HIGHLIGHTS: Valour FC 1-1 Pacific FC — CPL Match #23

Valour FC and Pacific FC drew 1-1 at IG Field on Saturday, as neither side could break the deadlock after second half goals from Sean Young and Pacifique Niyongabire.

The home side had the first good chance of the match, on an acrobatic effort from Pacifique Niyongabire. After a cross into the penalty area from Andy Baquero, Niyongabire, who was just onside, attempted a bicycle kick. He made good contact with the ball, sending it toward the bottom left corner, but Kieran Baskett was able to dive to his right to make the save and hang onto the ball to prevent a rebound.

Valour were left frustrated by another two injuries to an already banged-up group of defenders early in this match. Abdou Samaké was set to start the game at centre-back, but was injured in the warmups and replaced in the starting lineup by left back Jordan Haynes. Playing out of position, Haynes looked sharp in the middle of the Valour backline alongside Klaidi Cela, but would be forced off the pitch himself midway through the first half. He was chasing down Pacific striker Djenairo Daniels and appeared to suffer an injury to his hamstring.

Late in the half, both Baskett and Yesli were helped out by their best friends, the woodwork. Diego Gutierrez struck a rocket of a free kick well at one end of the pitch, but it smashed off the crossbar. A few minutes later at the other end of the pitch, Sean Young played Djenairo Daniels in behind the Valour backline to open up a lane for the Dutch striker, whose shot struck the crossbar, inches away from finding the top right corner of the net himself.

The Tridents took the lead less than minutes after halftime. Ayman Sellouf did well to turn Eskander Mzoughi inside out and get a shot away, which was blocked by Klaidi Cela. Sean Young, captaining Pacific with Josh Heard not in the squad, was there to hammer the rebound over the head of Yesli to open the scoring.

After knocking at the door several times throughout the match, Valour finally broke through in the 69th minute. Klaidi Cela played a long pass over the Pacific backline to Pacifique Niyongabire, who charged toward the opposing goal before getting a shot away from the edge of the six yard box with. It found the far left post, ricocheting back and up into the top of the net to tie the match at 1-1.

Cedric Toussaint and Jaime Siaj traded shots in the final ten minutes of the match, and Toussaint had a couple of other efforts blocked, but neither side could break the deadlock late in the match as both team became fatigued on a hot day at IG Field.

Both teams had their chances in this match, and will feel as though they could have left Winnipeg with all three points before they both head to British Columbia for their next matches — including Pacific’s Canadian Championship semifinal against the Vancouver Whitecaps midweek.



49′ — Sean Young (Pacific FC)
69′ — Pacifique Niyongabire (Valour FC)


66′ — Yellow: Diego Gutierrez (Valour FC)
72′ –Yellow: Sean Young (Pacific FC)
73′ — Yellow: Steffan Yeates (Pacific FC)
90+1′– Yellow: Cedric Toussaint (Pacific FC)
90+3′ — Yellow: Paul Amedume (Pacific FC)