The Evergreen Premier League trophy race was not decided on Saturday July 23 so now the action and attention continues today (Sunday July 24) as Vancouver Victory (29 points) play at Olympic Force and Bellingham United (25 points) play at South Sound FC.
On Saturday night Bellingham United secured a 2-1 win at Yakima United while the Spokane Shadow issued Vancouver their first loss of the season, 3-2.
Luke Olney scored twice in the first half to lead the Hammers. Yakima United got one back in the second half from Dennis Stevenson but it wasn’t enough.
In Vancouver the Victory knew with about 1/2 our to play that BUFC were winners and that they themselves would need a win to clinch in front of their home crowd of 442 at Harmony Sports Complex. It wasn’t meant to be as Spokane, 2-time defending EPLWA champions, stamped their mark on a race they are out of with a valiant 3-2 win.
A Victory defense that had been so stout, giving up just 7 goals in 11 matches, was punished for several goalkeeping errors as Spokane led 1-0, 2-1, and then won it on a penalty kick with about 15 minutes left.
Fernando Alvarez scored all three Shadow goals, including two first-half headers that lofted past the V2FC defense. His winning PK came after Vancouver goalkeeper Mario Gonzalez was ejected for grabbing a Shadow leg in the box after he had initially saved and then dropped the ball.
Vancouver got goals from Erick Urzua (converted PK on a hand ball) and Christo Michaelson.
Today Vancouver plays at Gordon Field in Bremerton at 4:30 PM against the Olympic Force still needing just 2 points to clinch. Bellingham must win again today to stay alive. The Hammers are at South Sound FC at Harry Lang Stadium at 4 PM.