Langford-based Pacific FC sealed a playoff spot after winning their final home game against FC Edmonton 1-0 on Friday (Sept. 30).
With Cavalry FC beating Valour FC on Sunday, the Tridents are now guaranteed a spot in the playoffs. PFC was briefly up to second in the table Friday but now sits in fourth place with two games left. The Tridents are six points clear of Valour who only have one game left.
Pacific FC had a dream start, as Marco Bustos opened the scoring after two minutes. Characteristic pressure on the centre-back from Djenairo Daniels allowed Manny Aparicio to break in behind. He crossed the ball to Bustos who stooped to head past the Edmonton goalkeeper to make the score 1-0.
The score would remain the same for the rest of the game with both teams creating little. Bustos came closest but the diminutive playmaker got his feet in a muddle when trying to direct Aparicio’s cross towards goal on 75 minutes.
The game coincided with the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and PFC held a pre-game Orange Shirt Day ceremony to mark the occasion.
Representatives from Beecher Bay, Esquimalt, Tsartlip, Songhees, and Cowichan Nations took part. It included a moment of silence to reflect on the continued impact of residential schools on survivors, their families and communities and the children who never returned home.
The game may well also be team captain Jamar Dixon’s last game at Starlight Stadium after he announced his retirement from soccer on Friday (Sept. 29)
Now secure in their playoff spot, all that’s left to determine is where PFC will be seeded for the postseason. Pacific’s last two games of the season are against potential playoff opposition, first playing Forge FC in Hamilton Oct. 5 and then Cavalry FC in Calgary on Oct. 8.
If they win both those games and results go their way, PFC could finish as high as first, or as low as fourth.