File photo of Comox Valley United in action at the Vanier turf.

File photo of Comox Valley United in action at the Vanier turf.

Comox Valley United suffers first loss of soccer season

The Comox Valley United men’s soccer team suffered its first defeat Dec. 15, shut out 5-0 in Victoria by the Highlanders.

The game was even for the first 40 minutes, with United creating more opportunities, but the host side managed to break CVU down a minute before half.

“Their star striker Mahdi Hammoud scored the goal on a poor defensive clearance, and took a 1-0 lead at the half,” player/coach Graeme McNeill said.

United came out in the second half determined to score the equalizer, but Hammoud struck again, scoring a weak goal about five minutes in. Hammoud completed his hat trick five minutes later, which deflated Comox Valley.

McNeill said the Highlanders took control of the remaining 30 minutes, and sent CVU home for Christmas with their first loss of the 2019/20 Vancouver Island Soccer League season.

“Highlanders are fast, highly skilled and a well organized squad,” McNeill said. “They made Comox realize what we will need to compete against in Jackson Cup (Island championship) in the New Year, and when we get back into Div. 1 next season. We will learn from our first loss and come back stronger in the New Year.”

Despite the loss, CVU remains atop the second division standings with 34 points. The Highlanders are second with 33 points. Both teams have played 13 games.

Comox Valley United resumes the season Jan. 18 at home against Lakehill FC.