Despite going down to 10 players after a second-half red card, Pacific FC picked up a third straight win on Wednesday night, coming back from a goal down to win 2-1 over Valour FC at Starlight Stadium.
With the win, Pacific move to the top of the CPL standings, jumping over the Winnipeggers.
The first half began with Pacific domination — The Tridents weren’t letting anything past them and before the water break, around the 30-minute mark, the ball wasn’t in their half of the pitch very much.
After a lot of defending in the early stages, it was fitting that one of Valour’s centre-backs was rewarded with the game’s opening goal. Rising above everyone on a corner kick with a few minutes left in the first half, Rocco Romeo headed the ball past Callum Irving to give his side the 1-0 lead they’d take into halftime.
Pacific came out flying again in the second half, looking to find a goal to tie it up, and fired a pair of shots at Jonathan Sirois, including a long-range from Marco Bustos that nearly caught the young goalkeeper off-guard.
They’d find their goal in the 66th minute, as centre-back Lukas MacNaughton approached unfamiliar territory. Driving between a pair of Valour midfielders toward the edge of the box, MacNaughton fired a low shot into the bottom-left corner, which a diving Jonathan Sirois couldn’t keep out.
Pacific goalkeeper Callum Irving saw red with 15 minutes to go in this match, penalized for touching the ball with his hand outside of the penalty area and denying a goalscoring opportunity. Nolan Wirth came off the bench, replacing Alessandro Hojabrpour, who was the unlucky player sacrificed to bring on the backup ‘keeper.
Despite losing a player, Pacific FC didn’t let it slow them down, and would pick up a deserved winning goal with minutes left in the match. Getting on the end of a cross from Terran Campbell, former Valour attacker Marco Bustos headed the ball home from a few yards out. He was left unmarked at the back post, and Pacific’s star made no mistake to win his team the game.
41′ — Rocco Romeo (Valour FC)
66′ — Lukas MacNaughton (Pacific FC)
87′ — Marco Bustos (Pacific FC)
4′ — Yellow: Jamar Dixon (Pacific FC)
7′ — Yellow: Jared Ulloa (Valour FC)
44′ — Yellow: Alessandro Hojabrpour (Pacific FC)
49′ — Yellow: Josh Heard (Pacific FC)
54′ — Yellow: Rocco Romeo (Valour FC)
76′ — Red: Callum Irving (Pacific FC)
84′ — Yellow: Stefan Cebara (Valour FC)