Less than 24 hours after suffering a 2-6 loss at the hands of Olympic Force, Bellingham United looked to right the ship against league leading Vancouver Victory. It was a special day at Civic Field as United recognized the students who completed the 2016 Reading Challenge- the atmosphere alive with youth players surrounding the field.
In front of a crowd of 370, both teams looked a bit timid at the beginning of the game, neither wanting to make a mistake that could cost a goal. Hammers best chances in the early minutes came from long runs from Nick Cashmere, who notched his fifth goal of the campaign against Force the evening before. There were several chances as the half continued, but the final pass wasn’t sharp enough and opportunities were squandered.
Vancouver Victory scored in the 39th minutes as a ball was dribbled all the way to the end line and cut back to a wide open Antonio Porreco who volleyed the ball in.
The final two minutes of the first half were anything but dull- a flurry of activity in front of Victory goal almost resulted in a goal for BUFC but was saved off the line.
Both teams made two substitutions in at halftime, with Nick Ulowetz and Thiago Novis entering the game for BUFC. Right away Novis’ presence was felt as he recorded his first shot 30 seconds into the half.
The next twenty minutes of the game saw both teams try and keep possession, with Vancouver playing conservative with the goal lead. United keeper, Tyler Visten, made two great saves- one being punched out of harm’s way and the other being caught.
United continued to apply pressure, especially in the final fifteen minutes. It paid off as Kyle Witzel slotted the ball into the back of the net off an assist from Nick Cashmere. Cashmere ran the ball down and played a teasing ball down the line that Victory players thought has gone out of bounds.
The final six minutes were action packed as United continued to knock on the door, with the best opportunity coming in the final seconds of the match when Witzel had another chance but pushed the ball just wide. The whistle blew with the final result being 1-1.
‘Overall I was very impressed with how the guys composed themselves today especially considering our dismal performance yesterday. I felt strongly we were going to come away with three points today- I just felt we were going to score a goal. We created far more opportunities, they are a good side, and I was pleased to see how our guys played against a team of that caliber,’ Head Coach Lance Calloway said.
The tie brings BUFC’s record to 4-2-1, with the next home match not until Sunday, July 10th at 3pm at Civic Stadium when we host South Sound FC.