Pacific FC are back in a playoff spot in the Canadian Premier League after beating Halifax Wanderers 2-0 on the east coast on Tuesday (Sept. 27).
The game had been double-delayed due to Hurricane Fiona, prolonging the wait for the Tridents who prior to Tuesday had not won in their last five matches.
The Islanders started slowly in gloomy conditions, flatfooted defending allowing the ball to fall at the feet of Halifax attacker Lifumpa Mwandwe, but the Englishman dragged his left-footed shot wide past the post at the 23-minute mark.
Both teams created little and it seemed like it was set to be a goalless first-half, until the Flying Dutchmen burst to life. Gianni dos Santos picked the ball up out wide and fired in a low cross towards compatriot Djenairo Daniels. Daniels mishit an attempted flick-on but reacted quickest to the loose ball, firing a shot low past the Halifax keeper which bounced off both posts and in, giving PFC a 1-0 lead at halftime.
The second-half continued in a similar vein to the first with both teams creating little. The game was ready to be taken by the scruff of the neck and PFC did so, with dos Santos instrumental again. The Cape Verde international picked up the ball in his own half and drove forward, playing the ball to an on-running Manny Aparicio. The midfielder went on one of his characteristic surging runs, playing a low cross to an onrushing Josh Heard who slammed it home to give PFC a 2-0 lead. This was the local hero’s eighth goal of the season in all competitions, his sixth in the CPL. The former Victoria Highlanders player also has six assists in all competitions.
The win sees PFC pull three points clear of Valour, the only team left who can still knock Pacific out of the playoff spots. PFC has three more games to play while Valour has just two, but PFC faces a tough home stretch, playing both Forge FC and Calvary FC on the road in their final two fixtures.
Next up Pacific play their last home game of the regular season against bottom-placed FC Edmonton at Starlight Stadium on Friday (Sept. 30).