Rob Gale: Valour was ‘bloody magnificent’ in Island Games stalemate vs. Forge

Valour FC did not go out quietly.

The Winnipeg-based club failed to collect the three points they needed to extend their Island Games stay on Saturday, but fought admirably vs. Forge FC in a 2-2 draw.

Along with beating Forge, the Winnipegers would have needed a series of other results this weekend to go their way in order to advance to the second round. But it wasn’t meant to be.

Valour coach Rob Gale heralded his players after the game, despite his team’s elimination.

“We were bloody magnificent,” Gale said.

“Injury after injury, Forge on a week’s rest…We gave it everything we got. We showed the courage and pride that we preach about in this organization.”

Gale counted nine injuries among Valour’s squad, who will depart the bubble Saturday night.

“Fraser Aird, Brett Levis, Raphael Ohin, Yohan Le Bourhis, and James Pantemis all played through knocks today,” Gale stated. “I can’t fault the lads. We didn’t think we would have 16 players today.”

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Le Bourhis redeemed himself after failing to pick up Kyle Bekker on Forge’s opening goal, going back the other way to nod home the equalizer in his Island Games debut. A second Valour goal soon followed with New Zealander Moses Dyer scoring his first for the club with a header over Forge centre back Dominic Samuel.

In the second half, Forge dominated possession and equalized on in the 65th minute. Late half-chances from Dyer and Dylan Carreiro left Valour disappointed.

“Some teams gel earlier than others – you can see we’re one of those teams,” Dyer said after the match.

“We’re right there. We’re building something special.”

Gale made two early defensive substitutions due to injury when Ohin and Arnold Bouka-Moutou left the game with injuries. That forced the Valour tactician’s hand for the second match in a row at The Island Games. If not for the injury woes, maybe Valour would still be alive.

“I think we should have qualified here. Look at the Halifax game we should have got three points, Pacific we didn’t put the ball in the net,” Gale said.

“We were value for at least 12 points at the tournament. I’m gutted for them.”

Despite the disappointing loss, Gale couldn’t help but focus on the positives.

“Whatever happened here is only a snapshot. We didn’t have the full season needed,” Gale said. “We want to keep a lot of our pieces this year. We just need a number nine and number 10… guys who can create and put the ball in the net.

“What’s more, we’ve always wanted quality people and we have that.”

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