The Vancouver Metro Soccer League (VMSL) got back on the pitch this past weekend after a couple of weeks off for the Christmas period and the heavy snowfall that hit the lower mainland recently.
The break didn’t derail BB5 United CCB’s seemingly inevitable march to the title, however, as the battle for Provincial Cup places and to avoid the drop is really starting to heat up down the stretch.
The league leaders were in action on Saturday afternoon at Fen Burdett Stadium in North Vancouver and they were made to work hard for their three points, only wrapping up a 2-0 victory over NVFC Norvan in the last minute. It was their two leading scorers that did the damage, with Nic Morello giving BB5 a 27th minute lead with his 13th of the season before Caleb Clarke finally secured the points from the spot in the last minute with his 12th goal of the campaign.
The win kept BB5’s unbeaten record intact and they maintain their two point lead over second placed Rino’s VSC Coastal at the top, while also having two games in hand.
Coastal were also in action on Saturday afternoon, coming from behind in dramatic fashion to see off West Van FC 2-1 at South Surrey Athletic Park. Aidan Izadi had given the Amblesiders a 7th minute lead and that was how the game stayed until 10 minutes from time when Sean Northcote brought the home side level. Less than a minute later Coastal were ahead through a Taylor Richardson goal and they held on to take all three points.
Coquitlam Metro Ford Wolves are third after falling to a 3-0 home defeat to Inter EDC. Massud Habibullah hit a brace for Inter, with Alex Marrello also on the scoresheet for the visitors.
VUFC Hibernian are in 4th after a storming comeback at home to Croatia SC on Friday night at Thunderbird Stadium. An Ivan Salov double in a three minute spell had the visitors two up and coasting by halftime, but Hibernian hit back with three unanswered second half goals to come away with the 3-2 victory.
With their UBC Thunderbirds lads out in full force, Nick Fussell pulled one back for VUFC in the 55th minute. Nicholas Momotani tied things up in the 68th before Christopher Lee hit what proved to be the winner with 12 minutes to go.
At the other end of the table, four teams have been cut adrift and are in a battle to avoid either straight relegation or a relegation playoff that only one will be able to avoid.
Things are looking dire right now for NVFC Norvan and MAFC Elite, who are sitting in the two automatic relegation spots.
MAFC are still rock bottom on just six points and they fell to a heavy 6-1 shellacking by BCT Rovers Hurricanes at Burnaby Lake on Sunday evening. Five of the seven goals came in the first half of this one, with Brady Weir opening the scoring for the Hurricanes in the first minute.
MAFC tied things up through a Tipo Conteh goal in the 34th minute, but their joy proved to be very short lived as Hurricanes retook the lead straight from the restart through Weir again. Nick Soolsma grabbed his first of the evening in the 43rd minute before Cam Hundal added a fourth on the stroke of half time.
The second half was more subdued, but Soolsma grabbed goals in the 48th and 68th minutes to complete his hat-trick, the victory, and take his Golden Boot leading tally for the season to 21.
The weekend’s final match saw SFC Pegasus make things very interesting in the battle to avoid the relegation playoff with a 3-1 home win over their closest rivals Burnaby Selects White Eagles at Newton on Friday night.
Kerman Pannu gave the Horsemen a 13th minute lead from the spot and Gurmaan Jhaj doubled the home side’s lead in the 24th. Mladen Ljumovic pulled one back for the White Eagles five minutes before the break but Pannu hit his second of the game 15 minutes from time to secure three huge points for Pegasus, moving them to within a point of the Burnaby side.
So after all of that action, here’s how the VMSL Premier standings look:
Here’s what’s on the slate over this weekend in the VMSL Premier:
Friday January 21st:
West Van FC v SFC Pegasus (7.30pm – Ambleside, West Vancouver)
Inter EDC v Rinos VSC Coastal (8.10pm – Burnaby Lake 3)
BCT Rovers Hurricanes v Coquitlam Metro Ford Wolves (Newton Athletic Park 4, Surrey)
BB5 United CCB v MAFC Elite (9.15pm – Newton Stadium, Surrey)
Sunday January 23rd:
Croatia SC v NVFC Norvan (3.10pm – Burnaby Lake 2)
Burnaby Selects White Eagles v VUFC Hibernian (6.00pm – Burnaby Lake 4)
The VMSL cameras were out in Division 1 on Saturday evening to capture Port Moody’s 3-0 win over the then Pool B leaders Westside FC. Jacob Low and Nate Trampleasure gave the home side a 2-0 lead by half time, with Samuel Lee putting the cherry on top in the final minute. Westside’s Armin Khadem Fini was sent off in the 76th minute.
You can see Sport Revolution’s highlights of the match below:
You can find all of the results, standings, and fixtures across all the divisions at VMSLsoccer.com.