Valour FC's season is officially over.
On Saturday, the Winnipeg side needed to beat FC Edmonton and for York United FC to lose to Forge FC to keep their post-season aspirations alive.
Forge did their part as they handed York a 2-1 loss early in the afternoon. But Valour, who came into the match winners of two straight, fell short, as they tied the Eddies 3-3 on the road. Edmonton scored three goals in the opening 50 minutes to put Valour in a gigantic hole. To Valour's credit, they fought to the final whistle, as forward Moses Dyer scored in the 78th and 80th minute to give them some hope. Then Valour captain Daryl Fordyce potted a goal in the 88th minute to tie things up, but it was too little too late.
Valour needed the three points and for York to lose to Forge again on Tuesday in order to steal the Canadian Premier League's fourth and final playoff spot. The Winnipeggers finish the season 10-5-13. Edmonton, the last place club in the eight-team league, is now 5-10-12 and will close out their season next Saturday against Forge.
"I feel in any given situation or circumstance, you're on the road, you're down 3-0, and in 10 minutes or 15 minutes you're able to get the draw, you'd be celebrating. But today we're not. If you go in that locker room, heads are down and everybody's disappointed," said Valour head coach and general manager Phillip Dos Santos.
Valour won the possession battle at 59.6 per cent, but were outshot 8-5.
"The game started and it seemed like Edmonton was playing for a playoff spot. They were pragmatic, they were efficient, they were stretching us... and we weren't defending well," said Dos Santos.
"...My disappointment comes when you see the opposition winning all those battles in one-versus-one situations and I think that you could come with all the plan that you have as a coach, but if the opposition is able to get to the ball, to fight for the ball, win it, keep it more than you do, they're gonna control the game."
Since replacing Rob Gale on Sept. 23, Dos Santos led Valour to a 3-3-2 record. Valour started the season 6-0-2 after dominating the Winnipeg bubble, but they followed that up by going 1-2-7 and were never able to fully recover.
"There's a lot of good things for us to build from. It's hard now, but we need to look ahead," said Dos Santos.
"I said we need to be in the fight until the last minute and I think we were in the fight until the last minute."
Eighteen years old and still in high school, Taylor got his start with the Free Press on June 1, 2011. Well, sort of.