Pacific FC won season home opener at Starlight Stadium

Pacific FC won: Abdoulaye Samake and Callum Irving celebrates goal at Starlight Stadium
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LANGFORD, BC – Pacific FC won the rematch of the 2021 CPL Final. Pacific FC, the defending North Star Shield champions, face Forge FC, the most successful team in the Canadian Premier League. Hamilton struggled early on in this game. They also had trouble stringing passes together, which helped the team from Langford to win the game.

Pacific FC won its season home opener at Starlight Stadium

Three keys to the game

First Half

Pacific was able to break Hamilton’s defences early in the game. An example would be Josh Heard’s pass to Alejandro Díaz Liceága, who put the ball into the back of the net.

Manny Aparicio committed a foul in the eighth minute. Diaz got a great pass from Manny Aparicio, but his shot was saved by Forge FC’s Chris Kalongo. Kyle Bekker’s shot in the 20-minute missed the target.

Alessandro Hojabrpour’s shot in the 38-minute missed the target. Forge FC defended the ball well in the 43-minute of play. Number 20 of Forge FC tackled Kunla Dada-Luke of Pacific FC, which almost led to a penalty. Marco Bustos shot was spectacularly saved by Kalongo.

Second Half

Kyle Bekker’s shot was off-target in the 50-minute. Forge FC had trouble connecting passes at Starlight Stadium. Amer Đidić made a great defensive play in the 52-minute. Another great defensive play was made by Langford in the 53-minute of play.

Đidić scored what ended up being the game-winning goal. Bustos played a big part in the goal as his cross was perfect.

Number 20 from Pacific FC made a key defensive clearance to prevent a goal from Hamilton. Pacific almost scored straight after Forge’s chance. Jonathan Grant just crossed the ball out of bounds for Hamilton. Bustos was taken down in the 79-minute, it looked like a foul. Forge was able to get an interception in the 86-minute.

Alexander Achinioti-Jönsson did get the consolation goal thanks to a Kyle Bekker cross. However, it was too little, too late as Forge only had two shots on goal at Starlight Stadium.

Pacific FC won the 2022 season home opener

Pacific FC was the better team. They dominated most of the game and it felt like they had the majority of the scoring chances. Also, Pacific’s goalkeeper Callum Irving was not really tested in the match against Forge.

Also, Đidić was able to score his first goal for Pacific after spending three years at FC Edmonton.

This game concludes the opening set of games for each CPL team. The game between Langford and Hamilton was probably the most high-profile one as both teams were in the 2021 Canadian Premier League Final.

This was the first of three straight games for Pacific FC. They will now host Valour FC on Sunday, April 17 at 4:00 p.m. ET and the HFX Wanderers on Saturday, April. 23 at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Forge FC will also be heading home on Saturday, April 16 at 4:00 p.m. ET. They will then also host FC Edmonton on Saturday, April. 23 at 4:00 p.m. ET. Lastly, all the games will be shown live on OneSoccer and Telus.

Three Takeaways from Pacific FC’s win:

Forge FC has traditionally not played well in the season opener. As dominant as the two-time North Star Shield Champions have been, they have struggled in opening games. They also did not get that many scoring opportunities, and only had two shots on goal.

Starlight Stadium will host two big games in two days. One of them was the season home opener against Forge FC. The next one will take place at 10:30 p.m. ET between the CanWNT and Nigeria. The CanWNT game will be a Celebration Tour game celebrating Canada winning the Gold Medal game. The other Celebration Tour game this month was played last Friday at BC Place.

James Merriman gets his first win as Pacific FC head coach. Merriman, the newly appointed head coach for Pacific, got his first win as head coach. It was also well-deserved as the team from Greater Victoria was the better team at the end of the day.

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