FC Edmonton put forth a team effort against Pacific FC

PHOTO: Jeff Paulus is leading FC Edmonton ahead of their first season in the Canadian Premier League. Paulus talked exclusively to Last Word on Soccer about the upcoming season. Photo courtesy of FC Edmonton.

Langford, British Colombia (June 23, 2019) — Coming into this match, Edmonton FC had not scored a goal in league play since their opening match against Valour FC on May 4.  Sunday afternoon in British Columbia, FC Edmonton put forth a team effort at Pacific FC with three goals to win their second match of the season.

Team effort leads to win

All three goals scored by the Eddies came from different players. Meanwhile, each goal was truly a team effort.

Captain and striker, Tomi Ameobi, opened up the scoring in the 32nd minute. Eddies midfielder Ramon Soria put a high direct ball into the box, where Ameobi was able to find the back of the net. Ameobi was able to score while fighting off strong efforts from Pacific FC defender Emile Legault. Legault wrapped himself around Ameobi, and the striker managed to direct the ball in the net while being taken down.

Six minutes later, Oumar Diouck put the ball past challenging goalkeeper Mark Village.  Village came running out to get the ball after Soria put another ball from midfield towards the goal. Diouck reached the ball before Village and scored the Eddies’ second goal.

Ramon Soria played extremely well in the midfield Sunday afternoon, earning two assists.

Rookie Bruno Zebie brings a strong showing

Another key contributor to the success of the match was rookie Bruno Zebie. Prior to both of the first half FC Edmonton goals, Zebie managed to cause turnovers in the Pacific FC zone. This allowed the Eddies to maintain possession of the ball to set up the goals

Zebie’s first-half contribution was not his last. Later in the second-half, Zebie picked up a cross from Son Yongchan. Zebie was charging down the left side of the field, caught the pass from Son and scored Edmonton’s third goal. Team captain Ameobi had started the play by passing the ball up to Son at midfield.

Head coach Jeff Paulus has shown real confidence in the younger Zebie. This was Bruno Zebie’s eighth appearance this season. Meanwhile, Zebie has started six of those eight appearances.

Blasco capitalizes after two posts

Pacific FC midfielder Victor Blasco scored his team’s only goal. In the opening half, Blasco had beaten Eddie goalkeeper Connor James twice. However, both times Blasco’s shot hit the woodwork. Near the end of the second-half, Blasco finally put one in with a long strike on the run. Blasco had been left all alone in midfield when he picked up the ball and charged down the field to take away James’ potential clean sheet.

Previous match against Pacific FC

These two teams had not played since the Eddies’ home opener on May 12. Back then, Philippe Lincourt-Joseph received a red card late in the second half. That booking caused the Eddies to play a man down for the rest of the match. The Eddies drew 0-0, despite being a man down.

Sunday’s meeting in Langford was FC Edmonton’s eighth match of the Spring Season. This leaves two more to be played before the conclusion on July 1.

Eddies leapfrog Pacific FC

Coming into this match, the Eddies were bottom of the table with five points — three points behind York 9 FC, Pacific FC and HFX Wanderers. Meanwhile, all three of those teams had eight points.

Pacific FC came into this match fifth in the standings based on goal differential of negative four goals. Plus, they were fresh off a 2-1 win against Valour FC on Thursday. Edmonton’s differential coming into this match was negative six goals.

With the two-goal difference in their win over Pacific, FC Edmonton now sits in fifth place. Meanwhile, Pacific FC falls to sixth.

Fight for points for aggregate of the Seasons

Even though both teams are well back of that coveted first place, total points in both the Spring and the Fall Seasons are important. The first place team from each of the Spring and Fall playoff against each other for the Canadian Premier League Championship.

Should the same team win both seasons, the team with the highest number of points throughout both seasons will become the second team to make it into the CPL Championship.

The Last Word

The Eddies are in the unfortunate position of both being out of the running to win both the Spring Season and the Canadian Championship. The team had a real challenge at both scoring goals and playing a full 90 minutes.

Paulus has talked before about building his team to be an attacking team, and to have his players to be brave with the ball. In York on Wednesday, he mentioned that his players needed to play a full 90-minutes and be smarter with the ball. Sunday night, Paulus’ team seemed to really gel and come together. They were brave with the ball, much more deliberate with their possession and showed up for the full match.

The group seemed to really gel as a team. They were brave with the ball, much more deliberate with their possession and showed up for the full match.

Should his team continue with the type of performance they brought to Pacific FC, they could potentially come out third in the Spring Season. Valour FC currently sits in third with nine points, one point up on the Eddies.

Paulus’ club has two matches remaining — both at home. They face Forge FC on Wednesday and HFX Wanderers on Canada Day. Both opponents have been playing well lately. However, with an experienced team like the Eddies overcoming their Spring Season challenges they have the potential to do what it takes to win two more.

2 COMMENTS

  1. good article tx. Only point of note is the last time these two teams faced, the Eddies took a red card early in the game not late, and played a man down and yet still dominated. You could tell before that if they’d remained even strength they would have won by multiple goals.

  2. Thanks for reading, Ian. You are right that was later in the first half. Certainly not late in the second half. It would have been a very different game had they not gone down a man.

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