Action in the four Men’s BC Soccer Provincial Cups finally got underway this past weekend and there were a few surprise results in the first round of matches across all the competitions.
Two of the biggest shocks came in the A Cup, with defending Champions Pegasus FC crashing out at the first hurdle, going down to 1-0 loss at home on Friday night to fellow VMSL side Club Inter. Liam Miller got the game winning goal in the 12th minute.
Inter will now host Port Moody Lordco Gunners, who comfortably saw off fellow FVSL side PMO Rangers 4-0 on Saturday afternoon.
And the bottom half of the draw was blown completely wide open on Saturday afternoon with the other seeded team in that side, VISL Champions Cowichan FC, losing at home to FVSL runners-up Langley United.
Langley will now face VMSL side Rovers Tigers United in the quarter-finals, after they beat the in-form Croatia SC 2-0 in their first round match up.
In the other half of the draw, the two seeded teams march on.
FVSL Champions Aldergrove United beat Islanders Bays United 4-1 on Saturday thanks to goals from Josh Brown, Brett Wiens, Mitch Kuemper, and Ko Ota. That victory set up a quarter-final showdown at home to the last remaining VISL side left in the competition, Vic West FC. The Victoria side beat another FVSL team in the first round, comfortably getting past Abbotsford United 3-0.
We could be on course for a tasty FVSL v VMSL Champions v Champions semi-final match up, with Coquitlam Metro-Ford Wolves moving onto the last eight with a 2-0 win over VMSL runners-up West Van on Friday night.
But quarter-final opponents Westside FC will feel they have something to say about that. The Westies got past VISL side Nanaimo United 4-2 in a cracking game on Saturday afternoon. Canucks4Ever was at the game and here’s his report:
Westside looked the better side from kickoff, controlling the early tempo and dictating play. The field was tilted in the opening minutes and a nice overlapping run left the Nanaimo defender in two minds about who to track. This opened up space for the Westside winger to cut in on his right foot at the top of the box and slot one low into the bottom corner giving Westside the opener inside ten minutes.
The Vancouver boys continued to dictate proceedings and it seemed like simply a matter of when, not if, their next tally was coming. They had pressure and forced a few saves from the Nanaimo keeper, but nothing gilt edged save one shot that was parried into the path of an attacker, but he squibbed his effort woefully wide.
The Islanders hit with the sucker punch off a lovely counterattack minutes before halftime. The winger burned the fullback and centre back down the left side. The other centre back was over on the cover but this left the far side fullback one on three in the box. The cross was cut back nicely and the Westside keeper made a great reflex save on the first Nanaimo attacker, but the rebound sat perfectly for the next one in line to hammer in to level the score and spark the visitors into life.
On the other side of the interval Westside continued to look comfortable, but an early free kick for Nanaimo found a man unmarked, running in from the top of the box at the back post. He headed powerfully across the goal into the far side netting to send the visitors into ecstasy.
The Westsiders were persistent and proceeded to create an absolute hat-full of chances, but were unable to force the ball over the line. They brought on fresh legs and the chances mounted. Crosses barely missed at the back post that needed only a touch, balls were turned just around the wrong side of the post and there was one breakaway for a lad off the bench that the Nanaimo keeper managed a tremendous save on, as he clipped it with his trailing leg after the attacker went five hole. Most bizarre was a chance that was squandered when the Nanaimo keeper was unable to hold on to a long effort on target and the ball dropped invitingly for no less than three Westside players. Somehow they manage to all get in each other’s way and the ball ended up being nodded timidly into the keepers thankful hands.
The home side then saw their centre back and captain limp off to injury and you just wondered if it wasn’t to be their day. With ten minutes to play they earned a free kick from the middle of the pitch that was lobbed into the mixer. The stand-in centre back got underneath it and managed to redirect it with the back of his head past the outstretched arms of the Nanaimo keeper. It was a bit of an ugly one, but the Westside boys certainly couldn’t be bothered.
Extra time seemed likely, but the locals smelled blood and went after a winner. They found it within five minutes when their winger got around the opposing fullback to the end line before cutting it back to a pair of attackers lurking in the box. The Westside man was decisive, nipping in front of his calling teammate and making no mistake in slotting it past the keeper, much to the delight of the smattering of home fans.
The locals would make it safe in the dying minutes when they caught Nanaimo out, obviously trying for a desperate, dramatic, late equalizer. It was a calm finish on the turn from inside the box to round out the scoring in this one. Overall, Westside likely justified the scoreline, but Nanaimo gave a great account of themselves and easily could have emerged victorious.
The first round proper of the Keith Miller B Cup gets underway this weekend, with the seeded teams entering the competition for the first time.
Richmond side West Coast FC were the big preliminary round winners this past weekend thumping FVSL side Langley Utd Sparta 7-2. There was better news for Langley Utd Dynamo, however, who won 2-1 on the island against Gorge United. Fraser Valley Red Devils join them in the first round after a narrow 1-0 win at home to Richmond side Jugadores CF.
Four VMSL Division 2 sides made it through the first round. 13th Legion won 2-0 at BMSA side Burnaby Gunners, Vancouver Greencaps made easy work of it on the island, beating the fantastically named Gorge-Us Guys 5-1, Division 2B champs Burnaby Selects White Eagles won a barnstormer 4-3 at home to VISL Division 3A champs Juan de Fuca, and FC Serbia won a barnstormer of their own, seeing off former champs and RASA Cup winners Richmond All Black by the same scoreline.
Late additions Sarajevo FC were the only VMSL side to crash out of the Cup at the first hurdle, losing a close one 3-2 to BMSA team Bacardi FC.
The Deryl Hughes Masters Cup saw first round wins for VMSL teams ICSF Columbus, West Van, Westside, and PCOV. VISL side Cowichan 49ers and FVSL teams Delta United, South Surrey, and Port Moody Rangers were the other first round winners.
In the Doug Day U21 Cup, VMSL teams Pacific United and West Van, along with FVSL side Westcoast FC Juventus and VISLers Gorge FC, all moved into the quarter-finals to face the seeded teams.
This weekend’s A Cup quarter final games will be played on Friday night and Saturday afternoon. You can find all of the venues and kick off times (for all four Cups) HERE.