Stubborn Ottawa side earns CPL draw against first-place Pacific FC

Hometown Victoria product Sean Young knew he would have to bide his time on a deep Pacific FC squad. He got a rare chance to start Sunday and made the most of it by being named PFC man of the match in the 1-1 Canadian Premier League draw against Atlético Ottawa before 2,721 fans at Starlight Stadium.

“It’s special, amazing really, to play in front of friends and family in a stadium I grew up playing in and watching games,” said the six-foot-two midfielder, who came out of the Island Wave program and won the Jackson Cup in 2019 with Westcastle United.

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Young is a sophomore pro with PFC: “I am building off last season and believe I have more to give.”

Last-place Atlético Ottawa (3-11-5) got a goal by Brian Wright at 19 minutes and then survived a withering PFC attack in the second half, which resulted in a header goal at 86 minutes, with Terran Campbell converting a Jordan Haynes cross for his seventh goal of the season.

“It was frustrating. We always go for the three points,” said Young.

Atlético Ottawa man of the match was an obvious choice. It was only the heroics of goalkeeper Dylon Powley that allowed the visitors to take a point on the road against league-leading Pacific FC (10-3-6). PFC had 26 shots, seven on target and all of those dangerous, to seven shots and three on target for Ottawa. PFC held an 11-0 advantage in corner kicks and 64 per cent to 36 per cent in ball possession.

Powley, 25, was born in New Westminster and had his own family cheering section in attendance.

“You never know how things are going to go in football and if this is their last chance to do that,” he said.

Powley gave his family a performance to remember.

“It was a tough one coming into Pacific’s home. Credit to PFC — we absorbed waves and waves of pressure,” he said.

“We are not a team that is going to dominate a game. We accept that and have to stick to our game plan. We are happy to nick a point but it still feels ­frustrating. We fell asleep for half a second and let a win slip away. But that’s what separates good teams from great teams.”

The Ottawa team is owned by big-time La Liga club Atlético Madrid and held its training camp in Spain with the parent club. Ottawa is coached by Miguel Angel Ferrer, popularly known as Mista, a former La Liga veteran player with Valencia who was twice capped for Spain.

“We are in a tough situation in last on the table and I am so proud of my players today because PFC is best in category and very dangerous and have good players who play very fast in the middle,” said Mista, following the game.

PFC rested some of its usual starters ahead of the all-CPL Canadian Championship quarter-final game Wednesday in Calgary against Calvary FC. The winner will advanced to the semifinals of the Voyageurs Cup to meet the winner or the quarter-final between Toronto FC of MLS and York United of the CPL. Pacific FC upset the Vancouver Whitecaps of MLS in the first round.

If Young took advantage of the chance to start Sunday, so did Kunle Dada-Luke, a former Canada U-17 player, who was all over the pitch and a close second as PFC man of the match against his former Ottawa club. Dada-Luke is 21 and Young 20, and look to have future potential.

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