Men’s soccer team ties TRU
By Eric Wilkins, Sports Editor
Douglas’ men’s soccer team saw victory slip through their fingers Saturday afternoon when Thompson Rivers University (TRU) managed to tie the game up in injury time.
“It was a decent game… We should have closed it out. It’s a learning experience though. It’s good this happened at the beginning of the season, not the end,” noted Coach Paul Bahia.
The game saw a bit of a chippy start with a series of hard tackles early on. Ivor Evans (#10) received the only booking though, picking up a yellow card for a challenge. The Royals then buckled down and played their game, with Shahbaz Khattra (#19) forcing a save from the TRU keeper in the 14th minute. Shortly after, Douglas slotted one home, only to see it called back due to an offside call. The 29th minute found a TRU striker with an opportunity in the box, but his shot flew harmlessly wide of the goal. The next 10 minutes saw teams trade chances—both coming close, but neither sticking it in the net until the 40th minute when Khattra finished off a lovely piece of dribbling with a shot into the bottom corner. The Royals’ lead was short-lived though, as TRU responded less than a minute later when Justin Wallace rippled the mesh. Isaac Kyei tried to break the deadlock before halftime, but his run resulted in a save from the keeper.
The second-half saw a run of play in the WolfPack’s favour, starting with a blocked shot in the 50th minute. Shortly after, TRU’s Kyle Logan assessed a yellow card for his comments after a call. In the 57th minute, Wallace struck again for TRU after dangling through the box before depositing the ball in the bottom left corner of the goal. Continued pressure from the visitors saw a scramble in the box in the 59th, but the Royals’ defence proved to be up to the challenge. In the 60th minute, TRU received their second booking of the match when Nolan Wallace picked up a yellow card for a harsh tackle.
Javid Khan (#9) tied things up again in the 63rd minute, sending a beautiful shot into the top right corner on a free kick at the top of the 18. Scoring chances for both sides sandwiched a yellow card for Khan in the 69th. Dorian Colopisis’ (#8) free kick in the 82nd required the TRU keeper to be on his toes to punch it away. The WolfPack had an opportunity in the 84th minute with a free kick in an advantageous position, but the shot sailed hopelessly wide of the target. Douglas picked up the final lead of the day in the 88th when Raaqim Amijee (#23) caught a volley perfectly, sending a stunner into the top left corner. The Royals tried to hold on, with Marc Mincieli (#1) showing off some sure hands on a cross before coming up with a big save from the top of the box, but Mike Harvey ultimately found the back of the net for TRU, tying it up in injury time. Final score: 3-3.
“I thought the boys did well. We definitely showed that we have heart,” said Sports Science student Amijee. When asked about his spectacular goal, Amijee remarked, “Everything fell just right and it ended up in the back of the net.”
“We battled but unfortunately we didn’t play the full 90 minutes and that’s what hurt us in the end,” observed goalscorer Khattra.
The refereeing brought on comments from fans of both teams, and Evans (#20) wasn’t pleased about the early yellow shown to him. “Not for my first tackle in the first five minutes… just ruins the game. Can’t play the game I want to play.”
Coach Bahia felt the team had its moments out there, but has yet to fulfil its potential. “Yes, we played well but still can be better. There’s way more room for improvement.”