Valour FC’s oldest and fiercest nemesis has returned with a vengeance and a sense for dramatic timing.

The franchise’s evil archenemy since its inception in 2019 – its inability to find some magic in the final third by way of goals ­– bit them on the backside once again Sunday afternoon in the Marvel Superhero Match as the home side fell 1-0 to Cavalry FC in front of 3,770 at a steamy Princess Auto Stadium.

The Canadian Premier League lowest-scoring side was blanked for the fourth time in 13 matches this season and falls to 3-1-9 and stuck on 10 points and in the process missed out on a chance to inch closer to Cavalry FC, directly above them in the tables.
Cavalry improves to 3-8-2 and now has 17 points.

“We have to find answers. We have to dig deep to find answers,” said Valour GM and head coach Phillip Dos Santos. “We have to work with the guys and make sure we’re better on the ball and anticipate a little bit better; that we’re a bit more active on and off the ball.
“So, it’s a work in progress and we have to keep challenging the guys to get the best versions of themselves.”

Valour wasn’t without its chances – in fact, it had the two best opportunities to find the back of the net on the afternoon, including while playing the final 27 minutes a man down after Roberto Alarcon was red-carded for shoving a Cavalry player in the face.

Jordi Swibel had a clear-cut 1v1 with Cavalry goalkeeper Marco Carducci in the 13th minute with the veteran keeper quickly taking away the angle before stopping a chance. And then in the 91st minute Carducci, easily the best player on the pitch, stopped Abdul Binate and Loic Kwemi on back-to-back shots in tight to preserve the three points.

A soccer player in a white uniform runs with the ball. Jordi Swibel. (Winnipeg Football Club)

“I still think we had the two best chances in the game,” Dos Santos said. “I have to review the goal again but it’s a shot that comes from a very tight angle. Looking at the chances we had at the end with Binate and Kwemi and with the one we had in the first half with Jordi – those are the two best chances, and we didn’t capitalize.”

In a tight, defensive match in which the expected goals were just .44 for Cavalry and .43 for Valour, the home side had seven shots and three corners but, again, lacked finish in the prime scoring areas.

The match’s lone goal came in the 34th minute when Fraser Aird, a former Valour player, buried a shot over Jonathan Viscosi from a sharp angle.

“Disappointed, obviously. A loss at home is not what we set out to do,” said Swibel. “I thought we fought well, there were just little moments in that game where we could be better. We did a good job defensively, but it was just one lapse of concentration where they scored a goal, but we fought all the way to the end with 10 men, all the way to the 90 plus seven, so I’m very proud of my teammates.

“He made a good save,” added Swibel on his early chance. “I had a bit of time on it but just couldn’t put it away, which is frustrating for me because I take that personally and feel like I could have scored that. We’ll move on to next week and look forward to more opportunities and hopefully I can put some away and we can get three points next week.

“In the moment it hurts, for sure. But you’ve got to shelve it pretty quickly. Football moves very fast, games come thick and fast. So, that’s what we’re going to look to do. We’ve still got a long way to go, we’re just at the halfway mark so there’s a lot of football to play, a lot of points up for grabs.”

‘V’ NOTES
-Dante Campbell picked up his fifth yellow card and will be forced to miss Valour’s next match on July 18th in Halifax against the Wanderers. Also serving an automatic suspension because of the red will be Alarcon. Dos Santos on the red issued:

“I have a mixed feeling when it comes to a player getting a red card when there’s an instigator. If it’s the only action, if it’s only the action of Rob – I’m not sure if he went to the face or if (the shove) was in the higher chest, I haven’t seen it. But if it’s hands on face the rule is clear and it’s a red card and so I can’t argue with that.”

-Not dressed for Valour were Juan-Pablo Sanchez, Shaan Hundal and newcomer Safwane Mlah.

-The win was Cavalry’s first on the road this season in league play after four draws and two losses.

-Valour now has two wins and three losses in five home matches this year.

Valour FC 0 Cavalry FC 1

Goals
Valour FC
None
Cavalry FC
33:48’: Fraser Aird (assist: Tobias Warschewski)

Card summary
Valour FC
35:42’: Dante Campbell (yellow, reckless offence)
79:52’: Roberto Alarcon (red, violent conduct)
Cavalry FC
40:25’: Diego Gutierrez (yellow, time wasting)
76:11’: Fraser Aird (yellow, reckless offence)
80:26’: Jesse Daley (yellow, argument)

VALOUR STARTING XI (4-2-3-1)
GK – Jonathan Viscosi
D – Roberto Alarcon
D – Frankie Facchineri
D – Tass Mourdoukoutas
D – Themi Antonoglou
MF – Raphael Ohin ©
MF – Dante Campbell
FW – Diogo Dias Da Ressureicao
FW – Jordan Faria
FW – Noah Verhoeven
F – Jordi Swibel

Valour substitutions
54:15’’: On Zach Sukunda; off Raphael Ohin
63:16’: On Abdul Binate; off Jordan Faria
63:24’: On Loic Kwemi: off Noah Verhoeven
86:50’: On Joe Hanson: off Jordi Swibel


This story originally appeared at valourfc.canpl.ca and is republished here with permission.