It wasn’t the most ideal way to book a trip to the playoffs, but the Okanagan Football Club are heading there all the same.
OKFC needed just one win in their last two home games of the season in order to safely secure a playoff berth, but dropped back-to-back losses to two of the top three teams in the league and thus needed the Penticton team to lose in their final game in order to secure the fourth best points total.
Penticton lost and Okanagan FC advanced to the playoffs in their first year in the Pacific Coast Soccer League.
“Would have loved to get a win in the last two games, but we’re delighted to be in the playoffs,” Okanagan FC coach Andrew Stevenson said.
“The playoffs were a main target of ours coming into the league and we’re here to try and win a trophy. The guys know this and now, our focus is on what’s next.”
OKFC will enter the playoffs as the fourth and final seed and will need to beat two of the top three teams in order to secure the league championships. They’ll play first seed Victoria in their first game in Victoria on July 27, a team they recently beat 1-0.
The other two playoff squads Surrey United and FC Tigers Vancouver, were the two teams that beat OKFC in their final two games on home turf last weekend. OKFC was bested 1-0 on Saturday by Surrey and 4-2 by Vancouver on Sunday.
Despite the losses, Stevenson said the results from the season show that OKFC is no underdog.
“We went toe-to-toe with Tigers and could have easily gotten a positive result, we had every chance to win that game,” he said.
“In our first season to show that we can not only be competitive, but to advance to the playoffs by beating some of the best teams this season; it adds to our credibility going into the playoffs. We’re fit, organized and hard to beat and we know that we’ll be no more than a goal within a win.”
With the season all wrapped up and a chance for the league championship, OKFC’s inaugural season in the PCSL could be chalked up to a win.
Pulling a senior and competitive team almost out of thin air in a matter of months, building a decent following in their fan base and providing a fun and affordable sporting experience to soccer fans throughout Kelowna was a solid first step.
But the OKFC coach said it only needs one more thing to be a perfect end to the season.
“If it ends with a trophy, I’m looking forward to (the off-season),” Stevenson said.
Okanagan FC starts their playoff push Saturday at 4:30 p.m. If they win, they’ll play in the championships Sunday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. The championship game will be streamed at pcsl.org.
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