ABBOTSFORD, B.C. – A dramatic injury-time goal from Darash Sandhu lifted the University of the Fraser Valley men's soccer team to a 2-1 win over the Trinity Western Spartans on Sunday afternoon at MRC Sports Complex.
Sandhu, a rookie forward from Surrey, B.C., picked an opportune moment to cash in his first career Canada West goal. With the score knotted 1-1 beyond the 90th minute, Cascades captain Tammer Byrne sent a long ball ahead and Sandhu and Spartans keeper Sebastian Colyn (Langley, B.C.) both raced to meet it. They arrived at virtually the same time, but the ball squirted past Colyn, and Sandhu's forward momentum gave him a clean look at the vacated net. All that was left to do was slot it home.
The victory represented a significant bounce-back effort from the Cascades, who had suffered a 4-0 loss to the Spartans at TWU's Langley campus on Friday evening. It also kept UFV's playoff hopes alive, boosting their record to 4-6-2 with four regular-season games remaining. The Spartans fell to 6-4-4.
The Cascades started much more brightly than they had in Friday's loss to the Spartans, and their effort yielded a goal in the 12th minute. Gurmaan Jhaj's initial shot was stopped by Colyn, but the rebound went directly to Brady Weir who tapped it in for his team-best third goal of the season.
TWU started having more success going forward in the minutes leading up to halftime, and they continued that momentum after the break. In the 58th minute, Joel Waterman (Aldergrove, B.C.) hammered a shot off the goalpost, and 10 minutes later, Elie Gindo's (Langley, B.C.) header bounced off the crossbar before being cleared out of harm's way by UFV defender John Kasper.
That set the stage for Sandhu.
TWU Head Coach Mike Shearon
"The first half was a bit disappointing. We didn't play at the tempo we need to play at and they did a good job of closing space and making us possess in our own half. I thought we played a lot better in the second half. I thought we dictated the play a lot more. After tying it up, we were pushing the rest of the game, but they obviously got that one late.
"We're disappointed right now, but it's all part of our growth and I always believe that things happen for a reason, so we'll see what the reason is here. We'll try to be thankful this weekend. There are a lot of people in the world who don't have a lot to be thankful for and all we did was lost a game. It's nothing in comparison to what some people are going through."
• The Spartans had a 16-5 edge in shots, including a 13-2 advantage in the second half.
• UFV was whistle for 16 fouls and was shown three yellow cards. TWU was called for just 10 fouls.
• Fransen's goal was his second of the season. He hadn't scored since TWU's season-opener.
The Spartans are now on a bye week before wrapping up the regular season with home games against UBC Oct. 20 and Victoria Oct. 21.