FC Edmonton welcomed league leaders Pacific FC to Clarke Stadium on Wednesday night and the hosts edged the visitors 2-1 in a Canadian Premier League thriller.
The match was a fast-paced affair right from the first whistle as both sides set their sights on claiming all three points.
With some of the league’s top attackers on the pitch in Edmonton’s Easton Ongaro and Pacific’s Alejando Díaz and Terran Campbell, both teams were on high alert for any looming threats. Every defender, as such, was put to work in the opening minutes.
The breakthrough eventually came at the hands of the hosts when Tobias Warschewski’s cross found an un-marked Azriel Gonzalez at the back post. Minutes later, a mistake at the back saw Ongaro pick up the ball and slot it past goalkeeper Callum Irving for 2-0.
After conceding twice in quick succession, Pacific lunged forward to try and claw one back. But goalkeeper Connor James, who made his return to the starting lineup for coach Alan Koch’s side, was at the top of his game to keep the scoreline down.
Coming out into the second half, the visitors ramped up the pressure. Three minutes into the restart a long-range strike Alessandro Hojabrpour hit off the post and past James to pull one back for coach Pa-Modou Kah’s side.
As the game continued, tempers flared on both sides resulting in a multitude of cautions.
Over time, each team remained determined to find the back of the net again which made for a thrilling ending.
Ongaro had a chance to restore the hosts’ two-goal lead but placed his shot inches wide of the post while Campbell saw a shot hit off the woodwork.
Right before the final whistle, Campbell had another opportunity to find a last-minute equalizer but somehow skied his attempt over the bar seeing FC Edmonton hold on for a 2-1 win.
30′ — Azriel Gonzalez (FC Edmonton)
38′ — Easton Ongaro (FC Edmonton)
48′ –Alessandro Hojabrpour (Pacific FC)
43′ — Yellow: Paris Donald Gee (FC Edmonton)
49′ — Yellow: Alessandro Hojabrpour (Pacific FC)
52′ — Yellow: Azriel Gonzalez (FC Edmonton)
52′ — Yellow: Lukas MacNaughton (Pacific FC)
57′ — Yellow: Fraser Aird (FC Edmonton)
91′ — Yellow: Allan Zebie (FC Edmonton)