Pacific FC broke down FC Edmonton Saturday, winning 2-1 at home to stretch their lead at the top of the Canadian Premier League to eight points.
It didn’t come easy for the Langford-based team to create chances as head coach James Merriman had tried out a new formation but goals from Alejandro Diaz and Josh Heard saw Pacific cement their 100 per cent home winning record so far this season.
Marco Bustos was the most dangerous player throughout the game, nearly dancing his way to a goal after five minutes. But Edmonton’s keeper Darlington Murasiranwa saved Bustos’ low shot after he had beaten two or three defenders with tidy footwork. The home crowd, however, didn’t need to wait much longer for the breakthrough.
Bustos broke free of his defender on the right and slipped a through ball to Josh Heard, who squeezed the ball across the box to Diaz. Murasiranwa dove at Diaz’s feet, but Diaz reached the ensuing loose ball first, poking it home for his fifth goal of the season.
PFC held onto the 1-0 lead for the rest of the first half, but didn’t look like extending it. It remained 1-0 until 61 minutes were on the clock, when PFC broke through the middle of the field with Bustos playing a smart ball to Manny Aparicio who broke forward from midfield. Aparicio then squared the ball to Heard, who had the simplest of tap-ins to make it two-nil.
Pacific looked to be comfortable but had a scare late on when poor defending from a corner saw captain Jamar Dixon inadvertently head the ball into the path of Wesley Timoteo, who tapped it into the open net on 73 minutes to make the score 2-1.
Ultimately the home team held on to win the game and find themselves eight points clear at the top of the CPL table with York United in second and two games in hand. PFC will be facing York in back-to-back games at Starlight Stadium on May 20 and 24, the first being in the CPL and the second being knock-out action as the Canadian Championship gets started.