2021 CPL regular season — Match #79 Valour FC vs. Pacific FC September 29, 2021 at 6:45 pm CT/ 4:45 pm PT IG Field, Winnipeg, Manitoba Watch Live: OneSoccer.ca, Telus channel 980 // Tickets available here

Valour FC return to IG Field on Wednesday night for the first match in a four-game homestand, and the first home match since Phillip Dos Santos was named head coach less than a week ago. Dos Santos' CPL managerial debut came on Sunday afternoon, away to York United, where his side fell 2-1 to one of their rivals for the fourth and final playoff spot. Brett Levis gave the visitors the lead in the 27th minute, but a pair of second-half goals from 18-year-old Lowell Wright saw The Nine Stripes walk away with the three points. Pacific FC are coming off a loss in Ontario as well -- just their fourth defeat of the season. Pa-Modou Kah's side made the trip to Hamilton to take on Forge FC, but lost 2-1 to the back-to-back champions. Alejandro Diaz tied the game at 1-1 near the end of the first half after Mo Babouli scored an early opener, but Omar Browne's 80th-minute debut goal won the match for his new side. Pacific and Valour have met three times already in 2021, and The Tridents have owned the season series. Down a man for the last 15 minutes, Pacific FC battled back from a goal down to win 2-1 in their first meeting of the season, with former Valour attacker Marco Bustos scoring the winning goal for the home side. Alejandro Diaz and Terran Campbell scored the goals in a 2-0 win at IG Field in mid-August, with both again finding the scoresheet as part of a 3-2 thriller at Starlight Stadium, won by the home side. After Wednesday's match, they will meet again once more in the regular season -- on October 16th at Starlight Stadium. Dropping points could be disastrous for Valour in their hunt for a playoff spot, as they currently sit in sixth place -- six points back of York United for the fourth and final spot. They're two points back of fifth-placed HFX Wanderers as well, who also play on Wednesday -- at home against Atletico Ottawa. Pacific remains at the top of the CPL table, four points up on Cavalry FC, who have a match in hand.

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  • Both sides missing a key player through suspension: Both Valour and Pacific will be missing an influential player on Wednesday night through suspension – Valour parting with captain Daryl Fordyce after the midfielder picked up his fourth yellow card of the season on Sunday -- which resulted in a one-match ban. The Tridents will be missing attacker Josh Heard, who has also been penalized for yellow card accumulation. The Pacific star picked up his eighth yellow card of the season and resulting second suspension of the season. Both players have made 18 appearances this season in CPL action. Fordyce has impressed in the midfield -- providing a spark on and off the pitch as a reliable central midfielder and club co-captain with the injured Andrew Jean-Baptiste. Heard has had a great 2021 season thus far scoring three goals, and adding an assist, in a year where he's become one of the first names on the team sheet.​
  • Dos Santos happy with the effort from his side in first match: Although his side fell 2-1 to York United on Sunday, new Valour boss Phillip Dos Santos was happy with the fight they showed. They battled hard to take the lead on the road, and kept pushing after conceding twice in quick succession. The effort was there throughout, and they didn't get too down on themselves, and nearly fought back to pick up a point. It wasn't an ideal result in a tight playoff race, but it certainly wasn't a poor performance. "If there’s a positive I take out of that it’s the competitiveness that the guys showed, and their desire to do well, and the fact that I was able to assess the individuals and see what they are about and see what they can do in situations that are difficult," Dos Santos said after the match. "That’s where I need to keep my mind, and say ‘okay, this is the platform we have, and where do we go from here to grow’, and that’s how I’m going to go about it."​
  • Can Valour break winless streak?: It has been over a month since Valour last won a match – a 3-2 Canadian Championship victory over Atletico Ottawa on August 21, followed by a 3-0 win over FC Edmonton three days later, seemed to be a sign that Valour were turning a corner and regaining their early season form -- but they are yet to win a game since. In the six matches since that win over Edmonton, Valour have picked up a single point -- losing five times, and drawing once. That stretch includes a 3-2 loss to Wednesday's opponents Pacific, and a 3-0 to the Eddies, who got their revenge after losing to Valour by the same scoreline. The lone point came against Cavalry, a 1-1 draw on September 18th at IG Field. This fixture hasn't been very kind to Valour in the past, as Pacific have won seven of their nine meetings, with Valour winning once and one match ending in a draw.​


Valour FC wins: 1 || Pacific FC wins: 7 || Draws: 1

Previous match:

August 29, 2021 — Pacific FC 3-2 Valour FC


"I looked at the players and I think there’s quality in this group. There’s a mix of age and maturity. There’s a foundation that has been built. I don’t think you can come in with an approach where you just tear apart that foundation, you have to build on that. We need to have the humility of understanding what was good, what has worked for the team and what we can add right away in order to be successful in the short term and then what we want to build going forward." -- Valour FC head coach Phillip Dos Santos

"For me, the biggest thing as a coach is to worry about yourself. I cannot worry about Forge, I cannot worry about Cavalry. They've gotta do what they've gotta do, but we've gotta do what we've gotta do. For me, the biggest focus is 'what do we need to do to get victories?'" -- Pacific FC head coach Pa-Modou Kah

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