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VIDEO: A promising start by Vancouver FC’s newest players, but not enough for a win

Alejandro Diaz combined with Renan Garcia for a goal against Ottawa
Vancouver FC celebrate Alejandro Diaz’s goal on Sunday July 16 against Ottawa. (Matt Zambonin/ Freestyle Photography/Special to Langley Advance Times)

Atlético Ottawa completed a nine-point week at TD Place on Sunday, July 16, beating Vancouver FC 3-1 to pick up their third win in a row and jump all the way up to fourth in the table.

Prior to the game, Vancouver FC made two signings, adding one of the league’s best-ever goalscorers in Alejandro Diaz, on loan from Norwegian club Sogndal, as well as experienced Brazilian midfielder Renan Garcia.

After withstanding early pressure from VFC, Ottawa found the game’s first goal. Vancouver were unable to clear the ball when Jean-Aniel Assi played a low pass to Noah Verhoeven, and again after Verhoeven’s shot was blocked. The ball fell to Ollie Bassett, who tried to take shot but was off balance, and the ball rolled to the feet of Miguel Acosta, who picked out the bottom right corner.

READ ALSO: Diaz signs with Vancouver FC

Ottawa outshot Vancouver 13-6 in the first half, but only had the one goal to show for it.

Vancouver FC equalised ten minutes after the break, with a goal from Diaz, who headed home a cross to the back post from his fellow debutant Garcia.

READ ALSO: New trio of soccer pros spell shift for Vancouver FC

“Diaz had one good service, and he stuck it in the back of the net,” head coach Afshin Ghotbi said after the match. “We saw Renan’s quality with his shot from distance and his ability to control the game, win duels, and play simple balls out of the midfield.

“I’m not worried about those two, it’s more about my own players integrating with them.”

Renan Garcia, 37, seen working out with the team, was signed by Vancouver FC a few days before they played Ottawa. (Beau Chevalier/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Renan Garcia, 37, seen working out with the team, was signed by Vancouver FC a few days before they played Ottawa. (Beau Chevalier/Special to Langley Advance Times)

Garcia has an extensive resume in the global football world, first getting his start in Brazil before moving to Europe.

“In my career, I played in many countries, and I have many experiences,” said Garcia. “Coming to North America and Canada is a challenge for me, but I like a challenge.”

The international midfielder is the oldest Vancouver player at 37.

Sunday’s match didn’t stay tied for long, however, as Ottawa responded seven minutes later.

Then, with seconds left in five additional minutes of stoppage time at the end of the match, Ottawa found a third to put the match to bed.

With the win, Ottawa completed a nine-point week that saw them beat Valour at home on Sunday, Cavalry on the road midweek, and Vancouver at home again this Sunday.

Vancouver FC has also announced other roster changes including the mutually agreed upon termination of Gael Sandoval’s contract, as well as the mutual termination of Kourosh Jamshidi’s developmental contract. Finally, VFC forward Shaan Hundal will now wear jersey No. 10 for Vancouver FC.

Next, Vancouver FC head home and will host Cavalry FC at Willoughby Community Park Saturday July 22 4 pm PT/5 pm MT).

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About the Author: Langley Advance Times Staff

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