Vancouver defeats Sporting KC, earns SCCL quarterfinal berth

Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder Alphonso Davies (white jersey) tries to break the grip of a Sporting Kansas City defender during a Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League match on September 13, 2016, in Kansas City, Kansas, USA. (Photo: Mexsport)

KANSAS CITY, Kansas -- The Vancouver Whitecaps (3W-0D-0L, 9 points) clinched first place in Group C and became the first team to earn a spot in the 2016/17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals, topping host Sporting Kansas City (0-1-2, 1), 2-1, at Children's Mercy Park on Tuesday.

Fifteen-year-old midfielder Alphonso Davies set up Vancouver's first goal and scored the dramatic game-winner three minutes into stoppage time, his first-ever in SCCL play.

The match was delayed in the 35th minute for two hours due to lightning and torrential rain.

Davies played a key role in putting Vancouver ahead 1-0 in the 41st minute.  He completed a give-and-go with a teammate and then fed Erik Hurtado, who struck from four-yards out past goalkeeper Tim Melia for his second career SCCL goal.

That setback seemed to light a fire under Kansas City.

Diego Rubio may have barely missed the right post with his 30-yard free kick in the 48th minute, but he was on target seven minutes later to equalize.  After receiving a pass from first-half substitute Seth Sinovic, Rubio, Rubio worked his way past two defenders, before drilling a 16-yard shot off the left post that beat goalkeeper Spencer Richey.

Three minutes into added time, Davies put the finishing touches on a memorable night, latching onto a Kyle Greig pass and unleashing a 22-yard shot that deflected off midfielder Ualefi Rodrigues for the deciding goal.

With the clock running out, Sporting had one last chance to level only for Connor Hallisey to boot his close-range attempt wide left.

The Whitecaps will complete off their SCCL schedule by entertaining Caribbean champion Central FC (0-1-1, 1) on September 28.  Kansas City will host the Trinidadian power on October 19.

NOTES: The loss was Sporting Kansas City’s first in six all-time SCCL home games (3-2-1) … Vanouver played without defender/midfielder David Edgar and midfielder Christian Bolaños, who scored for Canada and Costa Rica, respectively, in World Cup qualifiers earlier this month.