The Okanagan FC PCSL team were in action in The Lower Mainland this weekend, and had a very successful trip as pre season preparations continue.
TSS Rovers 1-2 Okanagan FC
On Saturday we played a young and very talented TSS Rovers team from the PDL. Played in sunny, but very windy, conditions at King George Park in Richmond, TSS started brightly and quickly settled into a pattern which saw them control the ball. OFC struggled to keep possession, and had to be content with long periods of defending against an excellent TSS team. However, the OFC team managed to get to the half time break still at 0-0 and, for all their possession, TSS were limited to just a handful of half chances. In fact, the best chance of the first half fell to OFC on the counter attack with the very lively Lucas Hicklin. The second half was very different…the Okanagan players grew in confidence as they realized that we were solid at the back and difficult to break down. The centre back pairing of Max Morgan and new signing Sam MacDonald is formidable. OFC started to look dangerous as they grew into the game and with better possession in midfield, they started to create good goal scoring opportunities. The opening goal came around the 65th minute when Darrell Plantz found himself one on one with the keeper, after great work from the influential Alex Thompson down the right hand side. A cool finish from Plantz and OFC were 1-0 up. Just 5 minutes later, the game was tied at 1-1…with OFC pushing for a second, TSS showed their quality once again with a lightning fast counter attack following an Okanagan chance at the other end. OFC were not discouraged though, and continued to take the game to their opponent, creating several more good chances. The winner came around the 80th minute, with Fabrice Fanfani firing home from close range following a spell of intense OFC pressure. TSS went in search of another equalizer, but that left gaps exposed in their back line and it was OFC who could have added to their score as the clock ran down. All in all, a great game and a fine performance from the Okanagan FC team.
OFC Man of the Match… Max Morgan for a rock solid performance at the heart of our defence
Kotoko 1-5 Okanagan FC
On Sunday we travelled to New Westminster to take on Kotoko FC. This opponent presented OFC with a different challenge for sure. Kotoko were not as fluid with the ball as TSS the previous day, but they were big and strong and very athletic, looking very dangerous going forwards. The first half was a pretty even game, with few scoring chances from either team. The conditions at Mercer Stadium were bright and sunny and the new playing surface on the pitch was immaculate. The game burst into life just before half time with two goals in two minutes. Following an OFC mistake, Kotoko took the lead with an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net which gave keeper, and new signing, Carl Vandekraats no chance. OFC were level straight from the kick off, however, as midfielder Markus Roth beat two defenders and netted with a cool finish. The second half saw the Okanagan FC team quickly take control of the game. A big part of the OFC pre season has been focussed on fitness and, similarly to the previous game, fitness started to become a factor in this game. OFC started to press forward, and they did it relentlessly…the goals were a while in coming, but once Kamen Wimbleton gave OFC the lead around the hour mark, the outcome became inevitable. The tireless Lucas Hicklin added a third after rounding the Kotoko keeper. Classy midfielder Ryunosuke Ahsan was scythed down in the box after a mazy run, and Alex Thompson calmly netted the penalty kick to make it 4-1. The best goal was saved until the end though, with yet another new signing, Alex Matsubara, curling one into the top corner from the edge of the box.
OFC Man of the Match… Influential midfielder Markus Roth showed his quality and creativity with the ball
Head Coach, Andrew Stevenson…”We could not have asked for a better weekend for our team, both on and off the field. Our hard work in pre season so far paid off in the matches, and we look like we are shaping up into a very decent team !”