Yakima, WA – It wasn’t an ideal start Yakima United’s 2015 season as the visitors, Vancouver Victory, walked away with all three points in a 3-1 win.
United, who played their first home game of the season in front of a crowd of 205 at Marquette Stadium, started the game well enough as both teams looked to establish control of the match. There were few chances at either end until the 26th minute, when Yakima defender, Daniel Hernandez , was judged to have brought down a Victory attacker in the box. Timur Zhividze, calmly slotted the resulting penlty past Hoppers goalkeeper Jacob Rhoads to put his name on the score sheet with the first of his two goals on the afternoon. Then the game came to life as just one minute the score was level at 1-1. United stepped up the pressure which quickly paid off as a loose ball in the box was driven home by Hector Valdovinos, Yakima’s leading scorer of the 2014 campaign. The score remained even heading into halftime.
The second half saw Vancouver take firm control of the game, a control they never relinquished. Zhividze notched his second in the 50th minute, and when Yakima changed to a more attacking formation in the final stages of the game in search of a second equalizer, Vancouver punished when Zak Naylor sealed the three points in the 80th minute.
“It’s early in the season, and while you always want to start off with a win, we’ll take this is a valuable learning experience” said Yakima general manager Josh Vega. “Vancouver is a great team and they fully deserved the win, but I feel we definitely have something to build on, so we’ll take this week, work on few things, and be ready for the Hammers next weekend. Games are going to come fast and the season is gone in a flash, so you take the positives from the game but other than that you have to have a short memory” he added.
Elsewhere in the league – Bellingham United and South Sound FC, Yakima’s next two opponents, squared off in Bellingham as the Shock routed the Hammers to a 5-1 score line.