CPL Weekly Recap: Here’s What Went Down In Week 3
Fifteen goals from four matches is quite the haul, right? That’s what we got in the third round of the 2022 Canadian Premier League season.
The buildup to this week’s action saw the unfortunate confirmation that CPL MVP Joao Morelli would miss the remainder of the season. While the Wanderers seek out a replacement, news also came that York United had secured the return of Austin Ricci, who suffered his own season-ending injury whilst with Valour last year.
We’d also brought up three talking points for matchweek three, and they were right on the money: Morelli was confirmed to be out, the York and Cavalry match was a heated affair, and the league table is still providing some truly shocking results.
Without further ado, here’s what you missed in all four matches from the third round of the 2022 CPL season:
FC Edmonton 1 – 1 York United
York United 2 – 0 Cavalry FC
The reunion between Martin Nash and his former team was always destined to be a chippy affair: with no less than four players on the Nine Stripes roster having once worked for Tommy, there’s no doubt that a few of these guys had the match circled on the calendar. On the big night, Nash did well to keep the Cavalry high press from finding Joe Mason, remarkably keeping the visitors from registering a single shot on target.
The Nine Stripes would take the lead after Isaiah Johnston lofting a seeking ball into the Cavalry box, with Oliver Minatel providing an inch-perfect finish to put the home side in front and, of course, bag one against his former team:
The second half saw York’s midfield continue to cause all sorts of problems for an increasingly-frustrated Cavalry side. Osaze De Rosario carved space for himself in from the left flank twenty minutes from time, and with nobody closing him down the youngster took a quick look up before firing home a tidy out-of-the-box effort to double the lead.
With Carducci having warmed up ahead of the match, one feels that Tommy Wheeldon Jr. will be keen to have his usual number one back in the action as soon as his body is ready. For now, it’s been a tough open for Julian Roloff, although the third-choice hasn’t been bad.
The heated affair would see a brawl involving both teams before referee Carlee Shaw-Maclaren sounded the final whistle, with head coach Tommy Wheeldon Jr. making it clear that he’d be clamping down on discipline after his team recorded no less than thirteen yellow cards from their opening three fixtures. For the Nine Stripes, it was a big, vindicating three points at home.
York United will now host Atletico Ottawa under a – you guessed it – Friday Night showdown next week, while Cavalry will dust itself off and hope that a home match will see the club return to form. With Cavalry at the bottom of the table, the only direction from here is up.
Forge 3 – 0 FC Edmonton
The underdog FC Edmonton side tasted its first defeat of the season despite a fairly resolute showing against two-time CPL champions Forge FC, with Alan Koch instituting a low defensive block that kept the hammers from striking through until a penalty in the 34th minute broke the deadlock. Up stepped former Pacific man Terran Campbell to open his account in orange:
The 23-year-old would turn provider before the first half finished, making a sharp run onto the end of a through ball from Choiniere before sending the ball skirting across the box. With Luke Singh caught out, the ball trekked on to a Tristan Borges who was all-too-happy to tuck in what might be the easiest goal he’s ever tapped in at Tim Hortons Field.
For their part, the Eddies didn’t give up: they came into the second half with a more attacking mindset, but failed to get much by the way of opportunity in the final third. While Woobens Pacius came close to extending the home side’s lead on a few occasions, it would be Terran Campbell to seal the deal as he capped off another smart run:
Koch’s FC Edmonton are in for a tough week: they now play a midweek match at home against reigning champions Pacific FC, while Forge will travel to a confident Valour FC side on the weekend.
Pacific FC 2 – 1 Halifax Wanderers
The Tridents continued their perfect start to the season in some fashion, getting the coast-to-coast clash off to a spectacular start with Manny Aparicio’s second of the season midway through the first half. The diminutive midfielder played a nice give-and-go with Alejandro Diaz, who popped the ball in front of the night for an unmarked Aparicio to head straight home:
The Wanderers didn’t cave after going behind, however, putting forth a strong midfield performance that saw the familiar duo of Andre Rampersad and Jeremy Gagnon-Lapare do a good job limiting a Pacific FC attack that has cut down many a team before them. The side would equalize at the stroke of half-time through a wonderfully struck set piece from Cory Bent, who managed to beat Callum Irving near-post from some ways out.
The Wanderers looked like the most likely side to contain the Pacific attack this season, but drama would unfold in the game’s dying minutes as Obeng Tabi brought down Marco Bustos (who else?) in the box. Diaz stepped up to take the penalty, sending Oxner the wrong way to earn his side three points:
The penalty decision would prove a controversial once, with Joao Morelli calling the league’s referees an ‘absolute joke’ following the match. With a tough three-match road trip now done and dusted, the east coast side can now rest up at home before Wanderers Grounds plays host to FC Edmonton. Pacific will host the Eddies a few days prior to that.
Atletico Ottawa 1 – 6 Valour FC
Yes, you read that right.
Atletico Ottawa’s clean sheet streak came to quite an end in what proved to be a match that got far away from the hosts, who went behind after what looked to be a botched penalty call. Moses Dyer showed tireless energy to make bursting run between two Ottletti defenders, but found himself tripped up doing so just outside of the box. With momentum carrying forward, he then landed into Nathan Ingham as the keeper cleared the ball away.
The result was a penalty call in which Dyer was only too happy to convert:
William Akio had himself a game on the right flank, and he gave Maxim Tissot all kinds of trouble. The forward would send in a delightful cross for Alessandro Riggi to tap in midway through the first half, though TD Place did well to keep its volume up despite going 2-0 down.
The hosts would then claw one back after Tissot fired in a powerful ball that caught Jonathan Sirois out, with the keeper deflecting it into his own net. That’ll go down as an own-goal.
Before thoughts of a potential comeback could settle, Valour struck not once, but twice in the dying embers of the first half to put the side up 4-1at half. The first of the double salvo came through a wonderful distance header from Rocco Romeo, while the second saw an unforced error from Ballou Tabla lead to Alessandro Riggi applying some fancy footwork under pressure before nutmegging Nathan Ingham.
The second half would see Atletico Ottawa bravely move forward without changes, but Valour continued the romp with Akio pinging a ball off of a defender for Dyer to redirect into the back of net just a few minutes in.
The visitor’s weren’t even done there, with Brett Levis unleashing an absolute worldie off the post and in after muscling his way through five defenders. This run started in his own half, by the way. That absolute peach of a moment really summed it up: Valour were putting on a show, and Atletico Ottawa – despite a late resurgence after some too-late changes – could only watch as Winnipeg won the night.
It wasn’t all good news for the Winnipeg-based side, however: Andrew Jean-Baptiste was thrown in as a starter, and that’s a decision that will be questioned after the veteran defender had to be taken off in the first half. After such a long journey to get back on the pitch, we wish Andrew Jean-Baptiste all the best in his recovery of what appeared to be a hamstring aggravation.
The next round of action see FC Edmonton face its biggest underdog test yet with a midweek match against the reigning champions. Nathan Ingham then returns to York Lions Stadium as York United hosts Atletico Ottawa on Friday night, with FC Edmonton then travelling all the way out east for its second match of the week, this time against Halifax.
Sunday will conclude the third week of action with a double-header of tantalizing home openers as Valour FC hosts Forge and Cavalry hosts Pacific.