CPL Weekly Recap: Here’s What Went Down In Week 5
The fifth CPL matchweek saw two derby matches and an early weekend double-header unfold, with the league table undergoing some significant early-season shifts yet again. Defenses seem to be coming together as clubs find their rhythm: with only five goals scored, this was the lowest-scoring weekend of CPL action yet.
This week also marked the first round not to see any players sent off, though that isn’t to say there wasn’t any officiating controversy to be had.
Without further ado, here’s how the fifth round of the 2022 Canadian Premier League season went down:
York United 1 – 0 Forge FC
The first 905 Derby of the year saw its most dramatic moments take place at the start and finish: The visitors looked to be off to a ferocious start after a strike from Terran Campbell found the far pocket of the net, though the shot was called back for a debatable offside decision.
The back-and-forth action one expects of a derby match continued under the Friday night lights, with the game’s only goal coming from a true moment of magic: a dazzling combination between Osaze De Rosario and Sebastian Gutierrez saw the Colombian break into the box, dancing around Dominic Samuel before dummying Triston Henry to score one of the smoothest goals in CPL history:
“Unbelievable dummy,” said head coach Martin Nash after the match, “great confidence and that’s what we’ve seen from Seba, he’s a clever little player, he’s got good technique, he’s a good finisher.”
The result marked the first time York United has bested Forge in their last four meetings, with the Nine Stripes moving to second in league standings whilst Forge continued a real slow-cooker start to the campaign.
FC Edmonton 0 – 3 Cavalry FC
The first Al Classico of the season saw Cavalry march into Clarke Stadium as firm favourites, and they made good on the expectation twice in the first half: a smart one-two between Fraser Aird and Ali Musse opened up space for Joe Mason, with the veteran firing in an absolute cracker in the 30th minute:
A mistake by the referee then saw what was a surefire penalty awarded as a freekick for Cavalry just three minutes later, but the potential drama from that was nullified when Ali Musse – who has been a shining star this season – confidently tucked away the set piece anyway:
With FC Edmonton two goals down at half-time, the visitors kept things under control to keep the Wildrose Cup in their back pocket. They’d manage a final nail in the coffin a few minutes from time, with a smart run from Jose Escalante inadvertently forcing an own-goal from Cale Loughrey.
While Cavalry prevented the Eddies from any shots on target (though they did get nearly as many shots away as the victors), Tommy Wheeldon Jr. will have been disappointed to concede five yellow cards on the day – especially after he’d talked about disciplinary issues with his high press system. The squad now has 22 yellow cards from five games for an average of 4.4 per game, which is slightly higher than it was when he first called out the problem.
Valour FC 0 – 0 Halifax Wanderers
Valour’s Plan B Home Opener saw a boisterous crowd enjoy a surprisingly warm day, though the game itself would finish as the league’s second scoreless draw of the campaign.
Finishing – or lack thereof – proved a big talking point, with both sides completing 15 and 17 shots respectively, of which only 3 and 5 were on target. Given the good firing positions for many of them, however, it’s quite surprising that there wasn’t a goal to be had, and neither side will be happy with their performances in the final third.
“We defended too far from each other, and it became kind of a transition game,” said Dos Santos after the bout, “I thought it was an erratic game, back and forth. I’m sure that Stephen Hart is not happy about the shot count either.”
This was the first time Valour failed to bag a goal in 2022, and the second time for a Wanderers side that is still seeking a solid replacement for Joao Morelli.
Atletico Ottawa 0 – 1 Pacific FC
Pacific FC came in to a loud and proud TD Place and did what reigning champions do, finding a way to win in the dying embers of a match which saw the hosts put forth several promising goalscoring opportunities.
Instead, it was the Tridents who bagged the go-ahead-goal after a fast-footed Aparicio loosed an out-of-the-box effort that pinged of the post, with Alejandro Diaz pouncing head-first on the opportunity to put the visitors in front:
Atletico Ottawa will feel unfortunate not to have scored in the match, especially after forcing Callum Irving into ten different saves on his return to TD Place. Instead, the five-foot-ten goalkeeper walked away with his second clean sheet of the campaign, leaving him level with his opposite number Nathan Ingham overall.
With the exception of Pacific FC, each team will now undergo a midweek match in the Canadian Championship before the sixth round of action unfolds this weekend, with Atletico Ottawa hosting Forge FC before a top-versus-bottom clash between Pacific and Edmonton. Sunday will then see fourth-placed Halifax host third-placed Cavalry, with the weekend concluding when York United travels away to face Valour FC.