Vancouver Whitecaps head coach Marc Dos Santos. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Calgary bounces withering Whitecaps from Canadian Championships

Vancouver MLS side falls 2-1 to Canadian Premier League club

VANCOUVER — Calgary’s Cavalry FC pulled off an upset Wednesday night, beating the Vancouver Whitecaps 2-1 to advance to the Canadian Championship semifinals.

Cavalry are the only Canadian Premier League team to take out a Major League Soccer squad in the tournament.

Jordan Brown and Dominick Zator each scored for Calgary, and Hwang Inbeom put away Vancouver’s lone goal.

Goalie Marco Carducci stopped two of three on-target shots for the Cavalry. Vancouver ‘keeper Maxime Crepeau had one save.

The loss extends the Whitecaps’ dismal winless stretch to 10 games across all competition, including five straight losses in MLS.

Earlier this month, they battled Calgary to a scoreless draw in the first leg of the qualifying round.

The Cavalry got on the board in the seventh minute on Wednesday after Nikolas Ledgerwood sent a long ball into Vancouver’s end.

Brown beat a pair of ‘Caps defenders to the ball and got off a shot that sailed directly into the top corner of the net. Ledgerwood, Calgary’s captain, was credited with the assist.

Vancouver has struggled when playing from behind recently and Wednesday night was no different. The squad looked frazzled after the goal, with defenders losing their checks and passes falling incomplete.

The Whitecaps showed more life in the second half, starting with a good chance in the 47th minute. Joaquin Ardaiz sent a nice ball to Theo Bair in the box and the six-foot-four forward headed it towards the net, only to be stopped by Carducci.

Bair later held off two Cavalry defenders with some fancy footwork to set up Vancouver’s lone strike of the night. He got the ball to Hwang at the top of the box and the South Korean midfielder put a left-footed shot past Carducci to tie the game.

Just minutes later, it looked like the Whitecaps would take the lead when Lucas Venuto sent a long shot sailing from near the top of the box. The ball flew just over the Calgary net.

Instead, the Cavalry went up in the 72nd minute when Zator headed in a free kick by Jose Escalante.

The ‘Caps had one more prime opportunity to score in the 76th minute, when Carducci dove just as striker Yordy Reyna was closing in. Reyna took a shot on the open goal but hit the side of the net.

Calgary will now face the Montreal Impact of the MLS in the semifinals starting on Aug. 7.

Montreal punched its ticket to the next round with a 3-2 aggregate win over York9 FC of the CPL. The Impact took a 1-0 victory on Wednesday after battling York to a 2-2 draw in the first leg of the qualifiers earlier this month.

READ MORE: Earthquakes hand reeling Vancouver Whitecaps fifth-straight loss

The United Soccer League’s Ottawa Fury also advanced in the tournament, beating the CPL’s Halifax Wanderers 5-4 on aggregate. The two teams settled for a 2-2 tie in Ottawa on Wednesday, but the Fury had already beaten the Wanderers 3-2 in the qualifying round’s first leg.

Ottawa will face defending Voyageurs Cup champions Toronto FC in the semifinals.

NOTES: Calgary ‘keeper Marco Carducci spent three seasons on the Whitecaps roster after playing with the club’s residency program. He did not see action in an MLS game. … Centre back Doneil Henry wore the armband for the Whitecaps on Wednesday.

Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press

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