Post-Match Review #1 – Pacific FC vs Halifax Wanderers
Excitement was in the air as Westhills stadium in Langford was purple for the first ever Pacific FC game on Sunday April 28th. Having the chance to attend the historic event, I got a first hand view of the start of an era for Canadian soccer. Here’s a taste of my experience.
Things seemed to be operating quite smoothly at Westhills stadium – the stadium was split into a main grandstand on one long end of the field, a beer garden on the other long end, and family and section supporters sections on the short ends. The supporters section was lively for the entire game and impressive, considering it is the first time this team has ever played. Fans had already thought up chants with the names of the club and players included, and brought purple flares and banners, which made for a fun, personalized atmosphere.
There were a few shortcomings of my experience at the stadium. The first was that the food lineups were long and inefficient, and the second was that the view from the seats where I was sitting (my seats were low down) was frequently obstructed by people walking by, which was frustrating. This being said, it was Pacific FC’s first game ever, and they will likely work out these shortcomings. All in all, it was a great atmosphere, and everyone was having fun watching soccer on the beautiful sunny spring day.
The Match and Performances
As for the play itself, Pacific FC seemed to have control of the game for the most of the time. There were a few big chances for Halifax near the end of the match after the red card for Pacific FC’s Lukas MacNaughton, but it always felt like it was Pacific FC’s game to win. Pacific FC liked to keep possession of the ball, and tried to use their striker Marcus Haber as a target man, as we saw many balls be popped up to his head for flick-ons. Marcus Haber looked extremely promising with his big presence up front, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up as one of the league’s leading goal scorers. Another bright spot for Pacific FC was young homegrown talent Matthew Baldisimo. Baldisimo distributed the ball effectively and accurately, and seemed to be a great choice in the number 6 role for Pacific FC. Goal scorer Hendrik Starostzik looked to be a core presence at centre back, and Ben Fisk looked threatening going forward.
The play seemed to be quite conservative during the game. Both teams didn’t seem to be taking risks too often, which made for a less exciting game. The biggest chances of the match were created from corner kicks.
BTS Man of the Match
This one has to go to Pacific FC goalkeeper Mark Village. He was a commanding presence in net for Pacific FC, and he made multiple big saves to keep Halifax from scoring. He quickly gained love from the fans for his impressive goalkeeping, and came out with an important shutout.
All in all, this game seemed to be a bright start for Pacific FC in their CPL run, and I am looking forward to see how they progress throughout this season. The atmosphere of the game is a great step forward for soccer in Victoria and surrounding areas on Vancouver Island, and I hope it really takes off and generates a consistent fan base for future matches.
Pacific FC will be back at it again on Wednesday May 1st with their second match – against Valour FC from Winnipeg. We’ll see if they can pick up another big win!
Nielsen, James. “Goalkeeper Mark Village joins Pacific FC in inaugural season.” “‘Keep the dream going’: Mark Village intent on making most of opportunity with Pacific FC.” Canadian Premier League, January 23rd 2019,