Pacific FC pays penalty for bad start against York9

YORK9 1
PACIFIC FC 0

The next time Pacific FC is offered a chance to play in the Canadian Premier League spotlight, perhaps it should decline.

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Langford-based PFC lost a second consecutive road game that was televised nationally, dropping a 1-0 decision Saturday in the Greater Toronto Area to York9. That follows a 2-1 loss in Halifax to the HFX Wanderers.

Pacific FC fell to 1-4-2 in league play. PFC also went 0-2 in the Voyageurs Cup after going down to Cavalry FC of Calgary, which has now advanced to meet the Vancouver Whitecaps of Major League Soccer in the third round of what is Canada’s version of the FA Cup.

PFC again displayed Saturday why it won’t be meeting the Whitecaps in a dream B.C. derby the Island club would relish. Everything that has held the youthful PFC team back this season was in evidence Saturday.

“We switch off for short periods of time and that’s something we need to fix and to realize we need to play a full 90 minutes,” PFC midfielder Noah Verhoeven said before the game.

The “switch off” this time happened at the start for PFC as a terrible first half was followed by a much stronger second half, but still an inability to equalize. Albeit, York9 goalkeeper Nathan Ingham had to make a couple of big saves to preserve the win.

Ingham was named player of the game for also stopping Ben Fisk’s penalty kick at seven minutes that could have altered the trajectory of the game. Canada-capped PFC captain Fisk struck the ball poorly and Ingham was moving in the right direction.

Ingham also made an outstanding save in the second half off Verhoeven, who had just returned from training with the Canadian national team before the Gold Cup.

“It was a great save, I’ll give you that. Wow,” York9 head coach Jimmy Brennan said in his post-game media conference.

Defender Ryan McCurdy knocked in his second own goal of the season and that proved to be the winner for York FC at 36 minutes. McCurdy was also the victim of an own goal last month when York9 rallied from a 2-0 first-half deficit to tie PFC 2-2 at Westhills Stadium.

“The boys put a great shift in today. We knew what was at stake. This was a game we had to win,” Brennan said.

It was the first league victory for York9 (1-2-3). The club was coming off an emotional 3-1 victory Wednesday over FC Edmonton in the Voyageurs Cup competition which advanced York9 to a third-round match-up against Montreal Impact of the MLS.

After a flurry of games to start the season, Pacific FC was coming off a two-week break. PFC stays on the road to meet Valour FC on Thursday at Investor’s Group Field in Winnipeg, before hosting FC Edmonton next Sunday at Westhills Stadium.

cdheensaw@timescolonist.com

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