HIGHLIGHTS: Edmonton puts on seasoned showing in win over Valour

It’s not the free-flowing, fast-paced 4-3-3 soccer Jeff Paulus may have promised, but FC Edmonton will be more than happy with a 2-1 win over Valour FC away from home at Investors Group Field, with Mele Temguia and Oumar Diouck finding the back of the net to earn a debut win in the Canadian Premier League.

Sure, Valour FC controlled large spells of the play, taking the sword to the visiting Eddies throughout the 90 minutes in Winnipeg – outshooting, out-possessing and out-passing their opponents.

But the scoreline tells the more important story, as Edmonton put on a professional display of opportunistic goal-scoring, highlighted at the dying embers of the first half as Temguia tapped home a cross by Randy Edwini-Bonsu to surprise the home side.

It was the same story in the second half, as Edmonton shocked Rob Gale’s Valour back to reality off a corner kick, with Ramon Soria finding Amer Didic, and the 6-foot-4 defender spotting Diouck unmarked at the back post. Diouck made short work of the routine, tucking home his effort to double the Eddies’ lead.

And, while Michael Petrasso scored the first-ever penalty in CPL history in the 86th minute, it was not enough to claw back a point in this encounter.

So, the crowd of 9,699 fans in Winnipeg weren’t treated to a Valour win, in stark contrast to the team’s valiant effort at Pacific FC earlier in the week, which saw Dylan Carreiro score a second-half winner in a 2-1 victory.

Gale’s outfit will have another chance to correct the day, with Valour FC heading to Spruce Meadows to take on Cavalry FC on May 8 (9:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. MT, available on OneSoccer). Meanwhile, FC Edmonton heads back home to Clarke Stadium to take on Pacific FC in their home opener (3:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m. MT, available on OneSoccer). 

Three key performers

Ramon Soria – FC Edmonton

All over the pitch from his central midfield position, Soria ended the match leading in total touches (69), tackles (5) and interceptions (4), and played a pivotal role in Edmonton’s game-winning goal, spotting Didic for the corner assist.

Michael Petrasso – Valour FC

While it wasn’t the result Petrasso or Valour were hoping for in their home debut, the Canadian international once again played a key role for his team’s attack, and scored the first-ever penalty in CPL history to give his team a glimmer of hope late on.

Randy Edwini-Bonsu – FC Edmonton

Offering pace and power in equal spades over an hour of play, Edwini-Bonsu crafted the first goal of the match by combining both of those traits to burn past the Valour backline … and then turned to his penchant for a pass to pluck out Temguia in the box.