Just three days removed from their loss to Atlético Ottawa, table-topping Cavalry FC fell again on Sunday as Pacific FC soared to a 2-1 victory in PEI.
The win moved Pacific all the way from sixth place up to third, as they continue to stake their claim for a top-four spot at The Island Games. Cavalry remained in first place, although they’ll have to wait a little longer to clinch their spot in the next round.
Pa-Modou Kah’s Pacific side came out firing in this one, earning six shots in the first half as they climbed to an early 2-0 lead. Marco Bustos put the Vancouver Island club on the board first in the 22nd minute, as Jamar Dixon picked the ball off a Cavs defender and Bustos finished the chance with a strong left-footed shot.
Just a few minutes later, Robert Boskovic appeared to have equalized for Cavalry, but his well-taken header was ruled to be offside. Almost immediately after, it was Pacific going back up the other way, as a Victor Blasco cross found Alejandro Díaz in the six-yard box and the Mexican made it 2-0.
Not able to capitalize on a third golden chance (Sean Young hit the crossbar from inside the six-yard box), Pacific went into halftime up two goal against the first-place Cavalry.
Tommy Wheeldon Jr.’s team pressed to get back into things in the second half, controlling much more of the ball in the 20 minutes after the interval. They earned a golden opportunity in the 55th minute, as a tackle right at the edge of the box was ruled to be inside, giving the Cavs a penalty.
Nathan Mavila made no mistake from the spot, making it 2-1 and giving Cavalry life, but ultimately it wasn’t enough.
This marked the first time that Cavalry FC lost back-to-back regular season games in club history.
Cavalry FC: Short memory – The Cavs were plagued by the same problems that doomed them against Atlético Ottawa. They went down 1-0, and conceded again very shortly after, then struggled to really get their attack moving from there on out. A few mental lapses at the back were enough to put them in an early hole that proved tough to climb out of by the end of 90 minutes.
Clinical finishing – Well, they scored their penalty. Ultimately, Cavalry’s finishing ability didn’t factor into it too much, as they struggled to create clear-cut chances. A few moments tested Pacific ‘keeper Callum Irving, but it was the buildup that was more of an issue than finishing.
Pacific FC: Defensive discipline – Pacific’s back four was well-organized and in sync most of the afternoon; they conceded a penalty, which allowed Cavalry back into the game, but they were generally solid with tackles and cutting off passing lanes into the 18-yard box.
Decisive on the counter – The Tridents actually saw more of the ball than they might’ve expected, although they did have to sit back a little in the second half with the Cavs pressing forward. Pacific managed to create chances with pace and quality passing up front, and they often did well to punish their opponents for mistakes with at least an attacking chance.
20′ – Yellow: Marcus Haber (Cavalry FC)
55′ – Yellow: Jordan Haynes (Pacific FC)
72′ – Yellow: Robert Boskovic (Cavalry FC)
90+5′ – Yellow: Mohamed Farsi (Cavalry FC)
Marco Bustos (Pacific FC)
Possibly his best game in a Pacific kit yet. Bustos’ goal was brilliantly taken, with four clean touches from his left foot, and he made three key passes to further create opportunities. He looked to create something every time he got the ball in the attacking third — which was often.