Pacific FC has shown an aptitude for scoring goals. But every time one goes in, it never seems enough because it is either chasing an opposition lead or is followed almost immediately by a defensive lapse and a goal against.
The latter has been a killer this season in the Canadian Premier League for PFC (3-5-2 in spring season and is 0-3 in fall season). Case in point was Wednesday’s 2-1 loss in Toronto against York9 in which Terran Campbell’s tying goal at 66 minutes was followed a minute later by Simon Adjei’s winner for York9.
It was a familiar refrain and the third time after Pacific FC’s last five goals that the opposition has responded with a goal of its own within five minutes or less.
“We’ve been over this and it happened again and we need to stop doing that,” said PFC head coach Michael Silberbauer.
“Football games are won and lost on details.”
A lot of the details lacking have been on the back end for PFC, which has had to go with a youthful and makeshift back line because of injuries. But soccer is a team game and defence is everybody’s business. If the ball comes into your team’s box and the defenders have to engage, something has fallen apart defensively in the offensive zone or midfield to allow that to happen.
“We’re not throwing anybody [on the back line] under the bus. We have to play defence as a team,” said PFC midfielder Ben Fisk, who has worn the captain’s armband for several stints this season.
“It’s been a disappointing start to the fall season. There have been some positives on offence and the group has been clicking and getting the ball to good areas. The negatives have revolved around keeping the ball away from the opposition and out of our net.”
The PFC offence has been led by 20-year-old Campbell’s five goals on the season. Campbell seems to have particularly found a rapport with Alexander Gonzalez, and has twice converted passes from the former Panama U-20 international and pro with CONCACAF Champions League experience.
“[Campbell] has a bright future ahead of him in the sport,” said Fisk.
“One thing all of us are confident of is that when we play our game completely, we will be victorious.”
Pacific FC gets another opportunity to set things right in the offence-defence balance this afternoon at 3 p.m. at Westhills Stadium against the HFX Wanderers of Halifax (3-5-2 and 1-2). The teams split their two earlier meetings 1-0 for PFC at Westhills and 2-1 for HFX at the Wanderers Grounds.
It’s a short turnaround for PFC from Wednesday’s game in Toronto. But it’s no different for HFX, which lost 2-0 to Forge FC that same night in Hamilton, Ont.
The 4,476-kilometres in the air between Victoria and Halifax represent the third-longest distance between franchises in a domestic pro Premiership soccer league anywhere in the world.
“The travel in Canada is difficult, but it’s the same for every team, so there are no excuses,” said Fisk, a former Canada U-20 and U-23 player and overseas pro, with two caps with the senior national team.
“We should be used to it by now. Every team is in the same situation.”