June 22, 2024
  • June 22, 2024
Valour FC Home Opener 2024

Long-Awaited Home Opener Lands Valour A Victory

By on June 2, 2024 0 918 Views

Valour’s homecoming party was a night to remember on the slick new turf at Princess Auto Stadium.

After a pregame BBQ was dutifully followed by a lengthy weather delay, the hosts bested second-from-the-top visitors Vancouver FC 2-0 following a brace from Jordan Swibel. With seven straight away matches preceding tonight’s home opener in league play, the home win was a result a long time coming for Winnipeg’s own.

Valour head coach Phil Dos Santos – who obtained the coveted UEFA Pro License in the days preceding the match – will surely breathe a sigh of relief with the result. His side had zero points from the first five away matches, though the tide shifted with last two after Valour nabbed a win over Halifax and a draw against Cavalry before tonight’s home tilt.

The first half was a fairly even affair between the two sides, both of whom showcased some strong defensive plays that kept the chances fairly subdued.

With less than ten minutes in the opening half, Valour ‘keeper Jonathan Viscosi had possession in his own box. Under pressure and rather than trying to play their way out of trouble like York United attempted against Forge, Viscosi gave it a solid boot – one that saw Binate nod the ball on to Jordan Swibel, who snuck in beyond a missed interception from David Norman Jr.

The Aussie found himself in a one-on-one with goalkeeper Callum Irving, running close and firing a low shot that forced him to a fine stop. The ball would slip back to Swibel, however, and he made no mistake with it.

Jordi’s third goal in seven games laid credence to his earlier comments after goal number one, with Princess Auto Stadium now enjoying Valour’s first lead under the new home ground name – and one that would soon be extended.

The start of the second half was an absolute disaster for the visitors: after nearly conceding a goal right from the get-go following another gaff from David Norman Jr, a whiffed shot from Mikhael Cantave two minutes later inadvertently set Valour up for the simplest of counters. Swibel found himself through on goal yet again, getting the best of Callum for the second time on the night.

The visitors would come close to getting on the scoresheet, with Mikael Cantave coming close before being deemed offside, while some set piece cooking forced Viscosi into some big stops later on.

The home fans would also see club captain Raphael Ohin come in off the bench, marking his first home appearance in 950 days after suffering two back-to-back long term injuries.

Viscosi would keep his clean sheet with a stellar stop on Elage Bah just minutes from time, marking a club first for the veteran goalkeeper.

Valour FC Jordi Swibel
Photo Credit: Canadian Premier League

Despite some substitution tinkering from Afshin Ghotbi, Valour FC would hold on to the two-nil lead to grab three points and keep the now-very-wet home fans celebrating to cap off the home opener.

While Valour remain in seventh following the win, they’ve collected seven points from a possible nine in the last three games. They’ll stay at home to welcome undefeated Atletico Ottawa next weekend, while Vancouver FC play away to York United for the second time this year.

Header Image Photo Credit: Canadian Premier League

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