Shaan Hundal scored his third goal of the season for Vancouver FC in front of a capacity crowd for the team’s very first home game at its just-completed stadium in Langley’s Willoughby Park, a 1-1 tie against Calgary Cavalry.
Vancouver managed the draw despite an early red card penalty, to Rocco Romeo,that forced the team to play short one player, and led to Calgary scoring first to take the lead 1-0, courtesy of Mikael Cantave.
But just six minutes later, Hundal scored for Vancouver.
He currently leads the team in goals, with three in as many games.
First goal in @vanfootballclub history 🤝 First home goal in @vanfootballclub history@ShaanHundal09 puts his name in the record books again, and ties it at 1-1!#CanPL I 📺 @onesoccer pic.twitter.com/rC30IRIjHr— Canadian Premier League (@CPLsoccer) May 8, 2023
The tie came after three league matches on the road, and extended Vancouver FC’s undefeated streak to three games, the most recent a 1-1 draw against the Halifax Wanderers FC, while the Cavalry remain winless.
“It was special,” head coach Afshin Ghotbi said after the game. “I feel like the stadium is very intimate, every fan feels like they can see the sweat of every player. Then as a coach, I can feel all the fans behind us, and I think they really inspired our players to dig deep today when they were tired just to make that extra run.”
Vancouver FC’s Ibrahim Bakare was named player of the match.
Offensively, Bakare had a shot, completed four dribbles and made eight passes into the final third, while defensively, he had six tackles, two blocks, eight clearances, four recoveries and won 16/21 of his duels.
Another bit of history was made Sunday when Taryck “TJ” Tahid took the field to become the youngest player in Canadian Premier League history at 16 years 17 days of age.
Substituting for Gabriel Bitarm Tahid became the youngest CPL player to register professional minutes.
READ ALSO: Soccer at home: Langley, here we come
Vancouver FC supporter Chris Canziani, who lives a few blocks away from the stadium, said it was nice to have a pro soccer team “sort of out in the valley.”
“I was out at the first inaugural game, on the island against Pacific FC, and I was blown away by the support,” Canziai said.
“It’s really cool to see that for a team that had never existed, and never played before so I’m really curious to see how it goes here. I’m excited to see what we do with the new team in the city here.”
Calgary Cavalry fan Logan Krupa flew out with some friends to cheer on their team.
“We’re all “Cavs” season ticket holders,” Krupa told the Langley Advance Times. “And for most of us, this is our first ever Cavalry FC away day, so we’re excited to be out here. We’re excited to be supporting a new club for the league and experiencing their first ever home game.”
Vancouver returns to the Langley field on Saturday, May 13th, when they host Atlético Ottawa. Game starts at 6:30 p.m.
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