The battle for BC university soccer bragging rights moved to Thunderbird Stadium on Friday night and it was the host UBC Thunderbirds that once again put in a dominant display to see off the SFU Clan 3-0.
A goal in each half for Vancouver Whitecaps’ PDL player Niall Cousens and a third from Sean Einarsson gave the back to back CIS Champions the win over their cross city NCAA rivals and followed up on their 3-0 victory over SFU at the end of August.
UBC head coach Mike Mosher was naturally delighted by the evening’s events and for his team.
“I’m really proud of the lads today” Mosher told AFTN after the game.
“We haven’t played a lot of games since November and missing some pretty significant pieces. To be honest I was a bit concerned missing Paul Clerc and Harry Lakhan, two pretty key pieces in our squad, especially Paul at the back. But the guys rallied and they put in a really strong effort again, so I’m proud of them.”
UBC looked the stronger team from the off but the opening minutes saw both teams trying to find their feet and sound out the opposition, with both sides missing some key starters.
UBC came close to taking the lead a couple of times in the 17th minute. First Whitecaps Residency alumni Navid Mashinchi fired narrowly over, then seconds later the midfielder broke up the left wing, cut into the box and forced a save from Clan keeper Brandon Watson.
Mashinchi played the ball across goal to Niall Cousens and the big striker’s shot was blocked with the rebound falling once again to Mashinchi, who buried it high into the net from a tight angle but the farside linesman put his flag up for offside.
The Thunderbirds eventually got their breakthrough in the 38th minute.
Milad Mehrabi sent a corner from the left deep in the box for defender Bryan Fong to head across the goal and Cousens had the easy job of heading home from close range between two Clan defenders.
SFU were offering very little in attack and UBC went in at the break looking very comfortable.
The Thunderbirds continued their dominance in the second half, with the Clan enjoying a little bit more possession than they had before but unable to create any chances with it against a strong home defence.
UBC had to wait until the 71st minute to double their lead.
As Navid Mashinchi sent in a corner from the right, Cousens was bundled over in the six yard box by Carlo Basso and the referee pointed to the spot. Cousens picked himself up and easily drilled the penalty home past Watson.
The result was never in doubt but the Thunderbirds made sure and added a third seven minutes later when Sean Einarsson rose well above the pack to flick home a Mashinchi free kick.
It was a dominant display from UBC and gave the Thunderbirds an aggregate 6-0 win over SFU in the season’s two friendlies, lifting the Soccer Express Adidas Challenge Cup in the process.
You can see video of UBC’s second and third goals below and watch out for our interview with UBC head coach Mike Mosher in the next AFTN podcast (Episode 48).