Royals men's soccer continues to lead conference after weekend split

Royals men's soccer continues to lead conference after weekend split

It didn't take long for the Royals to get going on Saturday afternoon.

Five minutes into the match, Taylor Richardson bombed down the right wing and placed a perfect cross into the six-yard box for Yianni Siafakas to head home. 

It was the Royal's third or fourth quality scoring chance already in the match.

One minute later, Tomi Fagbongbe stole the ball at the edge of the box and let loose a curling strike that beat Mariners keeper Evan Carr to double the lead. Six minutes in, it was 2-0 Royals. And the Royals kept pressing. 

Throughout the entire first half, VIU almost never had posession. When they did, the Douglas defenders dealt with danger easily. The Royals developed more chances in the opening 45, but nothing was quite good enough to really test Carr again. But in the last five minutes of the half, Shun Takano made a run down the left just as good as Richardson's down the right in the first five minutes. Just like Richardson, Takano launched a perfect cross into the six-yard box, and just like Siafakas, Taylor Arbour made no mistake, cutting the Royals lead in half just before halftime. It looked like a potential reversal of fortune, but the momentum was snatched back by the Royals when Jared Horvath made an incredible save in the last minute of first-half stoppage time to deny Hussein Behery and preserve the lead.

Douglas continued to push forward in the second half, but gave up a free kick to the Mariners on the edge of the box. Takano stood over it, and picked out a top corner, but Horvath dove, arms stretched high, and parried away the sure goal to keep the score at 2-1 Royals.  

Douglas pressed again, but to no avail, until the 88th minute, when Race Williams, snakebitten all game, finally got off a shot from the edge of the box that flew into the goal to seal the win for the Royals. And for good measure, Horvath made another sensational save in stoppage time as Douglas took all three points.

Sunday's game opened with a similarly early goal. In the 8th minute, Patrick Izett, who's had success at Cunnings Field this season, scored to give the Royals their first defecit of the weekend. Taylor Richardson's fifth of the year tied the match just five minutes later, but Izett struck again in the 15th minute to restore the Blues lead. 

With just over 10 minutes left in the half, Adrian Sahagun doubled the Capilano lead. Edris Najm raised Royals hopes with a strike in the 40th minute, but PACWEST leading scorer Keith Jackson's 10th of the season dashed those hopes quite expertly in first-half stoppage time. The second half saw no further scoring, as the Royals were handed just their second loss of the season. 

This weekend, the Langara Falcons will visit the Royals in the final regular season game of 2018, ahead of the PACWEST Championships at Capilano University. That game gets underway at 3:30 PM on Saturday at Cunnings Field.