Royals men’s soccer lose to 10-man Blues
By Davie Wong, Sports Editor
Week four of PACWEST soccer brought a unique challenge for the Royals. Waiting for them were the Capilano Blues, hungry to get even with the Royals after a 2-1 loss to them earlier in the month. The Royals had all week to prepare for the Blues, while the Blues had to choose between the Royals or VIU.
Judging from the level of play that came from the Blues, they chose to prepare for the Royals. Going into the game, it’s unknown whether the game plan from the Blues was to go hard, or to be reckless. Either way, it showed up. The Blues went hard into tackles, and the referee was quick to reprimand them for it. The Blues accumulated eight fouls in the first 45 minutes of play. In the first 15 minutes, they had already drawn two yellow cards, and had themselves a third by halftime.
The reckless Blues allowed the Royals to have quite a few opportunities to crack the scoreboard, but Blue’s goalkeeper Hudson Nelles was a brick wall. Despite five corner kicks and more free kicks than this reporter could count, the Royals could not solve Hudson.
Frustrated, the Royals play took a turn for the worse in the second half. While the Blues fouling remained persistent, the Royals joined them for a total of 15 fouls in the second half. The score sheet was finally opened when Keith Jackson slammed home his 7th of the season to give the Blues the lead. In a twist of irony, Jackson would earn his second booking and an automatic red after an intentional delay of game just minutes later, leaving his team with 10 men.
With a man advantage for twenty minutes, the Royals pushed up looking for the game equalizer and game winner. They would find neither, as the attack could not solve the Blues’ backline. All in all, it was hard not to call this a collapse… at least offensively. The Royals were given every opportunity to win—in fact, the referee was probably generous in his calls—but the Royals couldn’t get it done on the scoreboard, and they fell to the Blues, 1-0.
The loss leaves them in a precarious position in the standings. They sit at 1-3-2 with five points, which is good enough for fourth. However, the team is trailed by a Langara team that has seemingly found its wheels. The pressure is on in the PACWEST, that’s for sure.