Players with Langley Unitedâ€™s premier menâ€™s soccer team knew they were in for a stern test Saturday at Willoughby Community Park.
United faced Abbotsford Magnuson Ford United, described by Langley coach Rob Keam as a â€œvery good team with lots of speed and a very high fitness level.â€
The home team put up a fight but ended up losing 2-1.
â€œThe game was what we had expected,â€ Keam said. â€œAbbotsford seemed much more amped up to start the game and took it to us. They won all the 50/50 balls and knockdowns, and dictated the pace to start.â€
If not for goalkeeper Colton Keam making a handful of big saves, the result could have been out of hand early.
â€œIt took our guys most of the first half to match their pace and work rate,â€ Rob Keam said.
During the second half, the hosts played much better.
â€œOur work rate and overall team desire kicked in and [we] were unlucky not to have finished the game with a tie,â€ Keam said. â€œThis was a wake-up call for our group and to a man, each player was very disappointed. We have a very talented group of players that have all played at a very high level and I know we will be looking to bounce back, and [look] forward to the rest of the season.â€
Losing the game now creates a battle for the top three spots, with the top team winning the Fraser Valley Soccer Leagueâ€™s Premier Menâ€™s divisional title.
Port Moody, Abbotsford, North Delta, and Langley are in the mix.
This weekend features Pakenham Cup action, with United facing Chilliwack at 7 p.m.
The Pakenham Cup champion will earn a provincial berth.