A nervous tension before kickoff as undefeated Cowichan 49ers traveled down island to face UVic Alumni for the first time this year.
The game did not disappoint as there was some excellent scoring opportunities, strong tackles, end to end play, great saves – and a little animosity = a 1-0 win for UVic Alumni.
UVic looked came out strong, generated a couple chances – Cowichan answered with some chances of their own.
Keeper Mike Hoffman of UVic was called upon to make several good saves in the first half. He also had his friend the goal post to thank as it kept out a shot from Chadwick Bastion who looked to open the scoring for Cowichan at 16′. Instead, at 23′ – after a corner kick for UVic, a ball that was just out of Rob McIntyre’s reach – Sean Battistoni scores via header for UVic. Cowichan attempted to tie the game up in the 1st half, but were unable and halftime came with a 1-0 lead for UVic.
2nd half started and both teams had a couple average chances, but it was clear that Cowichan was starting to carry the play more. UVic defended well, and had a couple counter attacks, but it just appeared a matter of time before Cowichan was going to tie it up.
At the 70 minute mark, Cowichan dropped a defender and played 3 in the back. This seemed to generate more control and chances on goal for Cowichan. Nick Zuback looked to tie the game as he had a nice header labelled for the corner of the UVic net – but Keeper Mike Hoffman made a great save to keep UVic in the lead.
Cowichan was continuing to pressure, had several corner kicks – but probably had their best chance of equalizing at 95 minutes when Thomas George; midfielder for Cowichan. Stepped up to take a free kick from 25 yards out. Again, a thunderous bang off the post and the ball was cleared.
It now appears as if Cowichan was not going to be able to purchase a goal. The remaining 5 minutes seemed to take forever – multiple substitutions, cramps, injuries, the only thing missing was a tv timeout. After several minutes Utes of deserved added time by referee Nathan Bird, the final whistle went and UVic snapped the Cowichan 49ers unbeaten streak with the 1-0 victory in VISL Masters A league play.
These 2 teams will definitely be representing the VISL in BC Soccer Provincial Cup play.