Vancouver FC fell 6-3 to Pacific FC in a high-flying all-BC CPL derby matchup at Langley’s Willoughby Stadium on Friday, June 2.
A physical and robust affair, both teams came out flying, as they marked their second-ever meeting with goals, tackles, and bundles of energy.
Pacific was leading 2-1 when Vancouver managed to nab an equalizer just before half time, as the CPL’s youngest-ever player, TJ Tahid, 16, made some history by curling home a great shot from in-tight to become the CPL’s youngest-ever goalscorer.
In the second, Pacific was leading 5-2 when Vancouver’s Shaan Hundal stepped up to convert a penalty won by Gael Sandoval to make it 5-3, but then Pacific quickly extinguished those dreams as Kekuta Manneh scored his first-ever CPL goal with a rocket off the crossbar in the 91st minute to make it 6-3.
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It was a league-record nine goals in one game, and marked the return of Vancouver midfielder Gabriel Bitar, who was out injured as Vancouver was shutout in their last two games.
“They’re rivals, they’ll come with everything, and we got to match that,” Bitar said of Pacific FC.
“Whether it’s our energy, whether it’s their press, we need to be ready for whatever they’re ready to throw at us, especially in a rivalry game.”
Vancouver head coach Afshin Ghotbi said the outcome shows what the team needs to learn.
“How do we manage games better? How do we manage our emotions better? How do we stay organized and stay balanced in a 2-2 game? And even if the goal doesn’t come, how do we keep it to 2-2, and just wait for that right moment to win the game.”
Vancouver will be back in action on Sunday, June 11, when they travel to Alberta to take on Cavalry at ATCO Field. Game starts at 2 p.m. B.C. time.
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