2021 CPL regular season — Match #93 (ComeOn! Match of the Week) Pacific FC vs. Valour FC October 16, 2021 at 6 pm ET/3 pm PT Starlight Stadium, Victoria, B.C. Watch Live: OneSoccer.ca & TELUS Ch. 980 // Tickets available here


More Canadian Premier League action continues out west as Pacific FC take on Valour FC for the fourth time this season at Starlight Stadium in the ComeOn! Match of the Week. After a stretch of four games on the road and a trip to Alberta in the Canadian Championship, Pacific finally return to Victoria in hopes of getting back to their best. The club has earned only four points over their last five league games (W1, D1, L3) with their last win ironically coming against their upcoming opponents. Despite losing back to back games for the first time this season, coach Pa-Modou Kah still has "full confidence" his squad can turn things around. "We have high standards of ourselves so one thing we don’t want to do is lose two games in a row, that’s part of our model, but sometimes it happens," he said. "All I know is this squad is a resilient squad and they’re going to bounce back with a great team performance and a response. That’s the only thing, myself, as coach, looks forward to.” The visitors, meanwhile, are coming off a strong run of performances at home and look to continue their success on the road against a team that has remained near the top of the standings. Since coach Phillip dos Santos joined in September, Valour have finally found their groove. They have one win, two draws and two losses over their last five games – which signals a significant development. “We're confident, I think that the last two or three matches were good performances for us,” said Dos Santos. “It helped the team with confidence and players are focused on what the task is.” Additionally, Dos Santos stressed that despite Pacific’s poor run, Valour must remain cautious against their upcoming opponents. “They're coming out of two losses, and they're playing at home, they're going to want to respond, to want to come out strong. So it is one more reason for us to understand the importance of entering the game well.” In terms of squad updates, Kah did not give a solid answer as to whether Marco Bustos will return for Pacific emphasizing things are still touch and go. Dos Santos, meanwhile, confirmed Valour will be without Arnold Bouka Moutou (on leave) in addition to Andy Baquero (disciplinary). Pacific are currently in second in the table (one point behind league leaders Cavalry) while Valour find themselves on the edge of playoff qualification in sixth place with 28 points.

Make your match picks prior to kickoff at canpl.ca/predictor for a chance to win prizes, including the grand prize of a trip to the 2021 CPL Final! All CPL matches are available to stream on OneSoccer, or on TELUS Optik TV Channel 980.

  • Stable defence vital for both teams: Pacific FC have struggled defensively in their last few appearances conceding seven goals in their last five league games – a contributing factor to their back-to-back losses. Valour also conceded seven goals in their last five but managed to record a clean sheet against Cavalry. Heading into Saturday’s match, both coaches touched on their squad’s defensive performances but with opposing standpoints. Kah remains confident his team will improve their latest performances on paper. “I think defensively we are very good, we have conceded the third-least goals in the whole league. At times, that is part of football, you give away goals maybe cheaply but that is football. We have the mindset of 'If you score one, we will try to score two to win the game' and that’s the most important thing. Nobody is coming to watch a draw, we know what we’re capable of doing." Dos Santos, meanwhile, is pleased with the development of Valour’s defensive work as a collective. “I felt there [were] two things I could impact immediately when I took the job because for me they're the ones that a coach could have a more direct and immediate impact on and it's the mentality of the group, the emotional component of it and it's the defensive structure," he said. "We've worked a lot, that's where our focus has been in the recent weeks because we feel that you can't win games if you concede two or three goals a game." It’s a tale of two fortunes between these teams: one of regression and one of progression. Whoever gets it right at Starlight Stadium could be in a better position to hold on to all three points.

  • All eyes on Dyer: While the introduction of Dos Santos has seen Valour find their form again, one player who has personally developed their game is Moses Dyer. The 24-year-old has six goals and three assists in all competitions across 24 appearances and netted three of the team's last five goals. Dos Santos believes Dyer is one of the many players in the squad who have "benefited from structural change." “He is playing in a role that he seems more comfortable or very comfortable with," he said. "Because of the characteristics of the wide players we have, he has the freedom to drop into the pockets from that nine position [and] I feel that it just suits him." "Sometimes there are just things that are triggered on a player based on either a philosophical or structural change by the coach and I think Moses is benefiting from that. Also, the fact that his work ethic has been very high, and not only him, but the whole team ... When a player comes into a match or training with that mentality, there are always good things that are going to happen." As a result of his latest performances, Dyer was recently named CPL Player of the Week and Pacific will need to stifle the threats of Valour's main man.

  • Do or die: As teams enter the final stretch of regular-season matches, Pacific and Valour each have their playoff destiny in their hands. Prior to kick-off, both coaches urged their team to focus as the season possesses additional difficulties with the standings so close. "For us, as a team, it's a great experience, that's what you want these guys to experience and understand what it takes to move to the final stretch," said Kah. "It has been a long season, which is great, but now is the time to push for the next five, six weeks. That's the beauty of football, it's what you live for. To see how tight it is in the top four, it's beautiful." “We're really in a stretch where we can't afford to lose many points anymore if we want to make it to those top four positions," emphasized Dos Santos. "These are the types of games we need to come out and try to get a result out of. The guys are very conscious of that. They're aware that we're playing a good team, that we were playing a team that's [at] the top of the standings, but we can't be afraid. We need to come here with the mentality that it's a game to win, it's a game that we want to grab the full three points out of and that's the message for them. We have to keep building." After Saturday's match, both Pacific and Valour have four games left in the season. A win this week would be massive for either side's playoff push but a draw does them little this late in the game. Who will do enough to come out on top?


Pacific FC wins: 8 || Valour FC wins: 1 || Draws: 1

Previous match:

Sept. 29, 2021 — Valour FC 1-3 Pacific FC


“We need our fans to come back in and bring the loud noise that we had against the Whitecaps, [that] will be great. The people that have been showing up to Starlight Stadium have been fantastic, so now I’m pleading them to bring it even more … We want home-field advantage so we’re going to need all the support that we can get starting off tomorrow” — Pacific FC coach Pa-Modou Kah

There's a lot of parody in this league and I feel that if you approach a game where you start feeding on latest results from the opposition, you might be getting in the wrong direction. I want to see [the game] as you're coming on the road to play against the team that's leading the championship and that's going to be difficult.” — Valour FC coach Phillip dos Santos

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