VANCOUVER – The UBC Thunderbirds men’s soccer team saw their three-game winning streak snap with a 1-0 loss to the seventh-ranked Mount Royal Cougars on Saturday afternoon in Calgary.
In a rematch from last season’s Canada West semi-final that saw the T-Birds progress with a 1-0 overtime win over MRU, the Cougars got some semblance of revenge with Mohammed’s goal El Gandour at 20e minute, the only scorer of the game.
“We knew it was going to be a battle and it was exactly that, they have a good team,” said the UBC head coach, Mike Mosher. “They came to us very early and we had our moments, more in the second half, but we had to make the most of the possession we had. We didn’t create enough decent chances.”
The T-Birds (3-2) had the advantage in shot attempts (13-7) and shots on goal (4-3) while amassing seven corner kicks at zero from MRU, but the quadruple defending Canada West champions were just unable to find the back of the net.
El Gandour’s lone goal saw the fourth-year forward sprint down the field, past the UBC defense before hammering a ball 25 yards out. His power behind the kick couldn’t be stopped by Axel Thulin Lennselius.
The Thunderbirds couldn’t find the scoresheet this afternoon, but kept the Cougars (5-0-1) on their toes the whole time.
T-Birds Midfielder Logan Chung took control of the central pitch and forced MRU to change their attacking plan throughout the game. He also provided his teammates with multiple scoring opportunities but luck was not on their side.
Sterling Kerr got the clean sheet and the win for the Cougars who remain atop the Prairie Division with their fourth straight victory.
The T-Birds will be looking to bounce back and take a .500 road trip when they take on the Calgary Dinos 2-2-2 on Sunday afternoon. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:15 p.m. PT and the match will be streamed live on Canada West TV.