HIGHLIGHTS: Pacific FC vs. Vancouver FC (April 15, 2023)
Pacific FC came out on top in the first-ever CPL BC derby at Saturday, riding a late Manny Aparicio goal to a big 1-0 win over new rivals Vancouver FC at Starlight Stadium.
In a tightly-contested matchup between Pacific and the CPL’s newest side, Vancouver, Pacific did well to battle through a resilient performance from their guests, ensuring that they start off the year on the right foot.
Desptie that, Vancouver nearly got off to a perfect start themselves in this game, as Shaan Hundal put away a nice volley after a great ball over the top from Gabriel Bitar in the fifth minute, but Hundal was quickly whistled for offside, denying the tally.
Growing into the game, Pacific then came close to getting an opener in the 22nd minute off of a set piece. There, Amer Đidić did well to get on the end of a perfect Bradley Vliet cross, but his thunderous header hit the wrong side of the crossbar, before Cédric Toussaint sent the rebound over.
Then, Pacific had another great look just a few minutes later in the 26th minute, as they won the ball high up the field on a Vancouver turnover. In with three attackers against two Vancouver defenders, the ball would fall to Easton Ongaro in a dangerous position, but the new Pacific striker hit his right-footed attempt off the crossbar after a great move to cut inside.
Following that, however, that’d be the end of any big chances before the half, as both teams remained locked in a strong defensive battle, doing well to deny space for each other. In particular, Vancouver was resolute defensively despite it being their first game, doing well to limit space in a 4-5-1 shape, despite Pacific’s best efforts to pass around them.
To open the second half, though, Pacific started to create some space for themselves, as they pushed for an opener. And it’d nearly come in the 51st minute, as Josh Heard did well to react to a failed Vancouver clearance, but despite being all alone in a dangerous position, he’d be denied by a strong save from Callum Irving.
At the other end, Vancouver started to impose themselves in the game more, as they got more comfortable with their environment. As a result, they’d almost open the score on a Min-Jae Kwak free kick, if not for a commanding save from Pacific’s Emil Gazdov in goal.
Continuing the end to end action, Pacific then nearly grabbed an audacious goal in the 73rd minute, as second half substitute Ayman Sellouf delivered a dangerous whipped shot after cutting inside from a dribble, only finding himself denied by an acrobatic save from Irving.
From there, Pacific’s resilience would pay off in the 81st minute. Following a failed clearance from Vancouver, the ball would fall perfectly for Manny Aparicio at the edge of the box, where he’d do well to wrap his foot around the ball, delivering a rocket of a half-volley into the bottom corner, sending the Starlight Stadium crowd into a frenzy .
They wouldn’t be done pushing there, either. Because of that, they’d nearly add a second in the 88th minute, as Sean Young managed to unleash a vicious curling shot from inside the box, with his shot only staying out due to the post.
Despite the blow, however, Vancouver kept pushing, and nearly found a late equalizer in the 89th minute, as a dangerous corner was just deflected over the goal by a Pacific defender.
From there, though, their push wouldn’t get much further than that, allowing Pacific to grab the first edition of this new BC derby.
81′ — Manny Aparicio (Pacific FC)
45′ — Yellow: Kadin Chung (Vancouver FC)
71′ — Yellow: Min-Jae Kwak (Vancouver FC)