Match Day Report vs. Pacific FC

The faces may have changed, but some familiar themes have unfortunately emerged early in the Canadian Premier League season for Valour FC.

Winnipeg’s Canadian Premier League side dropped its second straight to open the 2024 campaign, falling 2-nil to Pacific FC Friday night at Starlight Stadium in Victoria, B.C. in a match in which they had stretches of superb play and had chances to finish offensively, but were ultimately scorched by their mistakes.

The club will return home now before next Saturday’s date in Hamilton against Forge FC – the third of seven straight road matches to open the season as the new turf is installed at Princess Auto Stadium.

Valour defender Abdou Samake

“We keep working every week,” said defender Abdou Samake. “We have little details we need to fix. We know that. We started the game on the front foot and were very aggressive in winning a lot of balls high. The mistakes for the goal were one of those tactical mistakes we often talk about… it’s one thing we know we have to deal with in order to be successful in our system.

“It’s a long season. Obviously, we’re very frustrated and disappointed. Now we go back to the drawing board, we keep working and in the next one we’re going to be even better and the next one after that we’re going to be even better and sharper. So, we just keep going forward. We’re happy with the way the relationships are starting to grow and build.

“It’s Game 2. We keep working. We’re in here for the long run. We have big objectives. We move forward.”

Spending the week in B.C. after the season-opening 4-1 loss to Vancouver FC, GM and head coach Phillip Dos Santos and his troops worked extensively on being more aggressive in pressing without the ball and the evidence of that was obvious in the first half, resulting in quality opportunities for Shaan Hundal, Dante Campbell and Abdul Binate – alas, with no finish.

And, as was the case in the loss to Vancouver, Valour was caught early in the second half on the counter with a goal against, as Josh Heard finished a perfect feed by Reon Moore in the 48th minute. Pacific sealed the victory in the 79th minute when Sean Young – playing in his 100th match for the club – beat Jonathan Viscosi.

Pacific’s Josh Heard celebrates his goal in the 48th minute

“Football is made of moments,” said Dos Santos. “(The first goal) is a transition action that we needed to kill, and we didn’t kill. They got to 1-zero and then everything gets more difficult. We start chasing the game and we opened the team a little bit more… it’s football. We should’ve dealt with that one moment.

“We started the game on the front foot. I have to look at the big picture. Something we asked the guys was to be a lot more aggressive than our first game. We put Pacific in difficulty, but then we have to deal with those moments.”

Valour will return home on Saturday to train before heading out again for next weekend’s third match. And despite the obvious progress with no result, the message for the next few days will be a simple one.

“We keep working. That’s the message,” said Dos Santos. “We keep working. We need to keep going. It’s a process. It’s early in the season. We start the season on the road, and we know that on the road you have to play games that are clean where we minimize mistakes and today, we made two big ones. The second one is a free kick in our half. Two passes and we give the ball away. It’s just about managing those moments.

“I’m not frustrated about the game. I saw progress. I actually think the team grew and for me that’s what I have to hold on to and keep pushing.”

-Valour fullback/wing Roberto Alarcón suffered an apparent hamstring/quad injury in the first half and after having it taped, did not return after the intermission, and was replaced by Zach Sukunda.
-Valour hopes to have midfielder Raphael Ohin and centre back Tass Mourdoukoutas available for next weekend.

Pacific FC 2 Valour FC 0


Valour FC


Pacific FC

47:00’: Josh Heard (1); assist: Reon Moore
78:01’: Sean Young (1)

Card summary

Valour FC
14:02’: Frankie Facchineri (yellow, tactical foul)
36:37’: Jordi Swibel (yellow, reckless offence)
43:28’: Noah Verhoeven (yellow, dissent)
83:37’: Dante Campbell (yellow, reckless offence)
91:19’: Jordan Haynes (yellow, tactical foul)
Pacific FC
50:44’: Josh Heard (yellow, reckless offence)
76:29’: Zakaria Bahous (yellow, time wasting)


GK – Jonathan Viscosi
D – Abdou Samake
D – Haris Chantzopoulos
D – Frankie Facchineri
MF – Dante Campbell (C)
MF – Noah Verhoeven
MF – Roberto Alarcon
MF – Themi Antonoglou
FW – Jordie Swibel
FW – Jordan Faria
F – Shaan Hundal

Valour substitutions
45:00’: On Zach Sukunda; off Roberto Alarcón
63:01’: On Joe Hanson; off Abdul Binate
65:40’: On Diogo Ressurreicao; off Jordi Swibel
66:03’: On Jordan Haynes; off Frankie Facchineri
76:05’: On Juan-Pablo Sanchez; off Noah Verhoeven