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VIDEO: A win sets a club record for Vancouver FC at home opener in Langley

‘Life is like grapes’ pleased coach says

Vancouver FC came back from a goal down to beat Winnipeg’s Valour FC at Willoughby Community Park in Langley on Sunday night, April 14, picking up a 4-1 victory in their 2024 season opener.

Valour took the lead 24 minutes in through Jordan Swibel, who headed home a perfect cross from Themi Antonoglou.

Just as it looked like it was going to be 1-0 heading into halftime, Moses Dyer fired a shot past Jonathan Viscosi in the 45th minute to tie things up against his former side going into the break.

Paris Gee gave Vancouver FC the lead just 61 seconds after play resumed — finding the top left corner of Viscosi’s net despite the Valour goalkeeper getting his fingertips on it — before Gabriel Bitar made it 3-1 for the hosts by picking out the opposite corner six minutes later, finding the bottom right to double their advantage.

Valour’s Jordan Faria was sent off after receiving a second yellow card for simulation in the 55th minute, and it didn’t get any easier from there for the Winnipeggers. David Norman put the game to bed in the 67th minute, extending the lead to the eventual final score of 4-1 with a low shot following a corner kick.

Four goals in one game is a club record, a good start to the second season for Head Coach Afshin Ghotbi.

“Life is like grapes, it comes in bunches,” Ghotbi said after the match.

“Good things in bunches, bad things in bunches, and last year we had a lot of bad things in bunches. To be able to score four goals, and maybe we could have many more, sets a sense of confidence going forward that we’re capable of even playing much better football.”

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With the win VFC moves to the top of the CPL table, with a chance to build on this performance when they play at home again on Thursday against the Halifax Wanderers. Game starts at 7 p.m.

READ ALSO: VIDEO: VFC – There’s something in the air

A big story throughout Vancouver FC’s offseason was the influx of local talent returning home to the Lower Mainland to play for the club.

In total, 13 players on VFC’s roster are from British Columbia, including five players who started on Sunday — captain Callum Irving, defenders Kadin Chung, David Norman, and Paris Gee, as well as midfielder Ben Fisk.

Gee and Norman marked the occasion with their first goals for the team — the first and second goals of their CPL careers, respectively.

“We had a big chat, everybody said something around the table before we walked out,” Gee said after the match. “This club is a family, all of us respect each other and work hard for each other, and I think what we did today proved it and that’s a standard we gotta keep for the rest of the season.”