The STATE of Soccer in WASHINGTON
Bellingham United had never drawn a league match in its short PCSL history. This weekend they did it twice, giving the Hammers 26 points, good enough for a top four finish and a post-season Challenge Cup spot.
Kyle Elliott reports on Sunday’s 2:2 final from Civic Stadium in Bellingham.
by Kyle Elliott for BUFC
Bellingham United FC has now gone unbeaten in its last 6 games, but has drawn the last two.
On Sunday July 8, United took on Coquitlam Metro-Ford SC in Pacific Coast Soccer league action and tied 2:2 before 912 fans.
It was the second draw of the weekend for Bellingham.
For the second game in a row, Bellingham gave up the first goal. In the 31st minute, Coquitlam scored off a free kick. It was their only chance in the first half, but they converted and took a 1:0 lead in at halftime.
“In the first half we were outpaced,” said Bellingham United Head Coach Lance Calloway. “We didn’t attack, we held possession but didn’t do anything with it.”
Calloway went into the locker room not impressed with the effort, but the team came out in the second half with a different attitude.
United scored in the 51st minute. Oscar Jimenez collected the ball from Joel Grossman, sent in a cross and Brendan Quilici put it away to tie the game up.
“Quilici hit a great ball in,” Calloway said. “The guys made great adjustments at half and started to play diagonal balls in and give themselves a lot of chances.”
Seven minutes later, United scored again. Sean Connor found himself in the right spot and slotted it in past the keeper to give United a 2:1 lead.
Bellingham continued to apply pressure and had chance after chance, but just couldn’t find the back of the net.
“Credit to their keeper,” Calloway said. “He came up huge for them, we just didn’t take care of business.”
In the 70th minute, the Hammers took a man down in the box and the referee had no choice but to call a penalty, which the Coquitlam player slotted past United goalkeeper Drew Smiley to tie the game up.
Bellingham continued to have chances, but couldn’t put one in and the game ended 2:2.
The Hammers are now 8-5-2 on the year and have 26 points, putting them in second place in the league with one game left. United’s final home game is Sunday, July 15 at 3 pm at Civic Field against Victoria Highlanders FC.
Bellingham will also host the Kennedy Cup on July 21 and 22, before heading to the Challenge Cup playoffs in Chilliwack on July 28 and 29.