Beating a team as talented as the Vancouver Whitecaps residency squad requires a full 90-minute effort.
The Magnuson Ford Mariners only came up with half of that on Sunday afternoon, and the end result was a 1-0 defeat at Bateman Park in Premier Development League (PDL) soccer action.
“We let ourselves down in the first 45 minutes,” Mariners coach Ian Knight noted afterward. “We were really poor. We couldn’t keep control of it – we gave the ball away very easily.
“But we were pleased with how we played in the second half.”
The Whitecaps, cheered on by a rowdy group of about a dozen chanting, drum-beating supporters, dominated the proceedings in the first half and opened the scoring in the 40th minute. Vancouver midfielder Ben Fisk did the honours, sending a low strike past Mariners keeper Lucas Menz.
The Abbotsford side responded well after the break, and generated a couple of decent looks at goal. Juan Pablo Mora Perea had the best chance, but his rising shot from the top of the box glanced off the crossbar.
“If we can push these big clubs, it reflects well on our boys,” Knight said. “The thing we spoke about today at halftime was that we needed to go out and salvage some pride. We let ourselves down in the first 45 minutes, but I think for the most part we did (improve) in the second half. We just couldn’t get the goal.”
The Magnuson Ford club (0-2-1) is still looking for its first win of the PDL season – both losses have come by a goal to the Whitecaps – while Vancouver improved to 2-1-1.
The Mariners host a doubleheader at Bateman Park this weekend, facing the North Sound SeaWolves on Saturday at 4 p.m. and the Tacoma Tide on Sunday at 2 p.m.