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This article was published 29/7/2019 (653 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Ties are usually nothing to get excited about.
But when it comes against the best team in the league and you’re 0-7-1 in your past eight matches, you’ll happily take a single point.
Valour FC improved their fall season record to 0-1-2 after tying Cavalry FC (3-0-1) 1-1 on Saturday at IG Field.
Valour hung with Cavalry — the Canadian Premier League’s spring-season champs — the whole game, even outshooting them 15-13 on the afternoon. But the Winnipeg team was unable to find the back of the net until midfielder Glenn Muenkat was taken down in the box resulting in a Valour penalty kick at the end of the game. Attacking midfielder Marco Bustos capitalized on the opportunity as he stepped up and scored in the 93rd minute to make it a 1-1 draw. Bustos, a 23-year-old, left-footed player who grew up in the Maples, drilled a shot into the bottom right corner of the net. Cavalry keeper Nikolas Giantsopoulos guessed correctly on the play as he dove to his left, but could only get his fingertips on the ball.
"I mean, right when we got the penalty, I felt pretty confident," said Bustos, who now has two goals in CPL play. "I grabbed the ball and I felt really good taking it. In my professional career, I was nine for nine, so I felt confident. I guess he got pretty close there, but it crossed the line, so a goal is a goal to me. It was exciting though to hear the fans and to get a point at home."
With the tie, Valour still finds themselves in the basement of the CPL fall-season standings — which doesn’t say much as the other six teams have all played four or five games already — but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t an important point. Cavalry came to IG Field on a high note after their 2-1 win over Vancouver Whitecaps of Major League Soccer on Wednesday in the Canadian Championship. For Valour, a team that’s had so many things go against them this season, to play an even game with the best club in the league might be the confidence boost they so desperately needed.
"It was huge. They came off of beating the Whitecaps of the MLS. Obviously, they came in and they changed up some personnel, but they’re a deep squad. They’re a good team," Bustos said. "We just wanted to go out there and show them we’re not scared of nobody. And we went out and, you know, it took 93 minutes to score, but we ended up tying the game and it was a good result for the club."
IG Field hasn’t been kind to Valour in their inaugural season. Between both CPL seasons and the Canadian Championship, Valour is now 1-5-1 on their home field. Prior to Saturday, the only other time Valour picked up points at home was a 1-0 win over HFX Wanderers FC on May 11.
"We just have that mentality to keep going right to the end. And literally right to the end we went and we got our chance. We got a call, finally, for us. And it was a game decider," Bustos said. "You know, I feel like the group is growing. And I felt like we needed to get a result to keep the fans buzzing about us and for the next game. I thought it was a good overall game and now we got to build off it."
Valour won’t have to wait long to see their fans again as they host Pacific FC on Wednesday in a 7 p.m. kickoff. They’ll then begin a hectic August schedule where they play six games in 24 days.
"We’re going to get better as the weeks go on... the more games we play together, the better we’re gonna be," Bustos said. "There’s a lot of games coming up in a short amount of time, so we’re going to need everybody and everybody at their best."
Eighteen years old and still in high school, Taylor got his start with the Free Press on June 1, 2011. Well, sort of.