Vancouver FC claimed their first-ever Salish Sea Derby with a big come-from-behind victory over rivals Pacific FC on Saturday, Aug. 19, winning 3-2 with a 87th minute winner from Gabriel Bitar at Langley’s Willoughby Community Park.
Mikaël Cantave found the net for Vancouver inside just 11 minutes to give his team their first-ever lead over Pacific.
Pacific responded with second-half goals from Thomas Meilleur-Giguère in the 65th minute and Djenairo Daniels in the 73rd minute to completely turn around the score, putting them in the driver’s seat with 15 minutes to go.
Vancouver’s Gabriel Bitar turned the game around.
Despite only coming on in the 75th minute, he’d first tie up the game in the 76th minute, before completing his brace with a winner in the 87th, giving his team their first-ever derby win.
— asikaa (@Asikaa604) August 19, 2023
“Derbies, they mean more than anything else,” Bitar explained. “So to win this one, (especially) seeing that we hadn’t won in a while, this one was always going to feel extra special.”
“I’m really proud for our fans,” head coach Afshin Ghotbi added. “Because through a lot of difficult times, they’ve stuck with this team, they’ve supported this team, so to see them so happy after this match just means a lot to me.”
“This derby is special, derbies are special for so many different reasons, and I think this victory will just add more history and texture to this derby, which will create more interesting stories for the upcoming derbies, and Canadian football needs these sorts of derbies and stories.”
Bitar was named CanPL.ca Player of the Match.
Next, Vancouver FC heads out on the road for their next match, as they get set to take on York United at York Lions Stadium on Friday, August 25th at 4:30 p.m. B.C. time.
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