Pacific FC’s MVP candidate was the star of the show in his club’s season finale with two goals and two assists in a 5-0 win over HFX Wanderers FC on Tuesday night at The Island Games.
Tuesday’s earlier match – a 1-0 win for Forge FC over Cavalry FC – guaranteed the Wanderers a berth in the CPL Finals and, rightfully so, HFX coach Stephen Hart fielded a heavily-rotated lineup that included teenagers Luke Green and Scott Firth. Pacific, meanwhile, played their near-best starting XI and it showed.
Pacific’s Terran Campbell opened the scoring, and his Island Games account, with a beautiful diving header off of Bustos’ cheeky cross in the ninth minute.
The Tridents kept the pressure up, pinning the Wanderers back in their end and snatching 60 per cent possession in the first half. Bustos doubled Pacific’s lead in the 29th minute with a header, completing a well-worked goal at the back-post. A third Pacific goal came minutes later when – guess who? – Bustos capitalized on a loose pass and sent a slick through ball to Alejandro Diaz who calmly netted his third goal of the season.
Bustos capped off a red-hot first half with what OneSoccer dubbed the longest one-two in the history of the sport, launching a cross-field pass only to sprint 30 metres to finish his opportunity at the near post.
João Morelli offered HFX’s lone first-half bright spot with a fabulous goal against the run of play, a dipping and curving 20-yard attempt that went off the post.
The Tridents continued their dominance in the second half though the Wanderers’ substitutes stifled their free-flowing attack. Diaz nearly added his second goal, while Bustos came close to completing his hat trick several times, but Victor Blasco added the fifth and final marker by the 80th minute.
Next up for HFX Wanderers is the big one: The 2020 CPL Finals against Forge FC on Saturday (2 p.m. ET/3 p.m. AT, OneSoccer/CBC).
HFX Wanderers: Capitalize on chances – The Wanderers’ attacking core failed to convert on chances because they didn’t create any. Stephen Hart’s side earned just one shot on target across 90 minutes.
Pacific FC: Leave your mark – The Tridents wanted to leave Prince Edward Island on a high, and boy did they ever. Great movement, clinical attacking, and, well, Marco Bustos himself give Tridents fans more than enough to be happy about looking towards 2021.
90′ Thomas Meilleur-Giguère (Pacific FC)
Marco Bustos (Pacific FC)
What hasn’t already been said about Marco Bustos? Pacific’s talisman had the first-half of his life with two goals and two assists in arguably the greatest half by any CPL player. An awe-inspiring performance and quite a way to say goodbye to the 2020 CPL season.