Valour strikes late to tie up Pacific FC

Michael Petrasso has been around and showed off his pro pedigree, which includes a career playing for Queens Park Rangers, Oldham Athletic, Coventry City and Notts County in England and Montreal Impact in the MLS.

The nine-time Canada-capped attacker got Pacific FC ’keeper Nolan Wirth to commit the wrong way and scored on a penalty kick in injury time to allow Valour FC to draw 2-2 with PFC in a CPL game before 5,411 fans at Investors Group Field in Winnipeg.

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The Toronto native got the chance from the spot when Skylar Thomas was pulled down in the PFC box as Valour pressed throughout the second half looking for the equalizer.

“It’s disappointing when you concede so late,” said Pacific FC coach Michael Silberbauer.

“Our [2-1] halftime lead was well deserved. We knew Valour would be looking to turn it around in the second half. We didn’t respond to that too well. We need to learn to play better under pressure. The positive is that games are now ours to lose. We are not chasing games anymore.”

Recently signed Italian import Michele Paolucci, who has Serie A and Serie B experience, scored in his first start for Valour at just four minutes. Midfielder Ben Fisk banged home a rebound at 25 minutes to pull PFC level. A Lukas MacNaughton header at 43 minutes gave Pacific the lead.

But for the second consecutive game, Valour FC stole a draw in injury time. They did the same to spring-league champion Cavalry FC with a 1-1 tie last Saturday in Calgary. Cavalry was coming off a win over the Vancouver Whitecaps of MLS in the third round of the Canadian Championship.

PFC went to 1-1-3 in fall. Valour FC went to 0-1-3 in fall and hasn’t won in eight league games. But its last two draws in such dramatic fashion have taken away some of the sting.

PFC next plays Aug. 10 at Clarke Stadium against FC Edmonton and Aug. 17 in Toronto against York9. Pacific FC returns to Westhills Stadium Aug. 24 to meet Valour FC.

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