Two of the Canadian Premier League’s early strugglers split points once again on Saturday, with Pacific FC and York9 FC playing out to a 2-2 draw at Westhills Stadium, the result of a second-half surge by the visitors and a bit of fortune through a Pacific own goal.
The home side ended a two-match goalless streak via first-half goals from Marcus Haber and Ben Fisk, with Haber’s tall frame reaching up and heading home an in-swinging cross from Fisk in 28th minute. Fisk closed out a back-and-forth second half with an outside-the-box strike in the 42th minute, sending PFC to the lockerroom with a 2-0 advantage, and the Lake Side Buoys celebrating with bagpipes and much fanfare.
That lead wouldn’t last in the second half, though, as Y9 striker Simon Adjei was taken down in the first ten minutes of the second half, bringing Rodrigo Gattas to the spot. The Chilean converted cooly, scoring his first goal for Y9.
The equalizer then came from a corner in the 62nd minute when PFC defender Ryan McCurdy deflected the ball past his own teammate Mark Village in goal, putting the visitors back on even footing.
Both sides had quality scoring chances in the second half, with Pacific’s Haber and Y9’s Adjei missing key opportunities to put their team ahead. A last-gasp chance by Adjei, in particular, left York9 wanting for more.
The draw means Pacific (1-2-2) and York9 (0-2-1) sit fourth and seventh respectively in the sprint for the Spring season berth in the 2019 CPL Championship.
Both teams will now shift focus back to the Canadian Championship. Y9 are set to head home to open York Lions Stadium in the club’s first home match (Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET/OneSoccer) against A.S. Blaineville. PFC are set to head to Calgary down 2-0 in their tie with Cavalry (Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. ET, 7:30 p.m. MT/OneSoccer).
28’ – Marcus Haber (Pacific)
42’ – Ben Fisk (Pacific)
53’ – Rodrigo Gattas (York9)
58’ – Ryan McCurdy (OG, York9)
20’ – Manny Aparicio (York9)
74 – Blake Smith (Pacific)
92’ – Rodrigo Gattas (York9)
Marcus Haber (Pacific FC)
Highlighted in our match preview as a player needing to perform, Marcus Haber was finally able to convert for the first time in a PFC kit. The tall, strong centre forward looked a scoring threat all afternoon, getting in dangerous positions and nearly finishing one or two more opportunities before fulltime.
Ben Fisk (Pacific FC)
Also scoring his first CPL goal on Saturday, Ben Fisk made due on his recent form by walking away from Westhills Stadium with a goal and an assist. He was a key part to PFC’s confident-looking attack, setting up several chances from the wing and putting three shots on target – one of which made it past Y9 goalkeeper Nathan Ingham in stunning fashion.
Rodrigo Gattas (York9 FC)
The Chilean attacker was electric throughout the 90 minutes of action, scoring his penalty with confidence but also proving an ever-present threat to the Pacific backline with each and every touch. It’s no surprise he leads his team with three shots on target, six total shots, and three key passes.