Vancouver Champions League. First leg report

Chelsea Vancouver 0 Liverpool Vancouver 1

All to play for in three weeks after a closely contested first leg of the annual north/south Vancouver battle. Just when it looked as if the game was drifting to a stalemate, the Blues defence went to sleep late on after a routine free kick into the box, allowing a Liverpool striker to drift to the right unmarked and then cross to an unmarked teammate six yards out. There was to be no Ronnie Rosenthal moment, and the chance was gleefully accepted. A classic late “European” robbery, so beloved by Liverpool teams in the 70s and 80s until they turned their attention to local motors.

Back to the game: this was perhaps the most evenly balanced of the games to date. Keith’s son (apologies, old age has made me forget his name!) brought a lovely touch of class to the centre of midfield to counteract the return of Liverpool’s Adam, their best player who has missed two years with injury. Chances were few and far between. The Liverpool goalie made good saves from three close one-on-ones, while David E dealt masterfully with the few scraps that came his way. Kevin marshalled the Chelsea back four with his usual calm authority, keeping the squabbling Reds at more than arm’s length.

>We missed the bulk of our main attacking talent today (Chris, Andrew, Nima, Alister, Leroy, Fernando), so the more of you guys that an make the next game the better chance we will have of turning it round. Although Liverpool have the “away goal”, if we score once it’s v much game on.

The stage is set for the second coming of the Special One to the dugout in London…and West Vancouver’s Special One will return to the sidelines on June 15. Can they both bring the magic touch?

Game 2:Saturday, June 15, 2pm at Andy Livingstone East (same venue as today). Then on to New Oxford for celebratory beer and burger.