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Calgary Foothills FC give up late goal against Portland Timbers U23, draw 1-1

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Calgary Foothills FC dropped their first points of the 2018 Premier Development League season, with a 1-1 draw against Portland Timbers U23 in Okotoks Sunday.

Foothills FC had the lead late, but conceded a goal deep into stoppage-time, denying themselves a perfect four wins from their first four matches of the new campaign. Foothills FC won an earlier meeting between the two teams 3-1 on Friday.

Foothills FC head coach Tommy Wheeldon Jr. admitted to his and his players’ frustration, having given up the lead so late in the match.

“Today we gifted them a point, and we lost two,” said Wheeldon. “We stuck to our game plan. We knew the outside part of the field was where we’d dominate – we did.

“We just didn’t take our chances. It should have been five or six-nil, instead of one nil going into the last couple of minutes. So we didn’t do our job and little errors catch up with you. And that’s what happened with the goal at the last kick of the game.”

“We played well, and that’s the disappointing thing. That’s where the frustration comes. For 94 minutes, we’ve played well. We’ve managed the game, We’ve managed the flow of the game, we’ve created chances. We weren’t ruthless enough today. But that’s problem to solve on the training ground this week.”

Ali Musse scored Foothills FC’s goal in 60th minute. Musse had a penalty kick saved by Timbers U23’s Zach Nelson, but recovered well to slot home the rebound. Foothills FC’s Moses Danto also had a penalty kick saved in the 23rd minute.

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Camden Riley scored Timbers U23’s headed equalizer in the 94th minute. The two clubs played the majority of the game with 10 men each, after two red cards were shown in the 32nd minute.

Wheeldon questioned the legitimacy of his club’s sending off, after the match.

“The (Timbers U23) lad has stamped on it, that you can see,” he said. “I’ve looked at the footage afterwards – our lad’s done nothing. So I’m going to review it again and maybe it’s a case we have to send it to the league.”

But Wheeldon wasn’t making any excuses for his club.

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“I thought once it went to 10 v 10, there actually was more space. It was actually a decent game. We tried to play, but Timbers are a good outfit. They won the division last year. The (Timbers U23) coach, he got sent off because it was a bit heated. But that’s why it’s a rivalry. That’s why we’re in this league. We want these type of games, because that’s the only way our players are going to grow, though competition, adversity and connectivity. So, it’s a really good environment to be in.”

And Wheeldon will be paying close attention to how his squad recovers from Sunday’s disappointment.

“I believe in a bit of adversity,” Wheeldon said. “A few lads got challenged in there and didn’t do their job when we needed to do it. I want to see now how they’re going to recover, because we’re a team and we’ve got to be team through good times and we’ve got to be a team through a bit of adversity.

“I’m excited to see how the boys are going to manage that. To be a top player you have to come through these times and that’s the challenge now.”

Calgary Foothills FC next play TSS FC Rovers at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby, BC Friday, June 1.

Foothills FC’s next home game is against Lane Untied FC in Okotoks Saturday, June 9 at 2pm.

Single game and season tickets are available online at or at the gate.

Follow Stuart Gradon: @StuartGradon | Follow Total Soccer Project: @TSoccerProject


About Author

Photographer and Writer | Stuart Gradon is soccer journalist and web communications professional. He covers Cavalry FC of the Canadian Premier League and Canada's national teams. He has also worked on assignment at FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015 and FIFA World Cup South Africa 2010.

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