Cavalry ride away with key victory over Pacific FC

It doesn’t look as if the dream B.C. derby against the Vancouver Whitecaps will be happening any time soon for Pacific FC.

That is unless PFC is able to pull off a Liverpool in the second leg next week against Cavalry FC in Calgary.

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The natural West Coast home-field advantage of liquid sunshine did not help Pacific FC on Wednesday night against the Alberta visitors at Westhills Stadium.

Cavalry FC defeated Pacific FC 2-0 in their opening leg of the Canadian Championship, which is this nation’s version of the English F.A. Cup.

“It’s a 180-minute game and this is just half-time,” said PFC coach Michael Silberbauer.

“We’ve not made it easy on ourselves. But we have to keep believing and not give up.”

Rain at game time had most of the crowd of 2,294 huddled under the covered grandstands. That is except for the wonderfully passionate PFC supporters club that didn’t mind the wet in the bleachers and cheered, sang, banged drums and waved flags all game long. That wasn’t easy to maintain on a night when the visitors showed their superior quickness and caginess, easily dispossessing PFC of the ball and thwarting the home side’s attacks.

The PFC-Cavalry winner will advance to the second round against fellow Canadian Premier-League club Forge FC of Hamilton on June 4 and June 12. The winner of that second-round set will meet the Whitecaps of Major League Soccer in a home-and-home July 10 and July 24.

Undefeated Cavalry FC, with assistant coach and Victoria-raised Martin Nash on the bench, showed why it is 3-0 in the CPL when Dominick Zator scored on a header off a long throw in at nine minutes. Six minutes later, Brazilian-import Oliver Minatel’s diving header made it 2-0. Nolan Wirth of Comox, making his first start of the season in goal for PFC (1-2-1 in league), had little chance on either header.

“It’s nice to be back and it’s fantastic what they have built here [in Langford],” said Nash.

cdheensaw@timescolonist.com

Twitter.com/tc_vicsports

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