Okanagan FC one win away from playoff berth

The Kelowna soccer club finishes their season with two home games

The Okanagan Football Club is knocking on the door of league playoffs in their first season in the Pacific Coast Soccer League.

After tight victories over two top-four teams in the league over last weekend, OKFC has bounced into the fourth and final playoff spot. Okanagan FC notched two 1-0 wins over Kamloops and Victoria and now only need one win in their final two games to secure a playoff berth. Both games will be played this weekend at Kelowna’s Apple Bowl.

“Our foot is firmly on the gas,” said coach Andrew Stevenson.

“We’re going into the weekend with everything we have and we’ll fight every minute. We’re the ones with the momentum and we want to carry that going into the playoffs.”

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With a playoff format that will have Okanagan FC play the first seeded team in the league if they remain in fourth when the season concludes, every game will come down to the wire as there are three teams that are all vying for the two final spots.

After the consecutive 1-0 wins in their last two games, OKFC has not had a goal scored on them in five of their last seven games. The team’s defence will be heavily relied upon with the last two tests of the season and going into playoffs.

“Every player on the field is expected to defend. We believe in defending as a collective, and that has worked for us all year. It’s what gives us the extra edge in the tight matches,” said Stevenson.

The fan following has been steady for OKFC; the Apple Bowl has proven to be a good home turf for the Kelowna team with crowds ranging in the three to five hundreds for home games. Meanwhile, the entire Okanagan soccer scene has benefited over all with OKFC’s success, as the Kelowna team and the Penticton team are neck-and-neck in the race to the playoffs.

“It’s exciting for us and Penticton to have a chance to make playoffs, we would love to see two Okanagan teams make it in,” said Stevenson.

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The last time Okanagan FC won two back-to-back games, they lost their next two, including a 4-1 loss at home.

Stevenson said that coming out sloppy again simply is not an option.

“That’s still fresh in everyone’s mind. But the team doesn’t need any warning from me, they know it’s crunch time,” he said.

“They came out with with two great performances this past weekend, and I expect nothing less this weekend.”

Okanagan FC hosts third place Surrey United on July 20 at 4 p.m. and then first place Vancouver Tigers July 21 at 1 p.m.

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