yakima forward Alex Molchan got a toe on the ball and the slow roller hit off of the post and went in.
A penalty kick was called in the 68th minute against the Victory on a routine corner kick. It was not clear what foul was committed or on whom, but the call stood and Alex Molchan netted his 2nd goal to make it 3-2 Victory.
The home side regained control of the match by possessing the ball and attacking the corners. Yakima could not register another dangerous shot the rest of the match. The Victory closed out the scoring in the 94th minute when a Yakima pass back to the goalie was intercepted in the air by Stefan Wutte who recorded his 2nd goal of the match.
Quote from Head Coach Likius Hafeni who was filling in for Troy Ready who could not attend the match:
“I am happy with the performance from the guys for the most part. We still have things we can work on and get tightened up. We had control of this match and let them back in a little with goal and the mysterious penalty kick. If we are going to accomplish our goals, we cannot let teams back into matches. That is something we will be working on.”
Assistant Coach Barrett Goddard agreed, “It was really hot today. I was sweating buckets and I was not even running around. We put in a strong performance in Yakima-like weather. Yakima is a tough side, they keep coming and keep pushing regardless of the score or conditions. We fully expect another tough match from them next weekend in Yakima. We just can’t let them or any other team back in the match when we are in control. That was disappointing but we did get three points.”
The win moves the Victory up to 3rd place in the standings as they start to catch up in matches played with the other teams in the table. The Victory host the Oly Town Artesians on Tuesday June 27th at 7 PM at Ridgefield HS Stadium.