HIGHLIGHTS: Diaz brace leads Pacific FC to 3-1 victory over Valour FC

A pair of first half goals from Alejandro Diaz were enough to earn Pacific FC all three points on Wednesday night, as The Tridents beat Valour FC 3-1 at IG Field.

Coaching in front of the Valour FC home fans for the first time since being named head coach last Thursday, Phillip Dos Santos had a wrench thrown in his plans early on, as Pacific FC were awarded a penalty moments into the match.

Trying to defend Alejandro Diaz just to the right of the goal, Rocco Romeo pushed the Pacific attacker away from the ball with his elbow, and referee Juan Márquez pointed to the spot. Diaz stepped up to take the shot himself, and buried it into the bottom left corner to give the visitors an early advantage.

Moses Dyer equalized for Valour in the 30th minute, with a low shot that caught Callum Irving by surprise. Drifting across the top of the penalty area with the ball, it seemed as though Dyer was going to lay the ball off for Jared Ulloa on the right wing, but the New Zealander decided to take a shot himself.

His low strike back across the box beat the diving Pacific goalkeeper to his right, and tied the match up at one goal apiece.

Taking one of his trademark free kicks, Manny Aparicio fired a ball toward the top left corner of the Valour goal in the 34th minute — a shot that would have given Pacific the lead if not for a fantastic save from Jonathan Sirois. The goalkeeper, on loan from MLS side CF Montreal, dived to his right, fully stretching his body to push the ball away from danger.

The Tridents would eventually retake the lead, as Diaz doubled his tally right at the very end of the first half. After Kadin Chung chipped the ball over Valour backline, Diaz was first to it, heading the ball straight up in the air a few yards away from goal. Stefan Cebara seemed to try and leave the ball for Sirois to come out and claim it, but the Mexican striker pounced on it first, firing it past the Valour goalkeeper with his left foot.

As a result of the breakdown in communication at the back for Valour, the visitors took a 2-1 lead into the break.

Victor Blasco would make it three for Pacific in the 69th minute, with a similar goal to the one Moses Dyer scored in the first half. From a bit further back than Dyer — just outside the penalty area — Blasco cut onto his right foot and took a quick shot across goal. Sirois was unable to react in time, and despite his best efforts, watched the ball bounce into the bottom left corner.

The goal was an added buffer for The Tridents, but they wouldn’t need it. They saw out the remaining 20 minutes of the match, allowing just a single shot in the final stages — a 90th-minute shot that Andy Baquero struck from a tight angle, and that Irving kept out.

With the win, Pacific FC are now seven points clear of Cavalry FC at the top of the table. The Cavs have two games in hand, however, and take on FC Edmonton later on Wednesday night. After HFX Wanderers picked up three points earlier in the day with a 2-1 victory over Atletico Ottawa, sixth-placed Valour are now five points behind the Wanderers, and six behind York United in the fourth and final playoff spot.



3′ — Alejandro Diaz (Pacific FC) — penalty

30′ — Moses Dyer (Valour FC)

45+2′ — Alejandro Diaz (Pacific FC)

69′ — Victor Blasco (Pacific FC)


2′ — Yellow: Rocco Romeo (Valour FC)

42′ — Yellow: Moses Dyer (Valour FC)

57′ — Yellow: Abdoulaye Samake (Pacific FC)

79′ — Yellow: Jared Ulloa (Valour FC)

86′ — Yellow: Gianni Dos Santos (Pacific FC)