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Valour’s last second goal forces Eddies to settle for draw
FC Edmonton earned their fourth draw of the season on Sunday after battling Valour FC to a 1-1 draw. VALOUR FC PHOTO
FC Edmonton earned their fourth draw of the year on Sunday after battling Valour FC to a 1-1 draw.

Jason Hills
FC Edmonton Communications

WINNIPEG — It had to feel like a little deja vu for FC Edmonton.
In their season opener against Valour FC, Tobias Warschewski’s bicycle kick goal in the 94th minute helped secure a 1-1 draw.
On Sunday afternoon at IG Field, it was William Akio scoring on a header in the 94th minute to steal what was looking like the Eddies first victory of the season, to having to settle for a 1-1 draw, Sunday afternoon at IG Field.

“Sometimes in football and in life, when you go through difficult moments, it seems like that’s all that gets thrown at you every single day, but I think the whole world can see the resilience of our group and our staff. We come to work, and we’re going to keep on pushing,” said FC Edmonton head coach Alan Koch.
“I’m very disappointed for our players because they did everything we asked of them today. Their effort was out of this world. The individual effort and the willingness to work and be selfless for what we ask them to do in our game plan was fantastic.”

The Eddies looked poised to earn this first win of the season. Despite Valour holding a large portion of the possession of the first half, the Eddies didn’t give Valour any real dangerous scoring chances.
When they got their best opportunity in the first half, they made Valour pay as Gabriel Bitar raced up the field and fed a perfect pass through the defender to Mamadi Camara, who used his deft touch on the ball to beat Valour goalkeeper Jonathan Sirois in the 32nd minute to give FC Edmonton a 1-0 lead.
Camara’s goal was his second goal of the season and the veteran striker now has goals in back-t0-back matches.

“Gabby is a special player when he has the ball,” said Koch.
“You can see he has special moments, he can find little pockets of space to play no matter where we play him — and we’ve played him in a lot of different positions already so far this season. He has that individual quality to pick out that final ball. Then you have someone like Mamadi who has the willingness to run in behind.”

After scoring the opening goal, FC Edmonton didn’t sit back. They continued to put pressure on Valour offensively, and they were committed to not giving Valour many strong offensive opportunities.
That was until the final moments of stoppage time, when Matthew Catavolo’s cross was finished by a diving Akio.

“The guys did a great job of executing. The game is about the details and moments and unfortunately one moment at the end cost us,” said Koch.
“(It’s) very similar to before when we played Valour and a moment cost them at the end. I guess that’s a little bit of justice on their end, but I was very happy and proud of our performance of our players today.”

The draw snaps the Eddies five-game losing streak as they now have a record of 0-6-4 through the first 10 matches of the season.

THIS AND THAT: Forward Azriel Gonzalez returned to the starting lineup on Sunday, marking his first start with the club, since the Eddies 0-0 draw with Pacific FC on Apr.27.
Eddies goalkeeper Andreas Vaikla was once again very strong in net for the Eddies. The 25-year-old continues to lead the CPL in saves with 33.
Camara’s goal ties him for the team lead with two, along with Tobias Warschewski.

FC Edmonton returns home and will face the Halifax Wanderers FC on Tuesday June 14 at 8 p.m. at Clarke Stadium.