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Vancouver Island’s Pacific FC fails to make return trip to national soccer final

Pacific FC lost their CPL semi-final against Atletico Ottawa 3-1 on aggregate
Nathan Mavila of Pacific FC and the rest of his teammates, here seen at Starlight Stadium Oct. 15, drew 1-1 against Atletico Ottawa, to fall short in their bid to repeat as Canadian Premier League champions. (Simon Fearn/Black Press Media)

Langford-based Pacific FC has failed to defend its Canadian Premier League title.

Thomas Meilleur-Giguere scored in the 28th minute off a corner kick to get PFC within one goal of tying the aggregate score of their two-legged semi-final against Atletico Ottawa Sunday (Oct. 23). Ottawa won the opening leg two goals-to-nil at Langford’s Starlight Stadium on Oct. 15, leaving PFC in a deep hole.

But the visitors from Greater Victoria were not fazed heading into Sunday’s match and Meilleur-Giguere’s opening goal gave PFC exactly what they needed — a relatively early away goal. The visitors maintained the pressure throughout the rest of the game as they out-shot and out-possessed the hosts. Their goaltender Nathan Ingham had to make several spectacular saves before and after the opening goal to keep his side in the game and the aggregate score level.

RELATED: Pacific FC’s quest to repeat as Canadian Premier League champions in peril after 2-0 loss to Ottawa

But time favoured the hosts, who gained more and more space for counterattacks as Pacific pushed for a second goal, and Ottawa’s tying goal came off a counterattack as Malcolm Shaw screamed the ball past PFC’s Callum Irving with seven minutes left.

Shaw’s goal gave Ottawa a 3-1 lead on aggregate and enough of a margin to comfortably see out the game and the semi-final itself in their favour.

Sunday’s victory means that Ottawa will host the final of the Canadian Premier League scheduled for Oct. 29 against either Forge FC based in Hamilton or Calgary FC.

Ottawa had finished dead last in the 2021 season in failing to qualify for the playoffs, which eventually concluded with Pacific’s title.

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Wolf Depner

About the Author: Wolf Depner

I joined the national team with Black Press Media in 2023 from the Peninsula News Review, where I had reported on Vancouver Island's Saanich Peninsula since 2019.
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