Hurricanes surprise in cup play
They face the very real possibility of being relegated out of the Vancouver Metro Soccer League’s Premier Division.
But despite their 11th place standing and possible demotion to Division One for next season, the Punjab Hurricanes have not only reached the semifinal round of the Imperial Cup, they have also qualified for B.C. Soccer’s Provincial Cup tournament this spring.
The Hurricanes stunned third-place Richmond FC 2-1 Saturday at Minoru Park. Ryan Dhillon scored the game-winning goal on a breakaway with just a few minutes remaining, after taking a pass from Bobby Jhutty.
Jhutty was also part of the first Hurricanes goal, sending a pass to Amar Bains, who watched his shot deflect in off a Richmond defender to give the Surrey side a 1-0 lead five minutes before half time.
The Hurricanes were one of three Surrey teams to advance to the semifinal round, as ICST Pegasus and Surrey United also won their quarterfinal matches last weekend.
Pegasus stopped Westside FC 4-3 Friday night at Newton Athletic Park. Azad Palani and Omari Aldridge gave Pegasus a 2-0 lead before the game was 30 minutes old. Westside then tied the game, before Palani netted his second of the contest just prior to half time for a 3-2 Pegasus lead.
Niko Marcina scored what would prove to be the winning goal in the 60th minute, upping the difference to 4-2.
Pegasus will face the Coquitlam Metro-Ford Wolves in a semifinal contest Sunday at 5 p.m. at Coquitlam Town Centre.
The Surrey United Firefighters needed penalty kicks to get past the Sapperton Rovers 2-1 Saturday at Cloverdale Athletic Park.
After a scoreless first half, United took the lead with a little more than 20 minutes to play when Angus Burke finished a cross from Rizal Ganief. Sapperton tied the contest with just minutes to play, and after a scoreless half hour of overtime, the two sides went to a shootout. United netminder Paul Shepherd made two saves in the tiebreakers, sending Surrey on to the next round.
They will kick-off against the Punjab Hurricanes Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. at Cloverdale Athletic Park.
- ICST Pegasus did a huge favour for rival Surrey United Firefighters, edging the Coquitlam Metro-Ford Wolves 3-2 in a Premier Division contest last Wednesday (March 9) at Newton Athletic Park.
The loss left the Wolves seven points back of Surrey with just two games to play, handing United a second consecutive Premier Division championship.
Marcini and Palani staked Pegasus to a 2-0 lead in the first half, with Coquitlam getting one back just before the break. Marcini added his second goal on a penalty, one which became the winning goal when the Wolves pulled to within one in the 70th minute.