Canada Soccer

Alphonso Davies scores winner as Whitecaps FC clinch Group C

Posted on 14 September 2016 in FIFA Club World Cup

Vancouver Whitecaps FC secured a spot in the quarter-finals after Alphonso Davies scored an added-time winner in 2016-17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League action. Perfect with nine points after three wins, Whitecaps FC clinched first place in their three-team group to qualify for the competition's final eight in 2017.

Teen star Davies, making his first start in the competition, assisted on Erik Hurtado's opener and then scored the 93rd minute winner. The Davies winner was a left-footed blast that redirected off midfielder Ualefi's back side.

On the Hurtado goal, Davies had five touches on a long run before playing give and go with Nicolás Mezquida; after Mezquida returned the ball to Davies on the left, he centered from inside the box to Hurtado.

The Hurtado goal was scored in the 41st minute after a lengthy delay because of inclement weather. In the second half, Diego Rubio equalised in the 55th minute.

Late in the match, Spencer Richey made a key 91st-minute save on Connor Hallisey streaking down the left side. It was just a couple of minutes later that Davies provided the heroics.

With one match remaining, Whitecaps FC are perfect with nine points ahead of both Central FC (one point, -1 goals difference after two matches) and Sporting Kansas City (one point, -4 goals difference after three matches).

This marks the fourth time in nine seasons that Canada's entry has reached the quarter-final stage of CONCACAF Champions League. In previous seasons, Impact Montréal reached the quarter-finals in 2008-09, Toronto FC reached the semi-finals in 2011-12, and Impact Montréal reached the Grand Final in 2014-15. In the final match of the 2014-15 season, Montréal's crowd of 61,004 fans at Stade Olympique was the highest in-stadia sporting event in Canada in 2015.

Whitecaps FC's starting XI featured Spencer Richey, Cole Seiler at right back, Kendall Waston and Tim Parker at centre back, Marcel de Jong at left back, Fraser Aird, Pedro Morales, Anrew Jacobson, and Alphonso Davies in the midfield, Nicolás Mezquida as a secondary striker, and Erik Hurtado up front.

In the second half, coach Carl Robinson replaced Aird with Brett Levis (68'), Mezquida with Blas Pérez (71'), and Hurtado with Kyle Greig (87').

Sporting Kansas City's starting XI featured Tim Melia in goal, Chance Myers at right back, Ike Opara and Amer Didic at centre back, Tyler Pasher at left back, Ualefi, Paulo Nagamura, and Emmanuel Appiah in the midfield, and Cameron Porter, Diego Rubio, and Connor Hallisey up front. Kansas City then replaced Myers with Seth Sinovic (29') and Porter with Kris Tyrpak (46').

The next Group C match is Wednesday 28 September with Whitecaps FC hosting Central FC. The group finale is Wednesday 19 October when Kansas City hosts Central FC on Wednesday 19 October.

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