2014-10-21

 PREMIER DIVISION – DAY 7

 Once again, no major changes occurred this past weekend, as no upsets took place. ICST Pegasus remained in sole possession of first place—with a perfect 7-0-0 record—as a result of its 3-1 victory over CCBRT United, while Inter FC and the Vancouver Olympics remained mired in last place, each with one point out of 6 games. It should also be mentioned that the Vancouver Olympics – Columbus FC game was postponed, due to the fact that the field at Queen’s Park was unplayable due to the heavy rain fall.

WEST VAN FC – EDC BURNABY 1-0: On Friday evening, at Ambleside Park in West Vancouver, the undefeated West Van FC edged the visiting EDC Burnaby by a 1-0 margin. The heavily-favoured former Trollers got off to a flying start and created numerous goalscoring chances in the early stages of the match. However, shots by Jesse Fetterley, Colin Phillips, and Desmond Tachie were brilliantly saved by EDC’s goalkeeper Hugo Vasquez. Midway through the first half, West Van FC was finally able to open the scoring when Cathal O’Connor sent Desmond Tachie on a breakaway with a great through ball. Tachie clinically finished the play with an unstoppable shot to the far post, thus giving his team the well-deserved lead. At the other end of the pitch, the Chileans also came close to scoring on a few occasions, but efforts by Rizal Ganief either went awry or were saved by goalkeeper Steve Welle. The second half was more or less a repeat of the first, with both teams taking turns attacking and defending. EDC Burnaby almost tied things up at about the 70th minute mark when a well-taken free-kick by Ylya Malek found the back of the West Van net. However, the goal was disallowed since the referee had called an indirect free-kick! For West Van FC, defenders Jason Van Blerk and Drew Gelly turned in excellent performances, while midfielders Alan McIndoe and Rob Giezen worked tirelessly throughout the contest. For EDC Burnaby, midfielders Vlad Vukovic, Ylya Malek, Eric Ray, and Ducivan DeSouza deserve special mention for their indomitable work-rate, while defender Narcisse Tchoumi was his usual rock-solid self. The all-important victory keeps West Van FC in second place in the Premier Division standings, with a 6-1-0 record, while EDC Burnaby is now in 6th place, with 8 points out of 7 games.

ICST PEGASUS – CCBRT UNITED 3-1: Also on Friday evening, at Newton Athletic Park in Surrrey, ICST Pegasus maintained its perfect record by defeating CCBRT United by a 3-1 margin after a hard-fought 90 minutes of non-stop action. The visiting CCBRT United team got off to a bright start and came close to taking the lead early in the contest when Coulton Jackson’s shot—after he had received a perfectly-placed long pass from Avin Sidhu—barely missed the net. The visitors continued to press and created another couple of goalscoring opportunites, but shots by Yassin Essa were well-saved by goalkeeper Andy Singh. As luck would have it, it was ICST Pegasus that took the lead midway through the first half after some industrious work by Adam Costley and Chetan Jhooty resulted in Ryan Powell finishing off the play with an unstoppable shot from inside the 18-yard box. Early in the second half, the league leaders doubled their margin when Adam Costley controlled a well-taken free-kick by Chetan Jhooty and quickly deposited the ball into the back of the CCBRT United net from inside the penalty area. Midway through the second half, ICST Pegasus scored the insurance marker when Javid Khan sent young Bhaj Khattra flying towards the CCBRT United goal on a breakaway. The youngster made no mistake as he clinically finished the play with a brilliant final shot. To their credit, the visitors refused to give up and managed to reduce Pegasus’ lead at about the 65th minute mark when Yassin Essa finished off a brilliant individual effort with an unstoppable low shot from the edge of the penalty area. Shortly thereafter, Essa almost scored again but his long-range free-kick bounced off the crossbar and out of danger. Pegasus’ midfielder Adam Costley worked tirelessly during the entire match and was also involved in all 3 of his team’s goals. Young forward Bhaj Khattra also deserves special mention for his excellent performance. For CCBRT United, goalkeeper Justin Baarts made several excellent saves during the match, while forward Yassin Essa was a thorn on the side of the Pegasus’ defenders during the entire match. As mentioned earlier, the victory improves Pegasus’ record to a perfect 7-0-0, good for sole possession of first place. CCBRT United, on the other hand, slips to 10th place, with only 7 points out of 7 matches.

 CROATIA SC – RICHMOND FC HIBERNIANS 2-1 The third Friday game was played at South Memorial Park in Vancouver between the defending Provincial Cup champions—Croatia SC—and the visiting Richmond FC Hibernians. At the end of a well-played and exciting 90 minutes of non-stop action, the Croatians walked away with a hard-earned 2-1 victory. The Hibernians came out of the starting gates with grit and vigour and almost took the lead very early in the match when a fantastic cross by Alan Chivers was powerfully headed towards the Croatia net by Craig McMillan. However, goalkeeper Ante Boskovic rose to the occasion and made a brilliant save. Soon thereafter—at the other end of the pitch—Croatia SC also came close the scoring when veteran Johnny Sulentic beat a Richmond defender before whipping an immaculate cross into the box. However, Dan Davidson’s final shot went agonizingly wide of the net. Croatia SC finally took the lead at the 10th minute mark when Dan Davidson made amends for his previous faux-pas when he brilliantly headed home an excellent cross from Admir Salihovic. The visitors fought back tenaciously and nearly equalized on a couple of occasions, but efforts by Alan Chivers, Marcus Brougham, and Garret Kusch were once again well-saved by goalkeeper Ante Boskovic. Richmond FC was finally able to knot the score late in the first half when defender Tyson Popoff made an excellent overlapping run down the right flank before cutting his cross back onto the path of Craig McMillan, who took one touch before smashing the ball into the back of the Croatia net. The second half was played more cautiously by both teams as neither one appeared interested in taking any unnecessary chances. Croatia SC scored what proved to be the winning goal at about the 65th minute mark when Johnny Sulentic took advantage of some defensive hesitation at the top of the box, stole the ball, and drove towards the end-line before sending a perfectly-placed cross towards the near post. Goran Vitic ran across the goal-line and cleverly flicked the ball with his trailing foot over the head of goalkeeper Jason Roberts. Late in the game, Croatia SC almost added an insurance marker, but Goran Vitic’s shot—after having been set up by none other than Johnny Sulentic—was brilliantly saved by Jason Roberts. The entire Croatia SC team played remarkably well, but special mention should be made of goalkeeper Ante Boskovic, defender Eddie Tsen, and forward Dan Davidson for their superlative performances. For Richmond FC, defenders Mike Revell and Alan Chivers performed admirably, while midfielders Lucas Barrett and Connor Radil worked very hard throughout the contest. The hard-earned victory elevates Croatia SC into 7th place in the Premier Division standings, with a 2-1-2 record, while the Richmond Hibernians slip to 5th place, with 9 points out of 7 matches.

LANGLEY FC HURRICANES – INTER FC 3-1: On Saturday, at Trillium Park in Vancouver, the visiting Langley Hurricanes climbed into 3rd spot in the Premier Division standings by defeating the struggling Inter FC by a 3-1 margin. The Hurricanes took the early lead—at about the 15th minute mark—when former professional Nick Soolsma stripped the ball from an Inter defender in the middle of the park. Soolsma then proceeded to fly towards the Inter net on a breakaway and finished the play with an unstoppable rocket of a shot into the top corner of the net. Shortly thereafter, Soolsma almost became the provider as he set up a wide-open Manvir Brar with a brilliant pass. Unfortunately for the Langley contingent, Brar’s volley barely missed the Inter net. Ten minutes later, Langley FC scored what proved to be the winning goal on a wicked shot by Niko Marcina. On this occasion, Harp Khakh initiated the play with a clever pass to Manvir Brar who quickly found Marcina at the edge of the penalty area. Inter FC fought back tenaciously and came very close to narrowing the margin early in the second half when Marco Visintin’s blistering shot bounced off the goalpost and out of danger. Shortly thereafter, it was Langley’s turn to almost score, but Nick Soolsma’s shot—after having been set up by Manvir Brar—was cleared off the line by an Inter defender. At about the 75th minute mark, the Hurricanes again came close to adding to their lead when a Nico Marcina free-kick was flicked towards the Inter goal by none other than Nick Soolsma. However, goalkeeper Andrew Fink stood tall and pulled off a remarkable save. After exerting some notable pressure, Inter FC was rewarded at the 80th minute mark when Jordan Michael took advantage of a goalmouth scramble and poked the ball into the Langley net from close range. Shortly thereafter, Inter FC was reduced to 10 men when veteran forward Andrew Corazza was sent off the field of play for having received his second caution. Regardless, the ‘Italians’ continued to press in search of the equalizer. However, just before the final whistle, the Hurricanes scored their insurance marker when Manvir Brar set up Nick Soolsma on a lethal counter-attack, that resulted in Soolsma finishing off the play in brilliant fashion. Needless to say, midfielder Manvir Brar and forward Nick Soolsma turned in outstanding performances for Langley FC, while defender Arjan Grewal and midfielder Amar Mander also played remarkably well. For Inter FC, defenders Jordan Michael and Adriano Clemente worked tirelessly during the entire contest, while forward Cesar Mylan also performed admirably, albeit in a losing cause. The victory elevates Langley FC into a third place tie with Surrey United in the Premier Division standings, with a 2-4-1 record. Inter FC, on the other hand, remains in last place, with only 1 point out of 6 matches.

SURREY UNITED FIREFIGHTERS – METRO-FORD WOLVES 3-2: On Sunday, at Cloverdale Athletic Park, the Surrey United Firefighters edged the visiting Metro-Ford Wolves by a narrow 3-2 margin. Early in the contest, Metro-Ford almost took the lead when Titoun Chopin raced in on goal on a breakaway, only to have Surrey’s goalkeeper—Lucas Johnson—pull off an exceptional save. A few minutes later—at about the 15th minute mark—the Firefighters took the lead when Nigel Marples finished off an excellent pass from Robbie Tice with a wicked shot into the top corner of the net. The Wolves bounced back and tied things up midway through the first half when Carlo Basso’s left-footed low shot—from the edge of the penalty area—found the bottom corner of the Surrey United net. Soon thereafter, Metro-Ford took the lead when Justin Wallace picked up his own rebound and blasted the ball into the top corner of the net from well inside the 18-yard box. The second half belonged entirely to the Firefighters as they took control of the match and eventually scored two excellent goals, thus earning all 3 points. The tying goal occurred at the 70th minute mark when a Robbie Tice corner kick was headed by Nigel Marples onto the path of Kerman Pannu who quickly proceeded to strike the ball into the top corner of the Metro-Ford net. Then, at the 80th minute mark, Surrey United scored the winning goal Lucas Johns received an immaculate pass from Raki Amijee and raced in on goal on a semi-breakaway. Johns’ initial shot was saved by goalkeeper Dillan Fogliato but was subsequently knocked into the back of the net by Johns himself. Midfielder David Adams worked extremely hard in the Surrey United midfield during the entire match, while young goalkeeper Lucas Johnson made a successful debut in the Premier Division as he made several key saves during the contest. For the Metro-Ford Wolves, central defender Anthony DiNicolo was rock-solid during the entire 90 minutes of play. The result elevates Surrey United into a third place tie with Langley FC Hurricanes, with a 2-4-1 reocrd, while the Metro-Ford Wolves slip to 8th place, with 7 points out of 6 games.

TEAM OF THE WEEK: ICST PEGASUS for yet another excellent performance in defeating CCBRT United by a clear-cut 3-1 margin. Led by the tireless performance of midfielder Adam Costley, ICST Pegasus was able to lay claim to all 3 points and thus remained at the top of the Premier Division table, with a perfect 7-0-0 record.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Langley FC Hurricanes’ NICK SOOLSMA for his brilliant performance in leading his team to an all-important 3-1 victory over Inter FC. Soolsma scored two clinical goals during the contest and created several other chances for his teammates. For his excellent performance this past week-end, NICK SOOLSMA will receive a pizza for two, compliments of THE GOLDEN BOOT CAFFE`. The prize is available up to 2014-11-09.

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2014-10-14

  PREMIER DIVISION – DAY 6

 Not a whole lot changed in the Premier Division standings this past weekend. The one huge exception was the fact that the Richmond Hibernians climbed from 8th place into sole possession of 3rd place as a result of their 2-0 victory over the struggling Inter FC. At the bottom of the table, Inter FC and the Vancouver Olympics remained winless—and tied for last place—with only 1 point to their credit. At the Canadian National championships in Toronto, the BC representatives—Croatia SC—finished the tournament in 6th place, a rather disappointing result!

EDC BURNABY – SURREY UNITED FIREFIGHERS 2-2: On Friday evening, at Burnaby Lake West, two aspiring teams—EDC Burnaby and the Surrey United Firefighters—settled for a 2-2 tie after a hard-fought 90 minutes of action. Very early in the match, EDC Burnaby almost took the lead on a couple of occasions, both on efforts by Rizal Ganief. On the first occasion, Ganief—after having been set up by Brendan Djambaralov—had his point-blank shot brilliantly saved by veteran goalkeeper Paul Shepherd. A minute or so later, Ganief once again had the chance to open the scoring but volleyed his shot over the crossbar, on a cross by Ylya Malek. The home team continued pressing in search of the all-important first goal but Paul Shepherd once again rose to the occasion by denying Vlad Vukovic an excellent goalscoring opportunity with yet another brilliant save. EDC Burnaby was finally able to take the lead at around the 35th minute mark when Vlad Vukovic received a clever pass from Eric Ray and quickly cut the ball back onto the path of Rizal Ganief who finished off the play in clinical fashion, thus scoring his 6th goal of the season. Shortly thereafter, the Chileans almost doubled their lead—once again on an effort by Rizal Ganief. On this occasion, Ganief was thwarted by yet another brilliant save on the part of Paul Shepherd. Joe Agiba picked up the rebound but blasted his subsequent shot over the crossbar. Early in the second half, EDC Burnaby was finally able to double its lead when Ducivan DeSouza set up Ylya Malek at the edge of the penalty area. Without a moment’s hesitation, Malek converted the pass with a thunderous shot into the top corner of the Surrey United net. To their credit, the Firefighters fought back positively and were able to narrow the margin at the 65th minute mark when Lucas Johns received an excellent pass from defender Andrew Reed and proceeded to chip the ball over the out-stretched arms of goalkeeper Hugo Vasquez. A few minutes later, Surrey United was able to knot the score when Andrew Reed became the finisher as he raced in on goal—after having received a great pass from Nigel Marples—and slotted the ball into the bottom corner of the Burnaby net. In the dying moments of the match, Surrey United almost scored the winning goal when Robbie Tice set up young Joseph MacDonald with a wonderful pass. However, MacDonald’s final shot was saved by goalkeeper Hugo Vasquez in brilliant fashion. Needless to say, Surrey United’s goalkeeper Paul Shepherd deserves ‘man-of-the-match’ honours for his incredible performance, as he made numerous key saves throughout the contest. Also, defender Andrew Reed and young midfielder Kerman Pannu turned in outstanding performances. For EDC Burnaby, midfielders Vlad Vukovic, Ylya Malek, Eric Ray, and Ducivan DeSouza controlled the middle of the park during most of the match with skill and poise. The single point elevates EDC Burnaby into sole possession of 4th place, with an even 2-2-2 record, while Surrey United is now in 6th place with 7 points out of 6 matches.

ICST PEGASUS – LANGLEY FC HURRICANES 4-2: Also on Friday evening, at McLeod Athletic Park Stadium in Langley, the visiting ICST Pegasus maintained its perfect undefeated record by disposing of the hosting Langley Hurricanes by a 4-2 margin. The match was highly-contested and very evenly played as both teams created numerous goalscoring opportunities during the entire 90 minutes of non-stop action. Langley FC got off to a bright start and almost took the lead in the early going when Manvir Brar’s rocket of a shot was brilliantly saved by Pegasus’ goalkeeper Andy Singh. The Hurricanes then took the lead at the 15th minute mark with a play that started with defender Bikramjit Parhar setting up Manvir Brar in the middle of the park. Without a moment’s hesitation, Brar then sent Nick Soolsma down the right flank with a perfectly-placed pass. Soolsma then proceeded to unleash an unstoppable shot from a very sharp angle, a shot that found the back of the net, much to Pegasus’ chagrin. A few minutes later, the Hurricanes almost doubled their lead when a 3-way passing play—involving Amar Mander, Nick Soolsma, and Manvir Brar—resulted in Mander’s final shot barely missing the Pegasus net. Then, at the 35th minute mark, the Hurricanes were once again stymied by goalkeeper Andy Singh as he pulled off another sensational save, this time on a full volley by Manvir Brar. The visitors bounced back and were able to knot the score shortly thereafter when Azad Palani and Adam Costley combined to set up Javid Khan inside the Langley penalty area. Khan then proceeded to head home Costley’s cross for the equalizer. Early in the second half, Langley FC regained the lead when Oscar Jimenez received a wonderful pass from Nick Soolsma, skillfully controlled the ball and quickly deposited it into the back of the net, behind a bewildered Andy Singh. Midway through the second half, ICST Pegasus was able to tie things up when the Premier Division’s top goalscorer—Sahil Sandhu—latched on to a well-placed cross from Bhaj Khattra and quickly delivered an unstoppable shot into the back of the Langley net. Then, at about the 80th minute mark, Khattra became the finisher as he scored what proved to be the winning goal as he converted a great pass from David Sumra into his team’s third goal. It should be mentioned that the play originated when Javid Khan intercepted a poor clearance by a Langley defender before crossing the ball to the far post where Adam Costley and David Sumra combined to set up Bhaj Khattra. At this point, the Hurricanes threw caution to the wind in a desperate attempt to tie things up. As luck would have it, however, it was ICST Pegasus that scored what proved to be the insurance marker on a lethal counter-attack. The play started with David Sumra setting up Bhaj Khattra in the middle of the park. Khattra raced in on goal, beat a couple of Langley defenders, and eventually rounded the Langley goalkeeper Pratap Sandhu before clinically slotting the ball into the back of the net. Defensively, Paul Bahia was rock-solid in the Pegasus back-line, while midfielders Javid Khan and David Sumra also turned in excellent performances. However, the inclusion of forward Bhaj Khattra into the Pegasus lineup midway through the second half paid enormous dividends as he scored two goals and also set up another one. For Langley FC, defenders Bikramjit Parhar and Pavi Dhillon—as well as midfielders Oscar Jimenez and Manvir Brar played exceptionally well, albeit in a losing cause. The all-important victory keeps ICST Pegasus all alone in first place, with a perfect 6-0-0 record. Langley FC, however, suffered its first loss of the season and now sits in 6th place with a 1-4-1 record.

 CCBRT UNITED – VANCOUVER OLYMPICS 2-0: The third Friday game was played at Newton Athletic Park in Surrey where CCBRT United hosted the Vancouver Olympics. At the end of the day, the home team walked away with a 2-0 victory over the winless Olympics. The home team almost took the early lead when West Knight and David Hill played a clever one-two just outside the Olympics’ penalty area—a play that ended with Hill blasting the ball towards the net, a shot that skimmed the goalpost. Soon thereafter—at the 15th minute mark—CCBRT United took the lead when Derrick Bassi won the ball in the middle of the park and proceeded to send Avneet Shergill flying towards the Olympics’ goal. Shergill dodged a couple of defenders before slotting the ball into the back of the net from close range. To their credit, the Olympics fought back tenaciously and came close to tying things up on a couple of occasions, but ‘goals’ by Aniel Sanghera and Adrian Kekec were called back because the players were deemed to be in an offside position. At the other end of the pitch, Avneet Shergill had a couple of excellent opportunities to add to the CCBRT United lead, but his blistering shots were well saved by goalkeeper Amraj Lally. Early in the second half, the Vancouver Olympics nearly tied things up when Aniel Sanghera’s close-range shot barely missed the net. The visitors continued to press in search of the equalizer but efforts by John Chou and Jevin Hillis were well-saved by goalkeeper Justin Baarts. CCBRT United also had a few excellent goalscoring chances in the second half, but shots by Yassin Essa, Wes Knight, and Colton Jackson were once again saved by goalkeeper Amraj Lally. Very late in the game, CCBRT United scored the insurance marker when Colton Jackson calmly converted a penalty kick as he hammered the ball into the top left corner of the net. The penalty kick was awarded when Wes Knight was fouled inside the Olympics’ penalty area by Adrian Kekec. The entire CCBRT United team played remarkably well but special mention should be made of defenders Derrick Bassi and Kyle Knees for their rock-solid performances. Also, forwards Avneet Shergill and Colton Jackson were thorns on the side of the Olympics’ defenders as they used their speed and skill to create numerous problems. For the Vancouver Olympics, defender Aniel Sanghera, midfielder Justin Isidro, and forward John Chou played extremely well, albeit in a losing cause. The hard-earned victory improves CCBRT United’s record to 2-1-3, good for a 6th place tie with 3 other teams. The Vancouver Olympics, on the other hand remain at the bottom of the table, with only 1 point out of 6 matches.

RICHMOND FC HIBERNIANS – INTER FC 2-0: The fourth, and final, Friday evening game was played at Hugh Boyd Park in Richmond between the newly-promoted Richmond Hibernians and the winless Inter FC. The Hibernians were able to claim sole possession of 3rd place in the Premier Division standings as a result of a well-earned 2-0 victory over the ‘Italians’. Inter FC got off to a bright start and dominated the early stages of the match and created several goalscoring chances. However, shots by Alex Marrello, Kam Amini, and Andrew Corazza barely missed the net. As luck would have it, the Hibernians opened the scoring—midway through the first half—on a goal by Peter Chivers. The play started with Lucas Barrett sending an overlapping Marcus Brougham down the right flank with a perfectly-placed pass. Brougham’s subsequent low cross found a wide-open Peter Chivers inside the Inter 18-yard box. Chivers then calmly deposited the ball into the Inter net from close range with a relatively easy tap-in. The remainder of the first half was evenly contested, without any clear-cut goalscoring opportunities at either end of the pitch. During the second half, neither team appeared willing to take any unnecessary chances, thus reducing goalscoring chances to a minimum. The few exceptions were efforts by Richmond’s Emile Saimovici and Brad Caldwell and Inter’s Sebastian Crema and Cesar Meylan, opportunities that went awry. Very late in the game—at about the 88th minute mark—Richmond FC scored what proved to be the insurance marker when Garret Kusch headed home a perfectly delivered free kick by Peter Chivers. Well into ‘injury-time’ the Hibernians almost added a third goal but Garret Kusch was unable to finish off his breakaway opportunity as his shot barely missed the target. Richmond FC’s midfielders Peter Chivers, Emile Saimovici, and Connor Radil were dominant throughout the match, while defenders Mike Revell and Marcus Brougham also turned in excellent performances. For Inter FC, second half substitutes Sebastian Crema and Adam Karnasch played remarkably well in their midfield roles, while forward Cesar Maylan was a handful for the Richmond backline. The victory improves Richmond FC’s record to an even 3-0-3, good for 3rd place in the standings. Inter FC, on the other hand, remains winless with only 1 point out of 5 games.

WEST VAN FC  – COLUMBUS FC 3-0: On Saturday, at Trillium Park in Vancouver, the visiting West Van FC remained undefeated—and in second place in the standings—by easily defeating Columbus FC by a clear-cut 3-0 margin. As the score indicates, the defending Premier Division champions—West Van FC—totally dominated the majority of the action and fully deserved the emphatic victory. Early in the game, West Van’s Colin Phillips almost gave his team the lead, but his blistering shot bounced off the cross-bar, with goalkeeper Giordan DiPalma well-beaten. Soon thereafter, the former Trollers took the well-deserved lead when Cathal O’Connor sent Desmond Tachie on a breakaway with a splendid through ball. Tachie finished off the play with an unstoppable, far-post shot, a shot that gave DiPalma no chance whatsoever. The visitors continued to press and came close to adding to their lead on a few occasions, but chances by Jesse Fetterley, Desmond Tachie, and Colin Phillips went awry, thus leaving the scoreline at 1-0 till the halftime whistle. Early in the second half, Columbus FC had a great opportunity to level the score, but Kazunori Kikuchi’s shot was well saved by goalkeeper Steve Welle. West Van FC replied in kind and came close to scoring when a brilliantly taken free kick by Cathal O’Connor bounced off the Columbus cross-bar. Shortly thereafter, West Van FC doubled its lead when Cathal O’Connor curled yet another long-range free-kick towards the Columbus goal. This time, the ball sailed into the top corner of the net in incredible fashion. Soon thereafter—at about the 65th minute mark—West Van FC put the ‘Italians’ out of their misery when young veteran Jesse Fetterley finished off a perfect cross by young Michael Mauro from just outside the goal-area. It should be mentioned that Mauro was making his VMSL debut! The entire West Van FC team played exceptionally well, but special mention should be made of defenders Jason VanBleerk, Mike Winter, Leo Nash, and Max Baessato as they made life relatively easy for goalkeeper Steve Welle as he recorded one of the easiest shutouts he will ever earn in the VMSL! Midfielders Alan McIndoe and Cathal O’Connor—as well as forward Jesse Fetterley—also played remarkably well in a winning cause. Despite the embarrassing loss, Columbus’ midfielders Jonathan Poli and Robbie Cairns worked hard throughout the contest in an effort to get their team back into the game. The clear-cut victory improves West Van’s record to an unbeaten 5-1-0, good for second place in the standings, two points behind ICST Pegasus. Columbus FC, on the other hand, remains in the middle of the pack, with 7 points out of 6 matches.

TEAM OF THE WEEK: WEST VAN FC for yet another excellent performance in defeating arch-rivals Columbus FC by an elaborate 3-0 margin. Led by the outstanding performance of midfielder Cathal O’Connor and forward Jesse Fetterley, West Van FC dominated the entire match and fully deserved the all-important victory.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK: ICST Pegasus’ forward Bhaj Khattra for his superlative performance in leading his team to an impressive come-from-behind victory over the Langley Hurricanes. Khattra entered the field as a substitute early in the second half and scored two amazing goals. Furthermore, he also set up a third goal in leading his team to the all-important victory. For his excellent performance this past week-end, BHAJ KHATTRA will receive a pizza for two, compliments of THE GOLDEN BOOT CAFFE`. The prize is available up to 2014-11-02.

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2014-10-07

 

PREMIER DIVISION – DAY 5

 

ICST Pegasus maintained sole possession of first place as a result of a 3-1 victory over the newly-promoted Richmond FC Hibernians, while West Van FC also maintained its unbeaten record by defeating CCBRT United by a clear-cut 5-2 margin. Also, the Inter FC – Croatia SC match was postponed due to the fact that the Croatians were on their way to Toronto for the National Championships.

WEST VAN FC – CCBRT UNITED 5-2: On Friday evening, at Ambleside Park in West Vancouver, the defending VMSL Premier Division champions—West Van FC—easily disposed of the ‘hot-and-cold’ CCBRT United by a 5-2 margin. The home team attacked tenaciously during the first half in an attempt to take the all-important early lead. However, efforts by Desmond Tachie, Colin Phillips, and Jesse Fetterley were brilliantly saved by goalkeeper Justin Baarts. CCBRT United relied primarily on counter-attacks and also came close to scoring in the early stages of the contest on attempts by Milad Rahmati and Colton Jackson. However, West Van’s goalkeeper Steve Welle stood tall and pulled off a couple of excellent saves. Midway through the first half, West Van FC was finally able to take the lead when Desmond Tachie finished off a brilliant play between Cathal O’Connor and Colin Phillips in clinical fashion. Ten minutes later—at about the 35th minute mark—CCBRT United was able to re-establish parity when Milad Rahmati received a clever pass from Kyle Knees, beat a couple of West Van defenders and proceeded to set up Colton Jackson inside the penalty area. Jackson’s initial shot was well-saved by goalkeeper Steve Welle. However, Jackson picked up his own rebound and slotted the ball home for the equalizer. Early in the second half, CCBRT United took the lead when a free-kick by Wes Knight was initially saved by Steve Welle, only to have the ball bounce off the post and defender Max Baessato and eventually into the net in rather bizarre fashion. The former Trollers bounced back positively and tied things up a few minutes later when Cathal O’Connor whipped a perfect cross into the CCBRT United penalty area and found a wide-open Rob Giezen who proceeded to one-time the ball into the net from close range. West Van FC continued pressing and eventually took the well-deserved lead at about the 65th minute mark when Desmond Tachie scored his second goal of the match, once again aided and abetted by Colin Phillips. On this occasion, Phillips sent Tachie streaking towards the CCBRT United goal with a wonderful through ball, a pass that Tachie finished off brilliantly for what proved to be the winning goal. Shortly thereafter, West Van FC put the visitors out of their misery by scoring a couple of more goals—on shots by Cathal O’Connor and Stefan Crameri. The entire West Van FC team played extremely well, but special mention should be made of forwards Desmond Tachie and Cathal O’Connor for their excellent performances as they drove the CCBRT United defenders to distraction with their speed and skill. Defensively, Max Baessato, Leo Nash, Mike Winter, and Jason Van Blerk were rock-solid during the entire contest. Despite the lop-sided loss, CCBRT United’s mifielders Justin Sidhu, Yassin Essa, and Wes Knight worked extremely hard during the entire match, while forwards Milad Rahmati and Taj Sangara were dangerous, mostly on counter-attacks. The victory improves West Van FC’s record to an unbeaten 4-1-0, good for second place in the standings, 2 points behind ICST Pegasus. On the other hand, CCBRT United is near the bottom of the table, with only 4 points from 5 matches.

EDC BURNABY – METRO-FORD WOLVES 2-1: Also on Friday evening, at Burnaby Lake West, two young and talented teams faced off in what proved to be a very exciting and entertaining match. At the end of 90 minutes of non-stop action, the home team—EDC Burnaby—walked away with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over the visiting Coquitlam Metro-Ford team. EDC Burnaby generated numerous goalscoring opportunities in the early stages of the contest, but efforts by Habib Mohammed and Rizal Ganief went awry. Midway through the first half, EDC Burnaby was finally able to take the lead when Rizal Ganief finished off a well-taken corner kick by Ylya Malek with a low, near-post shot, a shot that gave goalkeeper Mathew Bird no chance whatsoever. The young Wolves bounced back positively and came close to knotting the scoring on a few occasions, but efforts by Juan Sanchez, Carlo Basso, and Justin Wallace barely missed the target. Early in the second half, Metro-Ford once again came close to tying things up when Sang Hwang sent Carlo Basso racing in on goal with an excellent pass. However, Basso was unable to finish off the play as his final shot barely missed the net. Shortly thereafter, the home team scored what proved to be the winning goal when Habib Mohammed was sent down the right flank by a great pass from Ylya Malek. Mohammed procceded to beat a couple of Metro-Ford defenders, cut into the penalty area, and subsequently unleashed an unstoppable shot into the near post. The visitors refused to give up and fought back tenaciously in an attempt to get back into the game. They managed to narrow the margin at about the 70th minute mark when Erik Morden and Sang Hwang played a clever give-and-go at the top of the 18-yard box before Morden finished off the play with an unstoppable shot. The Wolves continued to press in search of the equalizer, while EDC Burnaby relied mainly on counter-attacks for the remainder of the contest. In so doing, the home team created some excellent chances to score, but efforts by Vanja Vukovic and Rizal Ganief were brilliantly saved by Mathew Bird. For EDC Burnaby, forwards Habib Mohammed and Rizal Ganief were very dangerous during the entire contest, while defenders Hussein Ibrahim and Stedman Espinoza were towers of strength as they limited Metro-Ford’s chances to a minimum. Midfielders Kalifala Konneh, Vladimir Vukovic, and Ylya Malek also deserve special mention for their tireless performances. Despite the loss, Metro-Ford’s defender Carson Gill, as well as midfielder Justin Wallace and forward Sang Hwang, turned in admirable performances. Both teams are now tied for 3rd place, with identical 2-1-2 records.

LANGLEY FC HURRICANES – VANCOUVER OLYMPICS 4-3: The third Friday game was played at Queen’s Park Stadium in New Westminster between the hosting Vancouver Olympics and the visiting Langley FC Hurricanes. At the end of the day, the Hurricanes managed to defeat the last-place Vancouver Olympics by a narrow 4-3 margin. Incredibly, the Hurricanes scored the first 4 goals of the contest and led 4-0 till the 75th mark of the match. At this point, the Olympics seemed to wake up and scored 3 goals in rapid succession, in the late stages of the match. As the scoreline would indicate, the Langley Hurricanes dominated the early stages of the match and came close to scoring on a few occasions. In particular, efforts by Amar Mander and Oscar Jimenez were brilliantly saved by goalkeeper Amraj Lally. The visiting Langley team finally took the lead midway through the first half when Manvir Brar and Joti Thind played a clever give-and-go that resulted in Brar crossing the ball into the Olympics’ box to a wide-open Bikramjit Parhar who proceeded to one-time the ball into the back of the net. Early in the second half, the Hurricanes doubled their lead when Oscar Jimenez sent Manvir Brar on a breakaway with a splendid through ball. Brar outraced a couple of Olympics defenders before slotting the ball into the net from close range. Shortly thereafter, the Hurricanes scored their third goal, with Oscar Jimenez once again involved in the play. On this occasion, Jimenez combined with Joey Brar to set up a streaking Manvir Brar who raced in on goal before scoring his second goal of the match. Then, at the 70th minute mark, Langley FC scored what proved to be the winning goal, once again on a lethal breakaway. This time it was Pavi Dhillon’s pass that sent Nick Soolsma racing towards the Olympics’ goal. Soolsma withstood a few challenges from Olympics’ defenders and eventually deposited the ball into the back of the net for Langley’s fourth, and final, goal. To their credit, the Vancouver Olympics refused to give up and fought back with tenacity and grit. After Saraj Bains’ cracking shot bounced off the Hurricanes’ goalpost, the Olympics were finally able to score their first goal at about the 75th minute mark when Hansol Kim fired an unstoppable long-range shot into the Langley net. Soon thereafter, Hansol Kim added his second marker as he picked up a rebound—from a shot by John Chou—and calmly deposited the ball into the back of the net. Late in the match, the Vancouver Olympics scored their 3rd goal when Adrian Kekec converted a penalty kick in clinical fashion. The spot shot was awarded when Michael Yee was fouled inside the Langley penalty area by goalkeeper Pratap Sandhu. Just before the final whistle, Pratap Sandhu mde amends for his earlier faux-pas when he pulled off a brilliant save on a shot by Jevin Hillis. Langley’s midfielders Manvir Brar and Oscar Jimenez played extremely well during the entire match, while defenders Joey Brar and Bikramjit Parhar also performed admirably in a winning cause. For the Vancouver Olympics, goalkeeper Amraj Lally deserves special mention as turned in a remarkable performance as he kept the scoreline respectable with some outstanding saves. The victory—Langley’s first of the season–elevates the Hurricanes to 3rd place in the standings, with an unbeaten 1-4-0 record. The Vancouver Olympics, on the other hand, remain in last place, with only 1 point out of 5 matches.

ICST PEGASUS – RICHMOND FC HIBERNIANS 3-1: The fourth, and final, Friday evening game was played at Newton Athletic Park in Surrey between the first place ICST Pegasus and the visiting Richmond FC Hibernians. At the end of 90 minutes of entertaining football, the home team maintained its unbeaten record by defeating the Hibernians by a 3-1 margin. The Richmond Hibernians got off to a flying start and came close to taking the early lead on a couple of occasions. However, shots by Emile Saimovici and Garret Kusch were brilliantly saved by goalkeeper Andy Singh. At the 15th minute mark, the Hibernians finally took the well-deserved lead when Garret Kusch stripped the ball from a Pegasus defender, dribbled the ball along the goal-line and eventually cut it back onto the path of Peter Chivers who concluded the play with a close-range, unstoppable shot. The Hibs’ opening goal seemed to wake up the rather dormant league-leaders as they bounced back immediately and managed to score two goals in rapid succession. At the 17th minute mark, ICST Pegasus tied things up when Sahil Sandhu’s cross was headed into the Richmond net by CJ Jhooty. A couple of minutes later, ICST Pegasus scored what proved to be the winning goal when Brendan Campbell sent young veteran Azad Palani on a partial breakaway. Palani outraced a couple of Richmond defenders and eventually slotted the ball home, thus giving his team a 2-1 lead. Late in the first half, Richmond FC came close to knotting the score on a couple of occasions but efforts by Garret Kusch and Brad Caldwell were brilliantly saved by Andy Singh. Early in the second half—at about the 55th minute mark—ICST Pegasus scored what proved to be the insurance marker when CJ Jhutty set up Javid Khan at the top of the Richmond penalty area with an excellent pass. Khan beat a couple of defenders before unleashing an unstoppable shot into the top corner of the net. Richmond FC tried hard to get back into the match but efforts by Garret Kusch and Craig McMillan were once again brilliantly saved by Andy Singh. At the other end of the pitch, ICST Pegasus also came close to scoring but some brilliant goalkeeping on the part of Richmond’s Jason Roberts—particularly on shots by Ryan Powell and Sahil Sandhu—kept the score at 3-1 till the final whistle. For ICST Pegasus, goalkeeper Andy Singh fully deserves special mention, since he made some enormous saves throughout the contest. For the Richmond Hibernians, midfielder Peter Chivers and forward Garret Kusch also turned in remarkable performances. The hard-earned victory solidifies ICST Pegasus’ hold to first place, with an impeccable 5-0-0 record. The Richmond Hibernians, on the other hand, slip to 7th place, with 6 points out of 5 matches.

SURREY UNITED FIREFIGHTERS – COLUMBUS FC 1-1: The lone Sunday game was played at Cloverdale Athletic Park in Surrey between two very talented and aspiring teams—the hosting Surrey United Firefighters and the visiting Columbus FC. The match did not live up to its expectations as neither team appeared willing to take any unnecessary chances and thus settled for a 1-1 draw, a result that helps neither team in their quests to reach the top of the standings. Unfortunately, the game did not live up to its expectations as it turned out to be a rather uneventful affair. During the entire first half, both teams appeared to be overly cautious and unwilling to take any risks. As a result, the first half ended in a scoreless tie. Things improved somewhat during the second half since Surrey United took the early lead on a goal by Angus Burke. Tommy Lowndes started the play with a long, through ball that sent Burke on a partial breakaway towards the Columbus goal. Burke made no mistake with his final touch, thus giving his team the 1-0 lead. Columbus FC responded positively and eventually knotted the score when former professional Gordon Chin sent Steve DeBlasio on a semi-breakaway. DeBlasio raced in on goal and slotted the ball into the back of the net for the tying goal. Late in the match, Steve DeBlasio almost scored what would have been the winning goal, but veteran goalkeeper Paul Shephard came up with an outstanding save to preserve the tie. For Columbus FC, central defenders Luca Bellisomo and Devon Greenside were rock-solid during the entire contest, while midfielders Gordon Chin and Adriano Negri worked tirelessly throughout the match. For Surrey United, midfielder Dave Adams worked very hard, while defenders Nigel Marples and Stefan Leslie limited Columbus’ scoring chances to a bare minimum. The tie keeps Columbus FC undefeated, with a 1-4-0 record—good for 3rd place in the standings. Surrey United, on the other hand, now has 6 points out of 5 matches.

TEAM OF THE WEEK: EDC BURNABY for its excellent performance in defeating the very talented Metro-Ford Wolves by a narrow 2-1 margin. Led by the extraordinary play of forwards Habib Mohammed and Rizal Ganief, the Chileans deserved the all-important victory, a result that improves their record to an even 2-1-2.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK: West Van FC’s forward DESMOND TACHIE for his amazing performance in his team’s 5-2 victory over CCBRT United. Not only did Tachie score two brilliant goals, but he also drove the CCBRT United defenders to distraction throughout the match, with his incomparable speed and skill. For his excellent performance this past week-end, DESMOND TACHIE will receive a pizza for two, compliments of THE GOLDEN BOOT CAFFE`. The prize is available up to 2014-10-26.

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><>2014-09-30

  PREMIER DIVISION – DAY 4

 ICST Pegasus took over sole possession of first place as a result of a hard-earned 3-2 victory over the defending Provincial Cup champions, Croatia SC. On the other hand, West Van FC also remained undefeated but slipped into second place due to its 2-2 tie with the Langley Hurricanes. At the bottom of the table, Inter FC and the Vancouver Olympics remained winless, with only one point to their credit.

ICST PEGASUS  –  CROATIA SC  3-2:   On Friday evening, at South Memorial Park in Vancouver, ICST Pegasus remained undefeated—and at the top of the standings—as a result of a narrow 3-2 victory over the hosting Croatia SC.  Early in the match, the Croatians almost took the lead when none other than Johnny Sulentic sent Dan Davidson streaking in on goal with an immaculate lob-pass. However, Davidson final shot was brilliantly saved by goalkeeper Andy Singh. Soon thereafter, at about the 20th minute mark, it was ICST Pegasus that took the lead when CJ Jhooty sent Brendan Campbell flying down the right flank with a brilliant through ball. Campbell quickly delivered a picture-perfect pass onto the path of an onrushing Sahil Sandhu who proceeded to one-time the ball into the back of the Croatia net from inside the 18-yard box. Croatia SC bounced back tenaciously in an attempt to knot the score and came very close at the 30th minute mark when Dan Davidson and David Malmura played a clever one-two before Malmura blasted the ball towards the Pegasus net. Unfortunately for the Croatian clan, the ball barely missed the Pegasus net. Late in the first half, ICST Pegasus doubled its lead when CJ Jhooty whipped a long-range cross into the Croatia penalty area, a cross that was then flicked towards the goal by Adam Costley and was subsequently buried into the back of the net by Azad Palani. Early in the second half, Croatia SC reduced the Pegasus lead to one goal when Johnny Sulentic’s well-taken free-kick—from the edge of the penalty area—found the back of the net, giving goalkeeper Andy Singh no chance whatsoever. It should be mentioned that Sulentic himself had been fouled by Paul Bahia, resulting in the free-kick being awarded to the Croatians. Midway through the second half, ICST Pegasus re-established its two-goal lead when Azad Palani’s header found Sahil Sandhu on the right side of the Croatia penalty area. Sandhu controlled the ball immaculately before firing a wicked shot—with the outside of his right foot—into the Croatian net from what appeared to be and impossible angle. Very late in the contest, Croatia SC narrowed the margin, with Johnny Sulentic once again involved in the play. On this occasion, Sulentic’s cross found Admir Salihovic flying towards the Pegasus goal. Saliohovic proceeded to beat a couple of Pegasus defenders and eventually slotted the ball home from close range. The entire Pegasus team played remarkably well, but special mention should be made of forward Sahil Sandhu who not only scored two brilliant goals, but was also a constant threat throughout the match. Also, midfielder CJ Jhooty and defenders Brendan Campbell and Paul Bahia turned in excellent performances. For Croatia SC, midfielder Johnny Sulentic once again performed brilliantly, while central defender Ryan Zaharija was rock-solid during the entire match. ICST Pegasus thus improves its record to 4-0-0, good for 12 points and first place, while Croatia SC drops to 7th place with 4 points out of 4 matches. It should be mentioned that Croatia SC will now take a two-week break from VMSL activity as the team will be travelling to Toronto to represent British Columbia in the 2014 Canadian National Championships.  GOOD LUCK CROATIA SC!!

LANGLEY FC HURRICANES  –  WEST VAN FC  2-2:  Also on Friday evening, at Langley Municipal Stadium, the hosting Langley Hurricanes pulled off a semi-upset by holding the defending VMSL Premier Division champions—West Van FC—to a 2-2 draw. Langley FC took the lead at about the 20th minute mark when Oscar Jimenez’ free-kick found Harpreet Khakh inside the West Van penalty area. Khakh’s final header was a thing of beauty and found the back of the net for the game’s opening goal. Immediately thereafter, West Van FC knotted the score when Desmond Tachie made an excellent run down the right wing before sending a perfect cross onto the path of Colin Phillips who calmly finished off the play from close range. The Hurricanes bounced back and came very close to retaking the lead when Manvir Brar sailed his blistering long-range shot over the crossbar. At the other end of the pitch, the former Trollers also came close to scoring on a few occasions, but efforts by Desmond Tachie, Colin Phillips, and Jesse Fetterley were brilliantly saved by Langley’s goalkeeper Pratap Sandhu. The second half was more or less a repeat of the first as both teams took turn attacking and defending. West Van’s best scoring chance came at about the 60th minute mark when Desmond Tachie unleashed what appeared to be an unstoppable shot, only to have the ball bounce off the cross-bar and out of danger. At the other end of the pitch, Nick Soolsma and Oscar Jimenez failed to capitalize on Harp Khakh’s fine passes as they missed the target on their final shots. Late in the match—at about the 85th minute mark—West Van FC scored what many thought was the winning goal when Rob Giezen converted a penalty kick into the go-ahead goal. The spot shot was awarded when Giezen himself—after having received a great pass from Alan McIndoe—was fouled inside the penalty area by Pavi Dhillon. To their credit, the Hurricanes refused to give up and were able to knot the score very late in the match when Pavi Dhillon redeemed himself from his earlier faux-pas as he raced down the right flank, beat 3 West Van defenders on his way towards the goal, and toe-punted the ball into the top corner of the net for the equalizer. Forwards Jesse Fetterley, Colin Phillips, and Desmond Tachie turned in outstanding performances for West Van FC as they created numerous problems for the Langley defenders with their speed and skill. For the Hurricanes, midfielders Oscar Jimenez, Harp Khakh, and Manvir Brar also played very well as they displayed an enormous amount of skill and tenacity. The disappointing result drops West Van FC to second place in the Premier Division standings, with an unbeaten record of 3-1-0, while Langley FC also remains undefeated with a bizarre 0-4-0 record!

 CCBRT UNITED  –  SURREY  UNITED FIREFIGHTERS   3-0:   The third Friday game was played at Newton Athletic Park between two Surrey-based teams: the hosting CCBRT United and the visiting Surrey United Firefighters. At the end of the day, the home team walked away with an upset 3-0 victory over the heavily-favoured visitors. At about the 10th minute mark, CCBRT United took the early lead when Taj Sangara sent Milad Rahmati flying towards the Surrey United goal on a clear-cut breakaway. Rahmati finished off the play in clinical fashion to give his team the early lead. Shortly thereafter—at about the 15th minute mark—Rahmati and Sangara reversed roles as Rahmati became the provider and Sangara the finisher. Rahmati beat a couple of Surrey United defenders before setting up Sangara who proceeded to outmuscle a Surrey United defender before blasting the ball into the top corner of the net. The Firefighters bounced back tenaciously and came close to scoring on a few occasions, but efforts by Angus Burke, Dylan Sheehan, and Karn Phagura were brilliantly saved by CCBRT United’s goalkeeper Luke O’Shea. Both teams exchanged goalscoring opportunities during the second half but the score remained at 2-0 in CCBRT United’s favour until the 85th minute mark. At this juncture, Taj Sangara put the Firemen out of their misery by scoring his team’s third and final goal as he took advantage of a poor Surrey United clearance, raced in on goal on a breakaway and clinically slotted the ball into the back of the net for the clinching goal. For the winning team, goalkeeper Luke O’Shea turned in a remarkable performance as he made numerous excellent saves during the 90 minutes of play and thus fully deserved the shut-out. Also, midfielders David Hill and Justin Sidhu played extremely well, while forwards Milad Rahmati and Taj Sangara scored 3 brilliant goals. Despite the loss, Surrey United’s midfielder Karn Phagura worked relentlessly during the entire game and created several goalscoring opportunities with his excellent passing skills. The victory—CCBRT United’s first of the season—elevates the former Rovers out of last place, with a record of 1-1-2. Surrey United, on the other hand, drops to 6th spot, with 5 points out of 4 games.

 RICHMOND FC HIBERNIANS  –  VANCOUVER OLYMPICS  4-1:  On Saturday, at Minoru Oval in Richmond, two newly-promoted teams met. At the end of a rather one-sided 90 minutes of play the Richmond Hibernians defeated the visiting Vancouver Olympics by an elaborate 4-1 margin. As the scoreline indicates, the Hibernians dominated most of the action and fully deserved the victory. Richmond FC took the early lead—at about the 7th minute mark—when Brad Caldwell took advantage of an defensive error and proceeded to rifle the ball into the far corner of the Olympics’ net. Ten minutes later, some fantastic build-up play by Peter Chivers and Alan Chivers resulted in Emile Saimovici racing in on goal all by himself. Saimovici was subsequently fouled by the Olympics’ goalkeeper, resulting in a penalty kick being awarded to the Hibernians. However, Lucas Barrett fired his shot wide of the net, keeping the score at 1-0. A few minutes later, the home team again came close to doubling its lead, but Craig McMillan’s long-range shot was brilliantly saved by goalkeeper Amraj Lally. Late in the first half, the Richmond Hibernians were finally able to double their lead when Peter Chivers’ low cross was brilliantly redirected into the Olympics’ net by Lucas Barrett. Very early in the second half, the Hibernians put the game out of the Olympics’ reach when Emile Saimovici intercepted an errant pass, beat a couple of defenders, and blasted an unstoppable shot into the bottom corner of the net. Then—at about the 58th minute mark—the Hibs scored their fourth goal of the game when Marcus Brougham headed home a pin-point, far-post cross by Peter Chivers. To their credit, the Vancouver Olympics didn’t give up and—led by veteran Vikash Chandra—tried hard to get back into the game. Late in the match, the visitors narrowed the margin when 18-year old Connor Guillerme scored his first Premier Division goal on a fine individual effort. At the other end of the pitch, Mike Miller beat several Olympics’ defenders before curling what appeared to be an unstoppable shot towards the opponents’ goal. However, goalkeeper Amraj Lally once again stood tall and pulled off yet another amazing save. The entire Richmond FC team played remarkably well, but special mention should be made of midfielder Peter Chivers for his dominant performance as he controlled the middle of the park and set up two goals in brilliant fashion. Needless to say, the Vancouver Olympics’ goalkeeper—Amraj Lally—was outstanding as he kept the score somewhat respectable with some excellent saves. The victory elevates the Richmond Hibernians to 4th place, with an even 2-0-2 record, while the Vancouver Olympics remain tied for last place, with only 1 point out of 4 matches.

COLUMBUS FC  –  EDC BURNABY  2-1:  Also on Saturday, at Trillium Park in Vancouver, Columbus FC remained undefeated by winning its  first game of the season by a 2-1 margin, over the visiting EDC Burnaby. The visitors had a couple of golden opportunities to open the scoring in the very early stages of the match, but Stedman Espinoza and Joe Agiba were unable to finish off either one of them. As luck would have it, it was Columbus FC that took the lead at the 12th minute mark when a brilliant cross by Luca Bellisomo found Cory Martinello at the edge of the Chilean penalty area. Martinello’s subsequent shot found the back of the net, thus giving his team the early lead. Columbus FC kept pressing and almost doubled its lead shortly thereafter when Luca Bellisomo picked up a loose ball inside the EDC penalty area, but his final shot was well-saved by goalkeeper Hugo Vasquez. The Chileans fought back tenaciously, but efforts by Habid Mohammed, and Chris Kyd went awry. The second half was more or less a repeat of the first as both teams took turns attacking and defending. Columbus’ best chance came early in the second half when Kazunori Kikuchi volleyed a cross by Cory Martinello towards the Chilean goal, only to have goalkeeper Hugo Vasquez pull off another fine save. Moments later, Columbus FC was able to double its lead when Luca Bellisomo was fouled inside the Chilean penalty area by Hussein Ibrahim, resulting in a penalty kick being awarded to the ‘Italians’. Newly-signed Adriano Negri stepped up to the plate and calmly deposited the ball into the back of the net for what proved to be the winning goal. To their credit, the Chileans fought back and came close to narrowing the margin at the 60th minute mark when Joe Agiba’s cross was headed towards the Columbus goal by Habib Mohammed only to have the ball bounce off the cross-bar and out of danger. Late in the game, EDC Burnaby was finally able to get on the scoresheet when Joe Agiba—after having received a perfect pass from Ylia Malek—crossed the ball into the Columbus penalty area onto the path of Habib Mohammed, whose subsequent header found the back of the net. Just before the final whistle, EDC Burnaby almost tied things up but Ylia Malek’s thunderous free-kick bounced off the cross-bar, thus keeping the score at 2-1 till the final whistle. Columbus’ backline—composed of Luca Bellisomo, Blake Douglas, Devon Greenside, and Stefano Bortolussi—was rock-solid during the entire contest, while midfielders Jamie Olson and Adriano Negri worked indefatigably throughout the match. For EDC Burnaby, defender Joe Agiba, midfielder Ducivan DeSouza, and forward Habib Mohammed deserve special mention for their fine performances, albeit in a losing cause. The victory elevates Columbus FC to 4th place in the Premier Division standings, with an unbeaten record of 1-3-0, while EDC Burnaby is now sitting in 7th place, with 4 points out of 4 games.

METRO-FORD WOLVES  –  INTER FC  3-0:  The third, and last, Saturday game was played at Coquitlam Town Centre between the very young Metro-Ford Wolves and the visiting Inter FC. After an entertaining 90 minutes of play the Wolves were able to lay claim on all 3 points as a result of a well-earned 3-0 victory. The home team took the lead early in the match—at about the 15th minute mark—when Vito Iacobellis played a long ball over the Inter backline onto the path of a streaking Juan Sanchez who had no difficulty in finishing off the play with an unstoppable shot into the bottom corner of the Inter net. The ‘Italians’ replied positively and started exerting some pressure on the Metro-Ford backline, but some excellent defending on the part of Kyle Jones and Alejandro Varela limited their chances to a minimum. As luck would have it, it was Metro-Ford that doubled its lead midway through the first half when Sang Hwang won the ball in the middle of the park and quickly sent right-back Kyle Jones streaking down the flank with a beautiful diagonal pass. Jones beat a couple of Inter defenders before cutting the ball back onto the path of Carlo Basso who had no difficulty in finishing off the play with a thunderous shot from close range. Late in the first half, the Metro-Ford Wolves had a couple of excellent goalscoring opportunities to add to their margin, but efforts by Titouan Chopin and Sang Hwang went awry. Early in the second half, Sang Hwang made amends for his previous miscue when he finished off Lucas Krivak’s clever through ball by rounding the Inter goalkeeper and slotting the ball into the empty net. To make matters even worse, Inter FC was reduced to 10 men at the 80th minute mark when Jordan Michaels had to come off the pitch due to an injury, thus reducing his team to 10 men due to the fact that they had already made 5 substitutions. To add insult to Inter’s injury, young veteran Joseph Marrello was sent off the field of play shortly thereafter for having committed a serious foul play infraction. The entire Metro-Ford team played remarkably well but special mention should be made of midfielders Vito Iacobellis and Lucas Krivak as they controlled the middle of the park with poise and skill. Also, Titouan Chopin was a great asset to the squad as he played extremely well in various positions. For Inter FC, defender Donald Kambere and midfielder Andre` Herath played very well despite the one-sided loss. The Wolves thus improve their record to 2-1-1, good for 3rd place in the Premier Division standings, while Inter FC remains mired in last place, with only 1 point out of 3 games.

TEAM OF THE WEEK:  CCBRT UNITED for its amazing performance in defeating the heavily-favoured Surrey United Firefighters by an elaborate 3-0 margin. Led by the extraordinary play of goalkeeper Luke O’Shea—as well as forwards Milad Rahmati and Taj Sangara—CCBRT United fully deserved the all-important victory.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK:   CCBRT United’ goalkeeper LUKE O’SHEA for his brilliant performance in his team’s 3-0 victory over Columbus FC. During the entire match, O’Shea pulled off some incredible saves, thus earning a well-deserved clean-sheet. For his excellent performance this past week-end, LUKE O’SHEA will  receive a pizza for two, compliments of  THE GOLDEN BOOT CAFFE`. The prize is available up to 2014-10-19.

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 

2014-09-23

 

 PREMIER DIVISION – DAY 3

 West Van FC and ICST Pegasus remained undefeated—and at the top of the standings—as a result of their respective shutout victories over Richmond FC Hibernians and Inter FC. At the bottom of the table, the winless CCBRT United, Vancouver Olympics, and Inter FC share last place with only 1 point each.

ICST PEGASUS  –  INTER FC  2-0:  On Friday evening, at Newton Athletic Park in Surrey, ICST Pegasus remained undefeated—and at the top of the standings—as a result of a 2-0 victory over the visiting Inter FC. The match was very intense and fast paced as both teams threw caution to the wind in an effort to gain all 3 points. The first 25 minutes were quite evenly played, but the home team took over the reins of the match midway through the first half. At about the 30th minute mark, ICST Pegasus took the lead when Chetan Jhooty’s corner kick was controlled by Sahil Sandhu just inside the Inter penalty area. Sandhu’s initial shot was brilliantly saved by goalkeeper Andrew Fink but Sandhu picked up his own rebound and slotted the ball into the net from close range for what proved to be the winning goal. The ‘Italians’ fought back tenaciously but were unable to create any meaningful goalscoring opportunities thus keeping the score at 1-0 till the halftime whistle. Inter FC continued to press during the second half, but ICST Pegasus counter-attacked dangerously and came close to adding to its lead on a few occasions. However, efforts by Javid Khan, Chetan Jhooty, and Sahil Sandhu were once again brilliantly saved by Andrew Fink. Late in the game, Chetan Jhooty’s free-kick was brilliantly volleyed towards the Inter net by Sahil Sandhu. Unfortunately for Sandhu, Inter defender Jordan Michaels was able to clear the ball off the line, with Andrew Fink well-beaten. A few minutes later, Sandhu was sent on what appeared to be a lethal breakaway by Azad Palani but his final shot barely missed the target. Finally, very late in the game, ICST Pegasus was able to score the insurance marker, once again on a splendid individual effort by Sahil Sandhu. On this occasion, Sandhu beat a couple of Inter defenders on his way towards the goal and then rounded goalkeeper Andrew Fink before calmly placing the ball into the back of the net. Needless the say, Sahil Sandhu turned in an amazing performance for ICST Pegasus as he scored two brilliant goals and also drove the Inter defenders to distraction with his speed and skill. Midfielders Adam Costley and Javid Khan—as well as defenders Diaz Kambere and Paul Behia—also deserve special mention for their fine performances. For Inter FC, goalkeeper Andrew Fink kept the scoreline respectable as he pulled off numerous outstanding saves, while defender Jordan Michaels also turned in a commendable performance. The victory improves ICST Pegasus’ record to a perfect 3-0-0, while Inter FC remains in last place with only 1 point out of 3 games.

EDC BURNABY  –  CCBRT UNITED  4-2:  Also on Friday evening, at Burnaby Lake West, EDC Burnaby gained its first victory of the season, at the expense of the winless CCBRT United by a hard-fought 4-2 margin.The home team—EDC Burnaby—took the early lead when Joe Agiba and Stedman Espinoza combined to set up a streaking Rizal Ganief who then proceeded to elude a CCBRT defender before slotting the ball into the bottom corner of the net. The visitors replied positively and tied thing up midway through the first half when Taku Bradshaw stripped the ball from an EDC player in the middle of the park and quickly blasted a thunderous, long-range shot towards the net. Much to the chagrin of the EDC entourage, the ball sailed over the head of goalkeeper Hugo Vasquez and into the back of the net. Early in the second half, EDC Burnaby retook the lead, once again on a goal by Rizal Ganief. On this occasion, Eric Ray and Habib Mohammed played a clever give-and-go before the latter set up Ganief with a brilliant pass. In his own inimitable fashion, Ganief calmly placed the ball into the wide open net, thus giving his team the lead. Shortly thereafter, CCBRT United was reduced to 10 men when Taku Bradshaw was ejected for having committed a serious foul play infranction. At the 70th minute mark, EDC Burnaby scored what proved to be the winning goal, once again scored by none other than Rizal Ganief, after he had been set up by Ducivan DeSouza. Despite being short-handed, CCBRT United rallied back and narrowed the margin at the 75th minute mark when Justin Sidhu’s cross/shot was redirected into his own net by EDC defender Gustavo Ramirez. EDC Burnaby retook its two-goal lead very late in the game when Habib Mohammed completed a brilliant individual performance by scoring his first Premier Division goal in fine fashion, after having been set up by Eric Ray and Miguel Villatoro. The entire EDC Burnaby team played remarkably well, but special mention should be made of defenders Hussein Ibrahim and Stedman Espinoza for their rock-solid performances. Also, midfielders Eric Ray and Ducivan DeSouza—as well as forwards Rizal Genief and Habib Mohammed—turned in excellent performances. For CCBRT United, goalkeeper Justin Baarts made some exceptional saves during the entire match, while defender Derrick Bassi and forwards Milad Rahmati and Yassin Essa worked extremely hard during the entire contest, albeit in a losing cause. The well-earned victory improves EDC Burnaby’s record to 1-1-1, good for 4th place in the standings, while CCBRT United remains in last place, with only 1 point out of 3 games.

 CROATIA SC  –  VANCOUVER OLYMPICS  5-0:   The third Friday game was played at Queen’s Park in New Westminster between the hosting Vancouver Olympics and the visiting Croatia SC. At the end of a rather one-sided 90 minutes of play, the Croatians walked away with a rather easy 5-0 margin. Despite the elaborate margin, the first half was very evenly played with both teams taking turns attacking and defending. Very early in the contest, the Vancouver Olympics almost took the lead on a couple of occasions, but Gianluca Zavarise missed the net on both chances. As luck would have it, it was Croatia SC that took the lead at the 15th minute mark when Admir Salihovic played a perfect through ball to David Malmura who proceeded to race down the right flank before sending an excellent cross onto the path of Dan Davidson. Davidson’s subsequent header found the back of the net for what proved to be the winning goal. The Olympics responded positively and came close to tying things up midway through the first half when Jeevi Rai set up Michael Buree with a wonderful pass. Buree buried the ball into the Croatian net, but the goal was disallowed since he was deemed to be in an offside position when he received Rai’s pass. The second half told a total different story as the Croatians scored 4 unanswered goals in the first 10 minutes. At the 46th minute mark, Admir Salihovic raced in on goal from the right flank, beat a few Olympics’ defenders before unleashing a low drive that found the back of the net at the near post. Two minutes later, Croatia SC scored its third goal, with Admir Salihovic once again involved in the play. On this occasion, Salihovic became the provider as he set up David Malmura with a brilliant cut-back pass. Malmura had no difficulty in converting the pass into his team’s third goal as he slotted the ball home from close range. Then, at the 52nd minute mark, Johnny Sulentic’s diagonal pass found an onrushing Dan Davidson at the edge of the penalty area. Davidson proceeded to blast a low shot towards the Olympics’ goal, a shot that gave the Olympics’ goalkeeper no chance whatsoever. Finally, at about the 55th minute mark, David Malmura took advantage of a soft pass-back by an Olympics’ defender, intercepted the pass and raced in on goal uncontested before scoring the game’s final goal. To their credit, the Olympics refused to give up and created a few chances of their own in the late stages of the match. In particular, John Chou had an excellent opportunity to score, but his blistering shot missed the net. Late in the contest, Adrian Kekec blasted a low drive towards the Croatia goal from well outside the penalty area. Unfortunately for the Olympics, the ball bounced off the goalpost. However, Jevin Hillis picked up the rebound but his final shot was cleared off the line by David Zaharija, thus keeping the score at 5-0 till the final whistle. For Croatia SC, forwards David Malmura, Admir Salihovic, and Dan Davidson caused the Olympics’ backline all kinds of problems, particularly in the second half. Goalkeeper Simon Cohen registered the shut-out, albeit in rather easy fashion! Despite the lopsided loss, defender Michael Yee performed admirably for the Vancovuer Olympics. The victory elevates Croatia SC into 4th place in the standings, with an even 1-1-1 record, while the Vancouver Olympics remain mired in last place, with only 1 point out of 3 games.

WEST VAN FC  –  RICHMOND FC HIBERNIANS 3-0:  On Saturday, at Ambleside Park in West Vancouver, West Van FC easily disposed of the newly-promoted Richmond Hibernians by a clear-cut 3-0 score. The Hibernians got off ot a flying start as they exerted a lot of pressure on the West Van defence in the opening stages of the match. However, a powerful header by Craig McMillan sailed over the crossbar very early in the match. Soon thereafter, it was Peter Chivers’ turn to almost give Richmond FC the lead. However, Chivers’ full volley, after he had been set up by Brad Caldwell, bounced off the crossbar. The Hibernians continued to press and once again came close to taking the lead when Erik Olsen’s dangerous cross was flicked towards the West Van goal by Brad Caldwell. Much to the Hibernians’ chagrin, however, the ball was cleared off the line by defender Colin Phillips. Midway through the first half, the home team started taking control of the game and created several goalscoring opportunities. The former Trollers were rewarded for their determined effort at about the 35th minute mark when Dave O’Connor made a great run down the left flank before whipping a perfect cross into the Richmond penalty area. Jesse Fettrerley converted the cross into the game’s opening goal from close range as he first-timed the ball into the bottom corner of the net. Shortly thereafter, Cathal O’Connor came close to doubling West Van’s lead, but his long-range shot bounced off the crossbar and out of danger. The home team continued to press in search of the insurance marker, but efforts by Jesse Fetterley, Cathal O’Connor, and Desmond Tachie all went awry. The second half was a hard-fought affair, although the goalscoring chances were reduced to a minimum. At about the 60th minute mark, West Van FC doubled its lead when Cathal O’Connor finished off a wonderful cross by Jesse Fetterley with an unstoppable full-volley from just inside the penalty area. Late in the game, West Van FC put the Hibernians out of their misery by scoring a third goal, once again in brilliant fashion. On this occasion, young Omar Rostant made an amazing individual run down the left flank, beat a couple of Richmond defenders and proceeded to clinically slipp the ball into the back of the net. For West Van FC, defender Mike Winter turned in a rock-solid performance while midfielders Gianmarco Pensato and Cathal O’Connor worked relentlessly throughout the contest. Forwards Jesse Fetterley and Dave O’Connor also deserve special mention as they caused the Richmond backline problems with their work-rate and skill. Newly-signed goalkeeper Adam Guthridge recorded his first shutout for West Van FC. Despite the loss, Richomnd’s defender Mike Revell and midfielders Connor Radil and Peter Chivers turned in admirable performances. As a result of the victory, West Van FC remains undefeated—with a 3-0-0 record—and tied for first place with 9 points. Richmond FC, on the other hand, drops to 7th place in the standings, with 3 points out of 3 matches.

COLUMBUS FC  –  METRO-FORD WOLVES  2-2:  Also on Saturday, at Trillium Park in Vancouver, two very talented teams—Columbus FC and Coquitlam Metro-Ford—settled for a 2-2 tie after a very entertaining and competitive 90 minutes of non-stop action. Both teams exchanged goalscoring opportunities in the early stages of the match. Columbus’ Adriano Negri and Metro-Ford’s Juan Sanchez had their shots brilliantly saved by goalkeepers Dillan Fogliato and Giordan DiPalma respectively. The ‘Italians’ were finally able to take the lead at about the 15th minute mark when Luca Bellisomo’s free-kick was deflected onto the path of newly-signed Renato Curak, whose final shot from the edge of the penalty area found the back of the net. Soon thereafter, Columbus FC almost doubled its lead when Cory Martinello’s header—off a well-taken free-kick by Sheu Fortunato—bounced off the cross-bar and out of danger. The Wolves responded positively and started to exert some pressure of their own in an effort to knot the score. They succeeded at about the 30th minute mark when Carlo Basso converted a long-range free-kick into the tying goal with a curling, low-shot into the bottom corner of the Columbus net. Very early in the second half, Columbus FC retook the lead when Steve DeBlasio sent Devon Smith towards the Metro-Ford goal on a partial breakaway. Smith made no mistake and clinically slotted the ball into the back of the net for the go-ahead goal. However, the young Wolves came storming back and were able to equalize shortly thereafter when Sang Hwang picked up a loose ball just outside the penalty area and proceeded to blast the it into the Columbus net, giving goalkeeper Giordan DiPalma no chance whatsoever. Late in the match, Metro-Ford’s Carlo Basso almost scored the winning goal, but his sharp-angle shot bounced off the goal-post. Columbus FC also  came close to claiming all 3 points, but Kazumori Kikuchi’s goal was disallowed because of an offside infraction. Columbus’ forwards Steve DeBlasio and Renato Curak played extremely well as they caused numerous problems for the Metro-Ford defense. Also, midfielders Devon Smith and newly-signed Adriano Negri turned in excellent performances. For the Metro-Ford Wolves, defenders Anthony DiNicolo and Carson Gill were their usual rock-solid selves, while Juan Sanchez worked tirelessly in his midfield role. Also, forwards Carlo Basso and Sang Hwang were very dangerous thoughout the contest. The result keeps both teams in the middle of the pack in the Premier Division standings.

SURRETY UNITED FIREFIGHTERS  –  LANGLEY FC HURRICANES   2-2:  The last Premier Division game of the week was played on Sunday at Cloverdale Athletic Park in Surrey between the hosting Surrey United Firefighters and the visiting Langley Hurricanes, in what could be described as the ‘Valley Derby’. Despite the fact that the home team—Surrey United—took a 2-0 lead in the first half, the Hurricanes fought back tenaciously and were able to tie things up in the second half, thus ending the match in a 2-2 tie. The Firemen took the early lead—at about the 15th minute mark—when David Adams sent Angus Burke flying towards the Langley net with an excellent pass. Burke proceeded to round the Langley goalkeeper before calmly slotting the ball into the open net. Ten minutes later, Surrey United doubled its lead as Angus Burke became the provider by setting up Dylan Sheehan with a clever pass. Sheehan outraced a couple of Langley defenders and finished off the play with a brilliant chip shot, over the outstretched hands of goalkeeper Pratap Sandhu. Early in the second half, the Firefighters almost tripled their lead when Matt Rosenlund sent Angus Burke towards the Langley goal on a partial breakaway. However, Burke’s final shot was brilliantly saved by Pratap Sandhu. A few minutes later, the Hurricanes bounced back when Manvir Brar made a great run down the left flank before sending a dangerous, low cross into the Surrey United penalty area. Without a moment’s hesitation, Harp Khakh side-footed the ball into the net for Langley’s first goal. Midway through the second half, the Hurricanes managed to knot the score when Joti Thind delivered a perfect corner kick into the box. Joey Brar’s initial header was brilliantly saved by goalkeeper Paul Shepherd. However, Brar picked up his own rebound and slotted the ball home for the tying goal. For Langley FC, defender Joey Brar, midfielder Manvir Brar, and forward Harp Khakh played extremely well as they provided the spark their team needed after trailing 2-0 at halftime. Surrey United’s forwards Angus Burke and Dylan Sheehan created numerous chances during the first half of play, while defenders Matt Rosenlund and Nigel Marples also deserve special mention for their outstanding performances. The tie keeps the Firefighters in third place in the Premier Division standings, with an unbeaten 1-2-0 record, while the Hurricanes also remain undefeated with a 0-3-0 record, good for 7th place.

TEAM OF THE WEEK:  CROATIA SC for its clinical 5-0 victory over the Vancouver Olympics. Led by the remarkable performances of Dan Davidson, David Malmura, and Admir Salihovic, the Croatians fully deserved the elaborate margin of victory, a result that enables them to climb into 4th place in the Premier Division standings.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK:  EDC Burnaby forward RIZAL GANIEF for his incredible 3-goal performance in his team’s 4-2 victory over the visiting CCBRT United. All 3 goals were things of beauty as Ganief displayed an unbelievable goalscoring prowess. For his excellent performance this past week-end, RIZAL GANIEF will  receive a pizza for two, compliments of  THE GOLDEN BOOT CAFFE`. The prize is available up to 2014-10-12.

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2014-09-16

  PREMIER DIVISION – DAY 2

 No major upsets took place this past weekend, as West Van FC and ICST Pegasus won their second consecutive games and thus climbed into first place in the standings. At the bottom of the table, things are getting very crowded as 5 teams share last place with only 1 point each.

WEST VAN FC  –  CROATIA SC  3-1:  On Friday evening, at South Memorial Park in Vancouver, West Van FC won its second game in a row by defeating the defending Provincial Cup champions—Croatia SC—by a clear-cut 3-1 margin after a very hard-fought and physical 90 minutes of non-stop action. After controlling the play in the initial stages of the match, West Van FC finally took the lead at the 25th minute mark when Cathal O’Connor finished off an excellent cross from Jacob Lensky in clinical fashion. It should be mentioned that Lensky was initially sent down the right flank by Colin Phillips. Ten minutes later, West Van FC scored what proved to be the winning goal when Desmond Tachie’s perfectly executed low cross was finished off by Dave O’Connor as he back-heeled the ball into the back of the net from close range. In their usual fashion, the Croatians refused to give up and narrowed the margin at the 40th minute mark when Ryan Zaharija sent Andre` Perez flying towards the West Van goal on a breakaway. Perez proceeded to outpace a number of West Van defenders before slotting a low shot into the back of the net. The second half was more or less a repeat of the first as West Van FC continued to press while the Croatians relied mostly on counter-attacks in an effort to get back into the match. At the 65th minute mark, West Van FC clinched the victory when defender Max Baessato headed home Cathal O’Connor’s corner kick from close range. West Van’s midfielders Jacob Lensky and Cathal O’Connor controlled the middle of the park with skill and poise during the entire match, while forwards Dave O’Connor, Desmond Tachie, and Jesse Fetterley were very dangerous as they created numerous goalscoring chances. Special mention should also be made of goalkeeper Adam Guthridge as he turned in a solid performance in his Premier Division debut. For Croatia SC, central midfielder Goran Vitic turned in a brilliant performance as he created several goalscoring opportunities for his teammates, while midfielder David Malmura and forward Johnny Sulentic also performed admirably, albeit in a losing cause. As a result of the victory, West Van FC climbs into a first-place tie with ICST Pegasus with a perfect 2-0-0 record. On the other hand, Croatia SC slips into a 5-team last place tie, with only one point from 2 matches.

CCBRT UNITED  –  COLUMBUS FC  1-1:  Also on Friday evening, at Newton Athletic Park, CCBRT United bounced back from last weekend’s embarrassing loss to the Metro-Ford Wolves by holding the powerful Columbus FC to a 1-1 tie. Despite the fact that the visitors created numerous goalscoring chances during the first 45 minutes of play, the game remained scoreless until the halftime whistle. In particular—midway through the first half—Kazunori Kikuchi tested the CCBRT United goalkeeper—Chris Beck—with a thundering long-range shot, but Beck rose to the occasion and pulled off a sensational save. Shortly thereafter, Kikuchi was once again thwarted by Beck this time when Cory Martinello’s cross was headed towards the CCBRT United net by Kikuchi. At the other end of the pitch, CCBRT United also came close to scoring the opening goal when Yassin Essa blasted a long-range shot/cross towards the Columbus net. However, his speculative shot bounced off the crossbar and out of danger. The second half was more or less a repeat of the first, except for the fact that both teams were able to score a goal apiece! CCBRT United took the lead at about the 65th minute mark when Yassin Essa intercepted a rare errant pass by Luca Bellisomo and raced in on goal on a breakaway before slotting the ball into the back of the net for the game’s opening goal. Much to Columbus’ chagrin, CCBRT United continued pressing and came close to doubling its lead on a couple of occasions. However, goalkeeper Giordan DiPalma stood tall and pulled off a couple of great saves on shots by Taku Bradshaw. However, it was Columbus FC that was able to knot the score—at about the 75th minute mark—when Devon Smith picked up a loose ball at the edge of the penalty area and quickly unleashed a wicked shot toward the CCBRT United goal, giving goalkeeper Chris Beck no chance whatsoever. The ‘Italians’ continued to press but some rock-solid defending on the part of CCBRT United’s Derrick Bassi, Kyle Knees, Danny Chahal, and Avin Sidhu kept the score at 1-1 till the final whistle. Midfielders Jai Dhillon and Ranja Basi—both 17-year old youth call-ups—also played extremely well for CCBRT United, while goalkeeper Chris Beck and forward Yassin Essa were instrumental in gaining their team the draw. For Columbus FC, midfielders Gordon Chin and Cory Martinello played remarkably well throughout the contest, while central defender Jonathan Poli was his usual rock-solid self. The result helps neither team, as Columbus FC now has a 0-2-0 record, while CCBRT United remains in last place, with only 1 point out of two matches.

 ICST PEGASUS – METRO-FORD WOLVES  2-0:   On Saturday, at Town Centre Park in Coquitlam, ICST Pegasus won its second consecutive match, this time against the hosting Metro-Ford Wolves, by a clear-cut 2-0 margin.  Early in the match, the Wolves had a great goalscoring opportunity to open the scoring when Carlo Basso intercepted a poor clearance and raced in on goal on a semi-breakaway. However, some excellent goalkeeping on the part of Pegasus’ Andy Singh kept the Wolves off the scoresheet. The visitors replied in kind and also came close to scoring when CJ Jhooty beat a couple of Metro-Ford defenders before unleashing what appeared to be an unstoppable shot from the edge of the penalty area. Unfortunately for the Pegasus clan, however, Jhooty’s low shot barely missed the target. At about the 35th minute mark, ICST Pegasus took the lead on a penalty kick after Sahil Sandhu was fouled inside the Metro-Ford penalty area by Sang Hwang. Sandhu himself stepped up to the plate and calmly deposited the ball into the back of the Wolves’ net. The second half was more or less a repeat of the first as the young Wolves controlled most of the play but were unable to create any real goalscoring chances. The more experienced ICST Pegasus, on the other hand, defended very well and counter-attacked dangerously. Midway through the second half, Pegasus’ Javid Khan found himself all alone inside the Metro-Ford penalty area and quickly fired the ball towards the net. However, goalkeeper Dillan Fogliato stood tall and pulled off a great save. Soon thereafter, Pegasus put the Wolves out of their misery when CJ Jhooty found a streaking Sahil Sandhu down the right flank. Sandhu proceeded to shoot the ball towards the Metro-Ford net where defender Anthony DiNicolo inadvertently deflected it into his own net. The visitors continued to press and came close to adding to their margin late in the match when Diaz Kambere’s wicked shot was well saved by Dillan Fogliato. The entire Pegasus team played very well throughout the contest, but special mention should be made of defenders Diaz Kambere and Brendan Campbell for their rock-solid performances, as well as forwards CJ Jhooty and Sahil Sandhu for their dangerous counter-attacks. The well-earned victory placed ICST Pegasus in a first place tie with West Van FC, with a 2-0-0 record, while the Wolves drop to the middle of the table with 3 points out of 2 games.

SURREY UNITED FIREFIGHTERS  –  RICHMOND FC HIBERNIANS  5-1:  On Saturday, at Minoru Park in Richmond, the powerful Surrey United Firefighters easily defeated the newly-promoted Richmond Hibernians by an elaborate 5-1 margin. The Firefighters almost took the lead early in the match when Angus Burke received a great pass from Raki Hmije and drilled a shot towards the Richmond net. Unfortunately for Burke—and the rest of the Surrey United contingent—the ball bounced off the cross-bar and out of danger. After that, the game was quite evenly played as neither team seemed willing to take any chances. However, things changed dramatically at the 25th minute mark when the Firefighters took the lead on a well-executed goal by Connor Prentice. Angus Burke initiated the play with an excellent pass to young Connor Hildebrandt who proceeded to beat a few Richmond defenders before sending an impeccable cross onto the path of Connor Prentice whose final chip shot sailed over the head of young goalkeeper Jason Roberts. The Hibernians responded positively and came close to knotting the score on a couple of occasions, but headers by Marcus Brougham and Garret Kusch sailed over the crossbar. Also, Brad Caldwell—as a result of a goal-mouth scramble—had his shot cleared off the line by Surrey United’s defender Stefan Leslie. As luck would have it—just before the halftime whistle—the Firefighters doubled their lead with Connor Hildebrandt once again involved in the play. On this occasion, the youngster displayed an enormous amount of skill at the edge of the Richmond penalty area as he beat a few defenders before cleverly chipping the ball into the back of the net, for what proved to be the winning goal. To their credit, the Hibernians once again refused to give up and battled tenaciously during the first part of the second half in an attempt to get back in the game. They were rewarded at about the 60th minute mark when a pin-point cross by left-back Alan Chivers found a wide-open Lucas Barrett inside the Surrey United penalty area. Without a moment’s hesitation, Barrett buried the ball into the back of the Firefighters’ net, thus reducing their lead to 2-1. Immediately thereafter, Surrey United re-established its 2-goal lead on a lethal counter-attack as Connor Prentice—after having received an excellent pass from David Adams—fired a wicked shot into the back of the Richmond net. The Hibernians refused to give up and once again pushed forward relentlessly but were punished a couple of more times on fatal counter-attacks. On the first occasion—at the 75th minute mark—Connor Hildebrandt beat a Richmond defender before making a brilliant pass to a wide-open Angus Burke, who had no difficulty whatsoever in finishing off the play with a shot into a wide-open net. Ten minutes later, Angus Burke repeated his previous feat, this time after having received a pass from Karn Phagura. Needless to say, young Connor Hildebrandt was a going concern for the Surrey United Firefighters as he created several goalscoring opportunities and also scored a phenomenal goal. Defensively, Stefan Leslie deserves special mention as he kept the Richmond scoring chances to a minimum with his rock-solid performance. Despite the humiliating loss, Richmond’s centre-back Mike Revell and midfielder Lucas Barrett played remarkably well. The victory improves Surrey United’s record to 1-1-0, good for third place in the standings, while the Richmond Hibernians slip to 4th place, with 3 points out of 2 matches.

INTER FC  –  VANCOUVER OLYMPICS  2-2:  Also on Saturday, at Trillium Park in Vancouver, Inter FC and the Vancouver Olympics settled for a 2-2 tie after a hard-fought and evenly-contested 90 minutes of play. Inter FC controlled proceedings during the early stages of the match and came close to opening the scoring when Joseph Marrello’s well-placed corner-kick was headed over the cross-bar by Marco Visintin. Despite the fact that Inter FC kept pressing in search of the opening goal, it was the Olympics that scored first—at about the 12th minute mark—as Gianluca Zavarise blasted an unstoppable shot into the back of the Inter net from well outside the penalty area. Inter FC responded positively and came close to tying things up midway through the first half when Liam Miller’s shot bounced off the goalpost and out of danger. Soon thereafter, Liam Miller made amends for his previous missed opportunity when he calmly converted a great through ball from Joseph Marrello as he side-footed the ball into the bottom right corner of the Olympics’ net. Early in the second half, the Vancouver Olympics regained the lead when Saraj Bains took advantage of an Inter faux-pas, beat a couple of defenders on his way towards the ‘Italians’ goal and then proceeded to place the ball into the net, past an onrushing Inter goalkeeper, Erman Ozkan. Midway through the second half, Inter FC was able to knot the score when ‘super-sub’ Reece Miles took advantage of a goalmouth scramble and was able to find the back of the net from close range. For Inter FC, Liam Miller and Alex Marrello played remarkably well in their midfield roles, while forwards Reece Miles and Kam Amini had a major impact on the final result when they came off the bench midway through the second half. For the Olympics, goalkeeper Amraj Lally made a couple of spectacular saves in the early going, while midfielder Gianluca Zavarise was a going concern throughout the match. The result leaves both teams at the bottom of the table, each with one point from 2 games.

LANGLEY FC HURRICANES  –  EDC BURNABY  2-2:  The last Premier Division game of the week was played on Sunday at Willoughby Park in Langley between the hosting Langley Hurricanes and the visiting EDC Burnaby. At the end of the day, the two squads had to settle for a 2-2 tie, a result that does neither team a favour! The Chileans took the lead at the 20th minute mark when Ducivan DeSouza converted a penalty kick in clinical fashion. The spot shot was awarded when Langley defender Danny Badesha fouled Tarek Yassin inside the penalty area. The play originated with Chris Kyd taking a wicked shot from the edge of the box towards the Langley net. The ball bounced off the cross-bar and onto the path of Tarek Yassin who was then fouled while trying to head it into the net. The Hurricanes bounced back tenaciously in an attempt to knot the score, but chances by Harp Khakh and Manvir Brar barely missed the net. The home team was finally able to tie things up at about the 30th minute mark when Arjan Grewal raced down the left flank before crossing the ball into the EDC Burnaby penalty area. Cam Hundal proceeded to skillfully control the ball and lay it off to Joti Thind who quickly first-timed it into the back of the net for the equalizer. Late in the first half—at about the 44th minute mark—Danny Badesha almost redeemed himself for his previous faux-pas, but his blistering shot rang off the EDC Burnaby goalpost and out of danger. Just before the halftime whistle, Langley FC took the well-deserved lead when Nick Soolsma took advantage of a Chilean defensive blunder, stripped the ball from a defender, raced in on goal all by himself, and finally deposited the ball into the back of the net for the go-ahead goal. The second half told a totally different story as EDC

Burnaby came out of the starting gates with passion and desire. In so doing, the Chileans created numerous goalscoring chances, particularly on efforts by Chris Kyd, Eric Ray, Tarek Yassin, Rizal Ganief, and Vladimir Vukovic. Unfortunately for the Chileans, all the aforementioned opportunities went awry, thus leaving Langley FC in the lead till the 80th minute mark. At this point, newly-signed and Premier Division debutant Joe Agiba picked up a rebound—from an Eric Ray shot—and quickly deposited the ball into the back of the net with an amazingly unstoppable shot. Very late in the match, Joe Agiba almost became a ‘super-hero’, but his close-range shot—after having been set up by Eric Ray—inexplicably missed the target. For EDC Burnaby, midfielders Ducivan DeSouza, Tarek YassinEric Ray, and Chris Kyd played remarkably well, particularly during the second half, while goalkeeper Hugo Vasquez and defender Gus Ramirez also turned in commendable performances, particularly during the first half. For the Langley Hurricanes, Nick Soolsma and Harp Khakh were very dangerous in their attacking roles, particularly during the first half, while midfielders Manvir Brar and Amar Mander also played very well. The result leaves the Langley Hurricanes undefeated, with a 0-2-0 record, while EDC Burnaby now has one point out of 2 games.

TEAM OF THE WEEK:  WEST VAN FC for its clinical 3-1 victory over the defending Provincial Cup champions—Croatia SC. Led by the superb performances of midfielders Jacob Lensky and Cathal O’Connor, West Van FC fully deserved the hard-fought victory, a result that leaves last season’s Premier Division champions undefeated and in first place!

PLAYER OF THE WEEK:  ICST Pegasus’ forward SAHIL SANDHU for his brilliant performance in his team’s 2-0 victory over the Metro-Ford Wolves. Not only did Sandhu score a brilliant goal, but he also drove the Metro-Ford defenders to distraction with his pace and skill. For his excellent performance this past week-end, SAHIL SANDHU will  receive a pizza for two, compliments of  THE GOLDEN BOOT CAFFE`. The prize is available up to 2014-10-05.

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2014-09-09

PREMIER DIVISION – DAY 1

 All six Premier Division games were played on Saturday at Cloverdale Athletic Park in front of a large and enthusiastic crowd. Most of the matches were highly contested and evenly played. The one big exception was the opening match between two of the top teams from last season’s standings: CCBRT United and the Metro-Ford Wolves. The young Wolves totally dominated the one-sided match and walked away with an unprecedented 9-2 victory.

COQUITLAM METRO-FORD WOLVES – CCBRT UNITED 9-2: The first Premier Division match of the season was played between last season’s runners-up—CCBRT United—and the third-place finishers—Metro-Ford Wolves. At the end of 90 minutes of one-sided play the young and inexperienced Wolves claimed all 3 points as a result of a rather embarrassing 9-2 victory. The Coquitlam team took the early lead—at about the 5th minute mark—when newcomer Titouan Chopin raced in on goal on a breakaway after Carlo Basso and Sang Hwang had played a clever one-two in the middle of the park. Chopin raced in on goal and calmly deposited the ball into the back of the CCBRT net. Ten minutes later, Sang Hwang became the finisher as he took advantage of a brilliant build-up by Carlo Basso and Lucas Krivak before blasting an unstoppable shot from the edge of the penalty area into the CCBRT net. Then, at about the 23rd minute mark, Carlo Basso scored his first of 3 goals as he easily tapped the ball into the CCBRT net from close range after Sang Hwang and Titouan Chopin had created havoc to the CCBRT backline with their clever passing. Ten minutes before the halftime whistle, Titouan Chopin added Metro-Ford’s fourth goal when he was set free with an exquisite through ball from Lucas Krivak. Chopin once again raced in a goal on a breakaway and once again clinically placed the ball into the back of the CCBRT net. Early in the second half, the Wolves scored their fifth goal, once again on a breakaway. On this occasion, Lucas Krivak won the ball in the middle of the park and proceeded to set up Carlo Basso with an immaculate through ball. Basso made no mistake on his final touch and easily scored his second goal of the match. CCBRT responded positively and almost narrowed the margin soon thereafter, when Yassin Essa raced in on goal on a breakaway, rounded the Metro-Ford goalkeeper but inexplicably missed the net with his final shot. At the 60th minute mark, CCBRT United narrowed the margin on a well-executed goal when Yassin Essa’s fine cross was headed back by David Hill, onto the path of Derrick Bassi, whose subsequent volley found the back of the Wolves’ net. A couple of minutes later, Metro-Ford re-established its 5 goal lead when Vito Iacobellis and Sang Hwang played a brilliant one-two that resulted in Hwang finishing off the play with his second goal of the contest. Once again, however, CCBRT bounced back and managed to narrow the margin—at the 70th minute mark—when Ruben Castelblanco sent David Hill on a breakaway. Hill made no mistake as he rounded the Metro-Ford goalkeeper an easily slotted the ball into the empty net. Soon thereafter, Titouan Chopin and Sang Hwang once again combined to set up Carlo Basso, whose brilliant curling shot—from the edge of the penalty area—found the back of the CCBRT net, thus completing his amazing hat-trick. Late in the game, the Wolves added two more goals to their impressive margin of victory as James Kim—an Under 21 call-up—picked up a rebound—after Sang Hwang’s shot had hit the goalpost—and easily scored his first Premier Division goal. Then, just before the full-time whistle, Titouan Chopin and Sang Hwang combined to set up Juan Sanchez who calmly proceeded to place the ball into the back of the net. The entire Metro-Ford team played remarkably well, but special mention should be made of Carlo Basso, Hwang Sang, and Titouan Chopin for their amazing goalscoring prowess and remarkable passing skills. Despite the embarrassing loss, CCBRT’s defenders Kyle Knees and Danny Chahal played remarkably well, while midfielders David Hill and Jorge Angel-Mira also deserved special mention for their hard work. It should be mentioned that CCBRT United played the game without several of its regular starters.

WEST VAN FC – INTER FC 2-0: Last season’s Premier Division champions—West Van FC—disposed of Inter FC by a hard-fought 2-0 margin after a rather evenly-played 90 minutes of action. The defending champions controlled most of the play during the first half as they had most of the possession in the middle of the park, mostly due to the outstanding play of midfielders Cathal O’Connor and Farzad Balandari, who was making his Premier Division debut. Midway through the first half, West Van FC took the well-deserved lead when veteran Jesse Fetterley headed home a great free-kick by Cathal O’Connor. West Van FC continued to press and came close to doubling its lead on a few occasions, but efforts by Jesse Fetterley, Desmond Tachie, and Jacob Lensky went awry. Inter FC bounced back tenaciously and nearly tied things up late in the first half when Liam Miller—after having controlled a great pass from Andrew Lipton—blasted the ball towards the West Van net. However, goalkeeper Steve Welle—making his Premier Division debut—rose to the occasion and pulled off a semi-miraculous save. The second half was more or less a repeat of the first as West Van FC did most of the attacking, while Inter FC defended well and counter-attacked dangerously. At the 60th minute mark, West Van FC scored the insurance marker, with Jesse Fetterley once again involved in the play. On this occasion, Fetterley played a brilliant one-two with Dave O’Connor and finished off the play with a wicked left-foot shot from just inside the 18-yard box. Inter FC refused to give up and came close to narrowing the margin late in the game when newcomer Cesar Mylan blasted a long-range shot barely over the cross-bar. Defensively, Colin Phillips, Max Baessato, Leo Nash, and Mike Winter were rock-solid for West Van FC as they kept the Inter attackers at bay for most of the match. Needless to say, forward Jesse Fetterley turned in a remarkable performance as he scored two excellent goals and drove the Inter defenders to distraction during the entire match. For Inter FC, forwards Liam Miller and Cesar Mylan worked extremely hard, while midfielder Andrew Lipton and defender Jordan Michael also played remarkably well, albeit in a losing cause.

 ICST PEGASUS – VANCOUVER OLYMPICS 1-0: The very talented ICST Pegasus narrowly defeated the newly-promoted Vancouver Olympics by a 1-0 margin after a very interesting 90 minutes of non-stop action. The first half was very evenly played with both teams taking turns attacking and defending. Early in the match, the Olympics had their best chance to open the scoring when Gianluca Zavarise’s effort was cleared off the line by Pegasus’ defender Brendan Campbell. ICST Pegasus replied in kind and came close to scoring on a few occasions, but efforts by Azad Palani, Javid Khan, and Chetan Jhooty were well saved by goalkeeper Amraj Lally. At the other end of the pitch, Pegasus’ goalkeeper Andy Singh pulled off a miraculous save to deny Frank Randazzo a golden goalscoring opportunity. However, the Pegasus lads kept pressing and created a couple more scoring chances but, once again, were unable to find the back of the net on shots by Diaz Kambere and Adam Costley. Also—at about the 35th minute mark—Pegasus’ Omari Aldridge found himself all alone in front of the Olympics’ net, but his final shot was once again brilliantly saved by Amraj Lally. Late in the first half, the Vancouver Olympics created yet another golden opportunity to open the scoring when Gianluca Zavarise’s wicked shot was brilliantly saved by Andy Singh. Just before the half-time whistle, it was Pegasus’ turn to miss the opportunity to open the scoring, when the Olympics’goalkeeper Amraj Lally made a wonderful save on a shot by Javid Khan. The second half was mostly controlled by ICST Pegasus, but the scoring chances were kept to a minimum, mostly due to the fact that the Vancouver Olympics defended tenaciously. However, Pegasus was finally compensated at the 65th minute mark when Brendan Campbell made an excellent run down the left flank before crossing the ball into the Olympics’ 18-yard box. Sahil Sandhu was then able to flick the ball into the top corner of the net for what proved to be the winning goal of the match. The entire ICST Pegasus team played extremely well, but special mention should be made of left back Brendan Campbell for his outstanding defensive and attacking work. For the Vancouver Olympics, goalkeeper Amraj Lally deserves special mention for his incredible performance as he kept the scoreline respectable with some excellent saves. Also, defender Carmine Pannozzo and midfielder Carlo Graziano turned in rock-solid performances.

COLUMBUS FC – LANGLEY FC HURRICANES 1-1: The highly-favoured Columbus FC had to settle for a 1-1 tie against the Langley FC underdogs. In fact, the ‘Italians’ could consider themselves somewhat lucky since the Hurricanes created the majority of goalscoring chances, especiallyin the first half. In particular, former Toronto FC player Nick Soolsma drove the Columbus defenders to distraction with his speed and skill. Very early in the match, Soolsma beat 2 Columbus defenders before driving what appeared to be an unstoppable shot towards the net. However, goalkeeper Giordan DiPalma rose to the occasion and pulled off a phenomenal save. As luck would have it, it was Columbus FC that took the early lead when defender Stefano Bortolussi made a great run down the left flank before crossing a dangerous ball into the Langley penalty area. Kazunori Kikuchi then proceeded to head the ball into the net from close range, thus giving his team the early lead. Moments later, Columbus FC almost doubled its lead when Steve DeBlasio sent Kikuchi racing towards the Langley net on a semi-breakaway. However, goalkeeper Pratap Sandhu came up with a brilliant save thus keeping the score at 1-0 in Columbus’ favour. The Hurricanes responded in kind and almost tied things up at the 30th minute mark, once again on a shot by Nick Soolsma, a shot that was once again brilliantly saved by Giordan DiPalma. Late in the first half, Langley FC was finally able to knot the score on a sensational individual effort on the part of Manvir Brar, who raced in on goal from the middle of the park, beat a few Columbus defenders, and calmly deposited the ball into the net, giving DiPalma no chance whatsoever. The second half was almost totally dominated by the Hurricanes as they created numerous goalscoring chances. However, efforts by Harp Khakh and Pavi Dhillon missed the target, while Manvir Brar was denied a glorious goalscoring opportunity by goalkeeper Giordan DiPalma as he pulled off another miraculous save. Very late in the match, Columbus FC almost added insult to Langley’s injury when young Renato Curak picked up a loose ball in the Hurricanes’ penalty area and proceeded to blast the ball over the cross-bar from close range. The entire Langley FC team played remarkably well but special mention should be made of midfielders Manvir Brar and Amar Mander—as well as forwards Nick Soolsma and Harp Khakh—for their superlative efforts. For Columbus FC, forward Kazunori Kikuchi, midfielder Gordon Chin, and goalkeeper Giordan DiPalma played extremely well throughout the contest.

CROATIA SC – SURREY UNITED FIREFIGHTERS 1-1: Two of the top teams in the VMSL’s Premier Division—Croatia SC and Surrey United—settled for a 1-1 draw after a hard-fought and very exciting 90 minutes of non-stop action. Surrey United almost took the early lead at the 10th minute mark when Angus Burke raced in on the Croatian goal on a semi-breakaway. However, goalkeeper Simon Cohen stood tall and was able to thwart Burke’s opportunity with a fine save. Shortly thereafter—at about the 15th minute mark—it was Croatia SC’s turn to almost take the lead when Eddie Tsen’s fine cross was headed just wide of the Surrey United net by David Malmura. Ten minutes later, Malmura once again came close to scoring the opening goal when he was sent on a breakaway by Goran Vitic. On this occasion, Malmura’s excellent, low shot was brilliantly saved by veteran goalkeeper Paul Shepherd. Soon thereafter—at about the 30th minute mark—Surrey United opened the scoring when fullback Andrew Reed and newcomer Dylan Sheehan combined to set up Tommy Lowndes at the edge of the penalty area. Lowndes proceeded to beat a Croatian defender before cleverly curling the ball into the top corner of the net for the game’s opening goal. Croatia SC responded positively and almost tied things up near the end of the first half when young veteran Johnny Sulentic received a splendid pass from Eddie Tsen. However, Sulentic’s final shot bounced off the goalpost and out of danger, with goalkeeper Paul Shepherd well-beaten. Croatia SC continued to press tenaciously during the entire second half in search of the equalizer. However, some excellent goalkeeping on the part of Paul Shepherd—particularly on shots by John Stonehocker and David Malmura—kept the Firefighters in the lead till late in the game. At about the 85th minute mark, Croatia SC was finally able to knot the score when a Johnny Sultentic corner kick found a wide open Dan Davidson at the top of the 18-yard box. Without a moment’s hesitation, Davidson fired an unstoppable, low shot into the bottom corner of the Croatia net for the equalizer. Just before the final whistle, Croatia SC almost scored the winning goal but goalkeeper Paul Shepherd once again rose to the occasion as he denied David Malmura yet another excellent goalscoring opportunity with a fine save. For Croatia SC, centre-back Moh Xiderbagi, as well as central midfielders John Stonehocker and Goran Vitic turned in excellent performances. Needless to say, however, Surrey United’s goalkeeper Paul Shepherd deserves ‘Player of the Match’ honours for his incredible performance as he kept his team in the game with numerous fantastic saves.

RICHMOND FC HIBERNIANS – EDC BURNABY 3-1: The newly-promoted Richmond Hibernians got off to a flying start to the 2014-15 season with a clear-cut 3-1 victory over EDC Burnaby. The heavily-favoured Burnaby team took the early lead—at about the 10th minute mark—when Rizal Ganief converted a well-taken corner kick by Ylya Malek with an unstoppable header. The Hibernians almost equalized a few minutes later when Erik Olsen’s fine cross was headed towards the Burnaby net by Garret Kusch, only to have goalkeeper Hugo Vasquez pull off a fantastic save. Soon thereafter—at the 25th minute mark—Richmond FC knotted the score when Lucas Barrett finished off a brilliant play between Erik Olsen and Garret Kusch with an easy tap-in from close range. The Hibernians then took the lead at the 35th minute mark when Erik Olsen converted a penalty kick in fine fashion. The PK was awarded when Lucas Barrett was fouled by Gustavo Ramirez inside the penalty area. The Chileans responded positively and came very close to equalizing near the end of the first half, but Rizal Ganief’s blistering shot hit the goalpost and sailed out of danger. Early in the second half, EDC Burnaby was reduced to 10 men when Ylya Malek was sent off for having committed a serious foul play infraction. Richmond FC took advantage of the situation and scored what proved to be the insurance marker when Peter Chivers unleashed an unstoppable shot from well outside the penalty area into the far, bottom corner of the EDC net. To make matters even worse, EDC Burnaby’s Vanja Vukovic was sent off at the 65th minute mark for having committed a violent conduct infraction, thus reducing his team to only 9 players. Needless to say, the Hibernians continued to press and came close to adding to their lead on a couple of occasions, but efforts by Erik Olsen and Peter Chivers barely missed the target. To their credit, the Chileans didn’t give up and created a few goalscoring chances of their own, but efforts by Habib Mohammed, Vladimir Vukovic, and Chris Kyd were well-saved by goalkeeper Jason Roberts. The entire Richmond team played quite well during the entire match, but special mention should be made of the midfield quartet, composed of Peter Chivers, Mike Miller, Lucas Barrett, and Erik Olsen, as they controlled the middle of the park with poise, skill, and composure. Despite the loss, EDC’s midfielders Vladimir Vukovic and Ducivan DeSouza played remarkably well, while forwards Rizal Ganief and Habib Mohammed also performed admirably, albeit in a losing cause.

TEAM OF THE WEEK: COQUITTLAM METRO-FORD WOLVES for their incredible 9-2 victory over CCBRT United. Led by the goalscoring prowess of Carlo Basso, Sang Hwang, and Titouan Chopin, the Metro-Ford Wolves recorded the most lop-sided victory in the history of the VMSL’s Premier Division!

PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Surrey United’s veteran goalkeeper Paul Shepherd for his incredible performance in his team’s 1-1 tie against Croatia SC. Time after time, Shepherd denied the vaunted Croatian strikers glorious goalscoring opportunities, thus enabling his team to capture a 1-1 tie. For his amazing performance this past week-end, PAUL SHEPHERD will receive a pizza for two, compliments of THE GOLDEN BOOT CAFFE`. The prize is available up to 2014-09-28.

 

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