Pacific FC left with no margin of error after ‘rollercoaster’ draw to Y9

VICTORIA – It was the result that neither side wanted, but one that both teams will have to accept, as Pacific FC dropped a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 with visiting York9 FC at Westhills Stadium on Saturday.

And, midway through the 10-match Spring portion of the 2019 Canadian Premier League season, Pacific FC may not have the luxury of dropping too many more leads … or many more points.

In truth, this result leaves both clubs looking up the CPL standings with little room for error if either hopes to challenge for the Spring title.

“It was a rollercoaster game,” Pacific goal-scorer Marcus Haber said after the match, and you can’t fault him for saying so – having finally found the back of the net, Haber went into the half-time break clearly outlining that the “right mentality” would see his team’s first-half exploits rewarded. But, a penalty and an own goal undid all that work in the second half.

“We performed very well and we were up for the physical side, which I think we might have lacked (in the) last few games, especially against Cavalry,” Haber added. “I think we created more than enough going forward to get something from this game, but that’s football – sometimes you don’t get the three points.”

His teammate and fellow scorer Ben Fisk offered, of the dropped result: “We’re disappointed we couldn’t hold onto the win. The message at halftime was we need to keep a clean sheet and come out of here with three points, and we need (those points) pretty desperately right now.”

Winless since their opening match against HFX Wanderers FC three weeks ago, the club’s next three matches come on the road, and they won’t play in Langford again until June 23 against FC Edmonton.

Pacific FC is now left with five points through five regular season matches, halfway through the Spring portion of the season. York9 remains in last place, still winless while on a long road trip. However, optics of giving up a home lead aside, the situation is worse for Pacific than it is for the Nine Stripes.

York9 ends a long four-match road trip that started in Hamilton on the inaugural day, and now hosts A.S. Blainville and Forge FC next week at York Lions Stadium on May 22 and May 25 respectively.

Y9 head coach Jimmy Brennan will hope to build on this performance in front of their home crowd, despite identifying some issues from a come-from-behind draw to Pacific.

“We were very flat the first half,” Brennan told reporters after the match.

“I don’t know whether it was the travel or what – we had a midweek game in Montreal and came here – but I was happy with the guys for that second-half performance. That was more like us. We got at Pacific, we were on the front foot, created our chances, scored our goals, and we should have won in the end.”