BC Provincial Cup first round matches provide weekend of drama

BC Provincial Cup first round matches provide weekend of drama

The first round matches of the 2013 BC Provincial Cup are now in the history books.

The 32 matches, across the four men’s competitions, produced goals galore, with many of the games being settled in extra time and some on penalties.

This year’s competitions kicked off on Friday night with goals, upsets and some farcical scenes, and the action continued apace all weekend.

The ‘A’ Cup quarter finals may continue to have representation from all four competing Leagues, and with the Whitecaps away from home this coming weekend, there are some great matches for you to get out and see, and they’re all going to be on the mainland!

The VMSL will have the most clubs in the last eight with four, whilst the VISL have two, the FVSL one or two, and depending on whether Vancouver Thunderbirds can win their replayed game against Westcoast Selects, the PCSL could also have one.

BC Soccer has ruled that that Friday night’s abandoned game needs to be replayed in full, with Vancouver Thunderbirds now becoming the home team and the BCSA picking up the additional costs.

Match of the day on Saturday came at Memorial South turf, where VMSL Champions Columbus FC and Abbotsford Magnuson Ford United of the FVSL produced a seven goal thriller.

Columbus seemed to be coasting when they went in at the half 2-0 up, but Abby fought back well to level the game, only to see all their hard work undone and fall two goals behind again. They managed to pull one more back before the final whistle but couldn’t get another breakthrough to force extra time and Columbus ran out 4-3 winners.

They are joined in the quarter finals by fellow VMSLers West Van FC, who beat Imperial Cup winners Delta United Hurricanes 3-2 after extra time. Delta led 1-0 at the half after capitalising on a bad giveaway. West Van pulled it level in the second only to fall behind again two minutes later. Delta were reduced to ten men in the second half when Gagan Josan was sent off and West Van capitalised with a second equaliser with around ten minutes to go. West Van went down to ten themselves in the second period of extra time for a second booking, before grabbing the winner with around eight minutes remaining.

Fraser Valley’s Langley FC beat Lakehill Reds from the island 1-0. It was still a decent result for the Reds, who are a young side (all under 21 I’m led to believe), and won promotion to the VISL Division 1 this season, as well as making the final of the Sir John Jackson Cup.

It was better news for the VISL’s Cowichan FC, who beat Port Moody Gunners 1-0 after extra time, in an action packed game. Cowichan had the better of the chances in regulation time, missing an open goal in the first half and crashing a shot off the bar in the second. The game really came alive in extra time with Cowichan having a shot cleared off the line before Port Moody had a goal controversially chalked off for offside. The fall out dissent from the decision saw the Gunners reduced to ten men with a straight red and Cowichan took advantage with four minutes of the half remaining, following a goalmouth scramble. It was to be the only goal of the game and Port Moody completely lost their composure and finished the game with nine men and some more yellows.

The ‘A’ Cup was rounded off on Sunday with two games on the island and there were mixed results for the home teams.

VISL Division 1 runners up Bays United saw off the challenge of Metro-Ford Wolves 2-0, thanks to first half goals from Jordie Hughes in the 5th minute and Greg Fiddick in the 26th.

The win sets up a quarter final clash with West Van, in a repeat of last year’s entertaining first round match up, which we took in.

The final A Cup tie of the weekend saw defending champions, Surrey United Firefighters, get a hard fought 1-0 win over VISL Champs Saanich Fusion. The winning goal came on the hour mark and Surrey did well to fight off a late Fusion charge, with the Surrey keeper Paul Shepherd making some great late saves.

The results mean that next weekend’s ‘A’ Cup quarter final draw shapes up as follows, with four excellent looking matches in store:

Langley FC v Cowichan
West Van FC v Bays United
Columbus FC v Vancouver Thunderbirds or Westcoast Selects
Surrey United Firefighters v Estrella de Chile

The Keith Miller ‘B’ Cup also produced some great weekend action and AFTN was at two of the games. We’d planned to be at three but late kick-offs and penalties prevented that!

It was a prevention weekend, as the ridiculously early kick off time of the Whitecaps game stopped us from seeing the match we wanted to on Saturday, the all Richmond clash between the All Blacks and the Athletics. The All Blacks ran out easy 3-0 winners in the end and joined another of Saturday’s winners, Ajyal Tigers, in the quarter finals, after the VMSL side beat Westcoast FC Celtic by the same scoreline.

There was a surprise on the island, where VISL Division 3A champs, Prospect Lake Lakers, beat VMSL side Meraloma 2-1 after extra time.

With five games on Sunday, Steve and I were able to take in one of the afternoon games after the Caps reserve game with RSL, with Steve also making the evening kick off in Surrey.

Andy Livingstone Park was the venue as two VMSL sides battled it out for a place in the next round, with Rino’s Fury at home to Division 2A winners Sarajevo FC. The Fury made the Provincials following a playoff win over Dasmesh FC Tigers after Division 2C winners Gastown were disqualified from the competition following a mix up with registration forms.

The match was eventually settled on penalties, which looked the most unlikeliest of scenarios after Sarajevo had dominated the first half and went in with a two goal lead.

The visitors were first to threaten when Elvis Besic headed a corner across goal in the 9th minute and G Wiggins shot into the side netting.

The corner had been set up by a great run through on goal by Sarajevo’s Aldo Kukiljicic, who ran on to a through ball and rounded the keeper before his cross was put behind. That was to be an indication of what was to lie in store for the rest of the afternoon, with Kukiljicic giving the Rino’s defence a torrid time and was our ‘Man of the Match’.

Sarajevo took the lead four minutes later, when a free kick into the box found it’s way to Brandon O’Neill at the near post and he drilled his low shot across the goal and into the net from a tight angle.

Kukiljicic was played in again in the 18th minute, racing through on goal and Rino’s keeper Nathan Verbeek did well to tip his shot over.

The Fury’s first real attack came three minutes later when Vincent Martin blasted wildly over from ten yards out after a bad giveaway in the box.

Sarajevo continued to control the game and Besic hit a long range drive just over, before Kukiljicic made it two when he was played in again with another one on one with the keeper, this time chipping him as he ran out to narrow the angle.

With the way the game was going a comeback wasn’t looking likely but the Rino’s halftime team talk worked wonders and they came out like a different team in the second half and staged a fantastic fightback.

It only took them a couple of minutes of the restart to pull a goal back when Cory Matheson had the easy finish from a ball across the face of the goal.

And it was almost deja vu just before the hour mark when Matheson levelled for the Rino’s with a similar finish from a cross that had the Sarajevo defence all at sea.

Sarajevo turned up the pressure again and Kukiljicic was getting through Rino’s defence time and time again. He had three chances to restore the visitors lead within a matter of minutes, first shooting wide, then seeing the keeper make a good stop and lastly having a vital last ditch foot nudge the ball back to the keeper when he looked poised to shoot.

The Fury had a lucky escape when Verbeek allowed a Besic shot to squirm through his hands and somehow it ended up over the bar and not in the back of the net.

The Fury’s Shawn Wilhelm and Sarajevo’s Edis Besic had a coming together which saw them both picking up a booking, with around ten minutes of the game remaining.

Sarajevo looked to have snatched victory when Kukiljicic finally got his second goal of the game in the 85th minute. Once again he was played in and this time made no mistake as he coolly slotted home past Verbeek to give the visitors a 3-2 lead.

The Fury kept pushing till the end and with the game deep in stoppage time, they won a corner on the left. As the ball was played in, Ryan Arceneaux rose unchallenged above the Sarajevo defence to crash a header off the underside of the bar for an equaliser to take the game into extra time.

As Rino’s ran back celebrating, Wilhelm and Besic came together again and the referee issued straight reds to both, sparking a mini brawl in the middle of the park.

Rino’s looked the better team in extra time, with Sarajevo looking tired and seemingly happy to take the game to penalties.

Yuda Shih and Emmanuel Orech came close to giving Rino’s their first lead of the game in the first period of extra time, before Sarajevo came closest of all to winning the tie when a long free kick deep in the Rino’s box was missed by everyone and crashed off the left hand post.

The game went to penalties and in an unusual move, Sarajevo keeper Alan Ramic stepped up to take the first kick and blasted over. He soon made amends by saving Alessandro Pace’s penalty and keeping things level.

Amar Talic scored for Sarajevo, with Travis Sanders replying for Rino’s. Elvis Besic and Haris Ramic scored their penalties for the visitors and with Vincent Martin having his penalty saved and Cory Matheson blasting over for the Fury, Sarajevo advance to the next round for a tasty clash with VMSL Division 2B winner Ajyal Tigers.

You can see some highlights from the match including two of Rino’s goals, the sending offs and the full penalty shoot-out in the video below.

The opening weekend of the Provincial Cup wrapped up with last year’s defeated ‘B’ Cup finalists Surrey FC Coyotes of the FVSL beating RSSL side FC DSBH Kelevra 4-0 at the Newton Athletic Park. The home side got a brace from Gary Atwal, along with goals from Neil Chand and Navlesh Mudliar.

It took only 15 minutes for the Coyotes to strike first as captain Terry Oujla laid off the ball for Chand who fired the ball into the bottom corner. There was no let up after the goal as Surrey continued to buzz around the box but were unable to get their shots on target.

There were a couple of chances for Kelevra that were stopped by Chris Singh to keep the Coyotes in the lead, including a flick in the box by Reese Dawes that was smothered by the keeper on the line. In first half stoppage time Chand had a chance to get his second but his shot from distance was handled by Ashvir Paul to keep it a one game at the half.

After the break the Coyotes struck quickly again as they worked the ball on the left side getting it to Mudliar who took a touch before blasting it over Paul to double their lead. The Richmond side had a chance to get back within one when Mikael Fontaine was able to chip a charging Singh but the ball was sent wide.

However Surrey FC continued to press and were able to finish with a couple from Atwal with the first being set up after Leroy Kusina did most of the work in the lead up. Moments later Oujla stole the ball and set up Atwal for another as the Coyotes completed the victory and now prepare to face the Richmond All Blacks in the next round of the Provincial B Cup as they look to head back to the final in May.

In Sunday’s other ‘B’ Cup games, the VISL’s Comox Valley United saw off the visiting South Burnaby Fighting Irish 2-0, whilst fellow BMSA side Burnaby Hotspurs went down at home to Port Moody FC Blues of the FVSL on penalties, after finished 1-1. They were joined in the quarter finals by fellow FVSLers Langley FC Dynamo, who put out Campbell River.

The weekend’s results now sets up the following quarter final draw:

Comox Valley United v Port Moody SC Blues
Surrey FC Coyotes v Richmond All Blacks
Prospect Lake Lakers v Langley FC Dynamo
Ajyal Tigers v Sarajevo FC

We haven’t really had the time to bring you coverage of the Masters or U21 Cups this week, but we hope to include them a bit more for next week’s quarter finals, so apologies for that. You can find the full results for these game on BC Soccer’s website.

As always, try and get out to see some of the action if you can. This week was good, but next weekend could be even better.

[For news and banter on this year’s Provincial Cups, head over to the Take The Piss forums]
Authored by: Michael McColl

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