At several moments the Capilano University men’s soccer team came within inches of tying their semi-final matchup against the Douglas College Royals, but the Blues couldn’t come all the way back from an early three-goal deficit and fell 3-2 at the PACWEST Championships.
Douglas set the tone early on in the first half, as they forced CapU keeper Hudson Nelles into a pair of tough saves to keep the game scoreless. Yet the Royals kept up the pressure and broke through in the 15th minute, as Nawat Binsaleh headed home a cross off a free kick from just outside the box. Douglas then quickly pushed their lead to two when Stefan Kamner finished off a strong individual effort inside the box.
Capilano’s best chance of the opening half was when Adrian Sahagun was sprung on a partial breakaway and battled through contact to get a shot off, but goalkeeper Ryo Mizuno challenged and made the save.
The Blues came out with added pressure in the second half, but Douglas took advantage on a counter-attack and made it 3-0 in the 52nd minute on another goal from Kamner.
CapU continued to fire up their offence, and off a corner kick they hit the crossbar twice in the span of a couple seconds. Yet off an ensuing free kick they finally broke through, as Matt Fedak got his head on a Marco Favaro free kick and found the back of the net.
The Blues then cut the lead to one in the 58th minute, as Nicolas Morello finished off another cross to make it 3-2.
Capilano continued to fire everything they could at the Douglas net, but the Royals keeper Mizuno made three spectacular leaping saves to keep his team in front. The Blues had two other chances where the ball was inside the six-yard box, and another where a shot from Fedak went off the crossbar and the rebound attempt missed the net, but in the end they couldn’t find the equalizer. Mizuno was named the match's Player of the Game.
The Blues will now play for bronze tomorrow against the loser of the other semi-final between Vancouver Island University and Quest University. The game is at 10:00am at Kermode field on the Quest campus in Squamish, and can be livestreamed at pacwestbc.tv.