HIGHLIGHTS: Pacific FC vs. Waterhouse FC (Concacaf League, Aug. 2, 2022)
Pacific FC advanced to the round of 16 in the 2022 Concacaf League in dominant fashion on Tuesday night, electrifying a raucous Starlight Stadium with a club-record 6-0 victory in this second leg to eliminate Jamaican club Waterhouse FC.
Looking for some continuity from the prior week, Pacific FC coach James Merriman opened the match with an unchanged side from Leg 1 down in Jamaica. Waterhouse, meanwhile, made just one change from the previous fixture, inserting defender Romain Blake in place of attacker Devroy Gray.
Right from kickoff, Pacific FC were keen to play the more aggressive role in the contest, commanding possession and looking to pick apart a well-organized Waterhouse defence.
It didn’t take long — just 13 minutes, in fact — before the home side found their path forward. Gianni Dos Santos, playing from the left side of the 4-4-2 formation, got around his defender with a clever flicked touch before running into the box, sending a quick ball across for CPL golden boot leader Alejandro Diaz to steer into the net with a good striker’s finish.
Waterhouse did begin to build up steam after conceding, testing Pacific’s defence with a handful of set-piece chances around the 25-minute mark.
Still, it was Pacific who continued to be protagonists at Starlight Stadium. They produced a few more good chances, including one Marco Bustos opportunity from the edge of the six-yard box that may well have gone in were it not for an excellent Kemar Foster save.
Soon enough, though, Bustos would be the next to find the net in the first half. The tricky right-winger played a clever pass from midfield to Josh Heard running to the edge of the box before sprinting into the penalty area himself, where he found the perfect position to get on the end of Heard’s cross for a headed goal to make it 2-0.
After halftime, Pacific showed no intention of lifting off the gas pedal. Eight minutes into the second frame, Bustos collected the ball on the right touchline and cut inside about 20 yards, slipping a pass through to Heard, who fooled his defender with a tricky cutback before finding Diaz for the Mexican striker’s second of the night.
Heard himself added a fourth just over a minute later, playing a quick sequence with Kunle Dada-Luke before finding his spot in the penalty area to finish smoothly. Again, just five minutes after, it was Heard again who was unmarked in the box as Dos Santos drove all the way to the end line before cutting it inward to Heard for the Victoria native’s second goal of the half.
Pacific still weren’t done there. Once again, with just over 15 minutes to play, the Tridents came storming into the final third, as Bustos fed Heard at the right edge of the box. Heard sent it back across to Manny Aparicio, who directed it through traffic to Diaz, as the striker flicked it with his back foot into the goal to complete his hat-trick and make it 6-0.
After that, Pacific coach Merriman chose to turn to his bench, giving Diaz, Bustos and Aparicio a rest for the final quarter-hour with the tie essentially wrapped up. Much to the delight of the club’s defenders and goalkeeper, Pacific would hold onto the clean sheet, as they secured their largest margin of victory in club history to defeat Waterhouse 6-0 and advance to meet Costa Rican side Herediano in the round of 16.
13′ — Alejandro Diaz (Pacific FC)
41′ — Marco Bustos (Pacific FC)
54′ — Alejandro Diaz (Pacific FC)
56′ — Josh Heard (Pacific FC)
61′ — Josh Heard (Pacific FC)
73′ — Alejandro Diaz (Pacific FC)