Soccer is often a game of mistakes, and the Pacific FC backline made one big one Wednesday night at Westhills Stadium. As a result, Victoria’s four-game unbeaten streak is no more.
In a game with very few scoring chances at either end, York9 took advantage of sloppy marking by Pacific FC in the 63rd minute and Simon Adjei Karlsson will never score an easier goal.
Rodrigo Gattas got his head on a high cross, but Pacific FC goalkeeper Mark Village dove to make the save. Adeji Karlsson just trotted in alone to tap in the rebound to help send York9 to a much-needed 2-0 road win to improve to 4-6-2 on the Canadian Premier League’s fall season.
The squad from Greater Toronto jumped past Pacific FC (3-5-3) in the standings.
Adjei Karlsson, a 6-foot-4 import striker from Sweden, added a second goal in the 82nd minute to ice it and send the 2,043 fans at Westhills home disappointed.
“The goals were hard to come by today, and then they got that one chance in the second half that gave them a little more energy and things got a little more chaotic,” said Pacific FC head coach Michael Silberbauer. His club has scored just two goals in its last three games and has two draws and a loss to show for it.
“That ball got to the ’keeper quick and sometimes you can’t defend everything and [Adjei Karlssson] was quick to get there and put it in, but overall I’m not too happy with the game as a whole.”
Silberbauer tried everything to generate some offence, including bringing in former Canadian international striker Marcus Haber in the 60th minute. But the home side’s frustration continued and York9 keeper Nathan Ingham came away with the clean sheet.
“Marcus is a big guy and I wanted a little more manpower in the box,” added Silberbauer.
“It’s not that we’re not creating chances, so I can’t complain about that. But it’s the end product, the finishing where we need some work, and we need a little luck sometimes.”
There was good news on the night for Pacific FC as they became the first CPL team to surpass 10,000 minutes played by under-21 players. PFC started five U-21s — Kadin Chung, Matthew Baldisimo, Terran Campbell, Zach Verhoven and David Norman Jr. — as the youngsters continue to learn on the fly.
“Maybe with more experienced players the outcome is different, but I believe in our youth and how else are they going to learn? Sometimes you have to look beyond the score at the bigger picture, which is important for where our club is right now,” said Silberbauer.
Pacific FC has little time to rest as it hosts FC Edmonton on Saturday at noon at Westhills Stadium. The Eddies were beaten 1-0 by league-leading Cavalry FC on Wednesday in the Alberta capital.
FREE KICKS: York9 midfielder Ryan Telfer did not make the trip west after playing Monday for Trinidad and Tobago in their 2-2 CONCACAF Nations League draw against Martinique. … Following Saturday’s home game, Pacific FC have a week off before hitting the road for a pair of games, Sept. 22 in Calgary against Cavalry and Sept. 28 in Hamilton to take on Forge FC.