Wow, did we need a performance like that! After a frustrating string of results, Pacific FC picked up a crucial win on Saturday in Winnipeg. A 3-0 victory over hosts Valour FC was the perfect way to end what was otherwise a difficult month of July. Now, the Tridents can use this victory as a way to kick on for the last two months of the regular season.
In the match itself, Pacific came out firing right from the first whistle. Manny Aparicio found two chances for himself inside three minutes – with the first hitting the side netting just two minutes in and the second going just wide after a lung-bursting run from midfield. The opening goal came moments later in the the fifth minute when, after a nice touch from Josh Heard, Aparicio sprung Easton Ongaro free down the left side. The big man chased it down before sending in a brilliant cross to the near post where Adonijah Reid had gotten in front of his defender, and was then able to poke the ball into the back of the net.
The Tridents continued to run the show through the rest of the first half and into the second through excellent work off the ball and a collective confidence on it. With just under 10 minutes to go in the match, the Tridents ramped up the pressure even more and scored two more goals to seal the game and head home with a big victory. First it was Heard who unleashed an absolute rocket into the top corner in the 83rd minute. Then, Heard, Kunle Dada-Luke and Ayman Sellouf combined to score a picture-perfect counter-attack goal in the 85th minute and send the Tridents back home in the best mood possible.
Another away trip stares the Tridents in the face now that we’re entering the month of August. The second cross-country trip to Halifax of the season comes on Monday, August 7th – BC Day in British Columbia and Natal Day in Nova Scotia. After the first meeting in Halifax this season didn’t go to plan for Pacific, the Tridents will be looking to make a real statement in this match and prove that they’re found their groove again.
It hasn’t been easy to play in Halifax for anyone this season, but with positive vibes back in the squad after beating Valour, Pacific can feel confident heading into next Monday’s match that they have the quality and spirit to return from the East Coast with all three points.
PFC Standout Player: Josh Heard
Pacific’s captain played a big role in getting the team back on track on Saturday. Setting the tone right from the opening whistle, Heard’s energy was infectious and paid dividends early. His deft touch moved the ball onto Aparicio whose slip-pass played in Ongaro for the first goal. Then, just before halftime, Heard made a excellent run in between the centre-backs and was slide though by Dada-Luke. After taking a touch around the goalkeeper, Heard laid the ball off the Reid who forced an initial save and then sent the rebound back into the six-yard box for Ongaro to head towards goal and force another save.
Heard’s crowning achievement of the day, however, came in the 83rd minute. From the second phase of a Valour corner, substitute Paul Amedume swept the ball forward for Sellouf to start the counter attack. As Sellouf controlled the ball, Heard was off and looking to get in behind the back-tracking Valour defence. With his first touch, as the ball came onto his right foot, Pacific’s no. 11 smashed the ball into the top corner and effectively sealed the match for the Tridents.
Heard also played a big role in Pacific’s third goal a couple minutes later. Spotting Dada-Luke setting off on a run from the halfway line, Heard curled the ball into his path behind the defence and set up Dada-Luke to square the ball to Sellouf, who finished it off and made it 3-0 for the Tridents.
5’ – Pacific FC – Adonijah Reid
83’ – Pacific FC – Josh Heard
85’ – Pacific FC – Ayman Sellouf
Possession: PFC 53 % – VAL 47 %
Expected Goals: PFC 2.27 – VAL 0.39
Shots: PFC 10 – VAL 6
Shots on Target: PFC 7 – VAL 3
Saves: PFC 3 – VAL 4
Fouls: PFC 9 – VAL 14
Offsides: PFC 2 – VAL 4
Corners: PFC 2 – VAL 5
90+1’ – Kian Williams – Yellow