Match Report: Burnaby FC v TSS Rovers

Original publication: https://www.tssfc.ca/post/rovers-take-on-burnaby-fc

Women

Standing on the side of the artificial turf at Burnaby Lake West, the game looked dead and buried with just seconds to go. It wasn’t. In a balanced affair that was tied 1-1 at the death, Burnaby FC took advantage of TSS Rovers’ failure to clear a last-minute corner, winning the game with the last kick and sending TSS home heartbroken. 

After an impressive performance and win at home to Altitude last week, TSS looked to build off that performance and come away with at least a point at Burnaby FC. The hosts were coming off their first defeat of the season at the hands of league frontrunners Whitecaps FC. Prior to that, they had picked up four points in their first two games and were slight favourites going into this all-Burnaby clash. 

Notable players in the starting 11 were 16-year-old homegrown talent, Katie Chan, an impressive accolade for the young centre back. The line-up also saw the return of legendary TSS veteran, Katie Bishop, in her first appearance since tearing her ACL back in 2022.

Both sets of players were drenched as the game got underway; the rain had been relentless in the warm-ups and continued throughout the first half. The home team enjoyed the brighter start to proceedings and were a goal to the good at the 15-minute mark. Raegan MacKenzie struck powerfully from just inside the box, bagging her second of the season and giving Burnaby the perfect start.

As the downpour continued, the tempo of the game increased, giving TSS the ability to speed things up and come to life. TSS forward Jenna Baxter forced Burnaby keeper Karina Bagi into a smart save, pushing behind for a corner in what was the first chance for the visitors. Another chance came from the subsequent corner, which was delivered dangerously, but headed just over by Jenieva Musico. 

The final whistle blew, and it was Burnaby who soaked up the glory of victory, leaving the TSS players crushed – a cruel blow and a reminder of the pain that this game can inflict despite a positive performance.

With the end of the first half approaching, a moment of quality was produced. Burnaby’s Mia Pante, 30-yards from goal, struck a venomous strike that looked destined for the top corner. She was to be denied by TSS keeper Kirstin Tynan, who produced a truly world-class save, leaping up and tipping the ball onto the crossbar and out for a corner. The last action of the half kept Burnaby just in sight for the visitors. 

Moments after the restart, it was Tynan again who kept TSS in the tie. Isabella Muzzolini’s snapshot was tipped over the bar by the acrobatics of Tynan—another fine stop by the former Everton trainee. The heroics of Tynan were rewarded when TSS equalised 18 minutes into the second half through Devon Kavanagh. She remained composed on the edge of the box before moving into space and striking low into the bottom left corner to make it 1-1.

In a tight game, it would be fine margins that made the difference. Right at the death, Burnaby were awarded a corner; TSS did not clear, and it was Mia Pante who stole the show, smashing home the loose ball and sealing the win for the home side.

The final whistle blew, and it was Burnaby who soaked up the glory of victory, leaving the TSS players crushed – a cruel blow and a reminder of the pain that this game can inflict despite a positive performance.


Men

With three wins in three and 12 goals scored so far this season, TSS Rovers were the in-form team between themselves and hosts Burnaby. The home team found themselves at the bottom of the pile going into this one, and throughout the night it became clear why. An early TSS red card gave Burnaby the perfect opportunity to strike; conversions went amiss, though, and the home team were left rueing their catalogue of missed opportunities. 

Even before the sending off, it was Burnaby who looked the most likely to score; three golden opportunities within the first half hour should’ve seen the hosts score at least one goal. Lachlan Will had the best of those chances when he struck straight at Justyn Sandhu from yards out. Devin O’Hea responded for TSS with a looping header that just went over the crossbar. Ten minutes after receiving his first yellow for a late challenge, TSS striker Massud Habibullah saw red in the 38th minute when he lunged in late again, leaving the referee with little choice. Burnaby responded with a barrage of chances. TSS held on, and it was goalless at the break.

When the rain returned for the second half, the pitch went from quick and zippy to pond-like. TSS remained tight at the back as Burnaby hit them with spells of pressure throughout the half, though nothing was going in for the hosts. The visitors had their own chances through Danylo Smychenko and Matteo Polisi, but nothing was clear-cut. The game finished 0-0. Burnaby’s failure to convert in the final third cost them dearly. TSS will be happy they held on with ten but disappointed with the nature of the sending off.