Griffins concede two second-half goals to fall 2-0 to Huskies

Michael Ho clears one upfield on Saturday against Saskatchewan (Joel Kingston photo).
Michael Ho clears one upfield on Saturday against Saskatchewan (Joel Kingston photo).

Jefferson Hagen
MacEwan Athletics

EDMONTON – Capitalizing on a game-changing penalty kick in the 65th minute, the Saskatchewan Huskies rolled to a 2-0 victory over the MacEwan Griffins in Canada West men's soccer action on Saturday at Edmonton Scottish field.

On a call that drew the ire of the MacEwan coaching staff, the Huskies were awarded a golden chance to break open a scoreless draw and Kuhle Bekwayo made no mistake, blasting the PK just right of the outstretched arm of diving Griffins goalkeeper Josh Stayko and into the cage.

With the momentum, the Huskies scored an insurance marker just four minutes later when Ahmed Mohammed cracked a 30-yard blast into the top right corner.

"There wasn't much of a difference," said MacEwan head coach Adam Loga of a game that was played nearly even, despite the score. "It was a great game up until that moment."

It's the third PK called against the Griffins at home this season. 

To be fair, MacEwan was awarded a PK in the 83rd minute on what appeared to be a hand ball, but Saskatchewan goalkeeper Jaron Slopinski made a fabulous diving stop on a solid blast by Rakan Yassin earmarked just inside the right post.

Overall, the Griffins outshot the Huskies 11-10 with the shots on goal even at 5-5. There were an exceptionally high amount of cards (nine yellows and a red) assessed in a contest that wasn't overly physical.

In fact, the Griffins were forced to play the final six minutes of extra time a man short when Kelsey Egwu picked up his second yellow of the contest.

"Honestly, there's not really much to say," said Loga, whose assistant coach Dominic Oppong was also assessed a yellow on Egwu's ejection. "They had a game plan. We were just stubborn in our own ways a little bit, but we found a way out. 

"I don't think they had much of the better of us, but we're battling some things, some injuries."

Rakan Yassin had a chance to put the Griffins on the board in the 83rd minute but his solid PK attempt was stopped by Saskatchewan goalkeeper Jaron Slopinski (Joel Kingston photo).

They also continue to battle themselves on the offensive end. The Griffins have scored just three goals in their last six games and have been blanked in three of their last four games.

Besides Yassin's PK, the Griffins' best chance of the game came in the 79th minute when Stewart Jamieson's low deflection was parried away by Slopinski, who finished with five saves.

"We just need one to go in, I think, and hopefully it opens the floodgates," said Loga. "It's kind of like the old hockey saying – gripping the stick too tight. It kind of seems what's going on a little bit, I think."

With the result, the Huskies (2-6-2) creep within a point of the Griffins (2-5-3) for the final playoff spot in the Prairie Division. The Griffins, now on a four-game losing streak, are going to need to bear down in their final four matches of the regular season.

It starts with Sunday's home game against Lethbridge (12 p.m., Clarke Stadium, Canada West TV).

"Yeah, we have to," agreed Loga. "We're out of mulligans."