May 20, 2024
  • May 20, 2024
Cavalry FC Tobias Warschewski

Crashing Back Down to Earth: Vancouver FC vs Cavalry FC Match Analysis

By on April 24, 2024 0 812 Views

It was not to be for the Eagles.

Vancouver FC fell by a goal to nil to Cavalry FC on Tuesday evening despite having a man-advantage for over a half-hour in Calgary, Alberta.

Shamit Shome’s red card set up a nervy finish for Cavalry, but Tobias Warschewski’s headed goal was enough to send them through to the Quarter-Finals of the Canadian Championship.

For the Eagles, it spelt consecutive first round defeats in Canada’s domestic cup competition.

Eagles Confident From Kickoff

Vancouver FC came into this match against Cavalry with full confidence. After settling into the opening stages, the Eagles began to dominate proceedings for the first half-hour. They were recovering the ball well, switching sides to create space, and playing through the lines to progress the ball. It looked like Vancouver were up to the match, and even looked like the team more likely to score.

Then, their bravado almost got punished by a lethal counterattack half-way through the first-half, when Ali Musse was sent clean through on goal after a Vancouver FC corner. Musse had plenty of time and space to dink it past Callum Irving, but fluffed his lines as the veteran ‘keeper closed him down and stopped his shot. The Eagles then almost went right back up the pitch and scored through Moses Dyer, had Marco Carducci not stuffed his attempt of rolling it across his body.

Come half-time and Vancouver FC looked the team that simply desired it more, despite being the away side. Cavalry’s attack looked stagnant throughout large parts of the game, but when it mattered most, they got that all-important goal.

Naivety After Going Up A Man

The biggest talking point in this match was Shamit Shome’s red card in the 61st minute. A reckless, studs-up challenge on Vasco Fry left the referee no choice but to give him his marching orders. From that moment, it felt like this was a real opportunity for Vancouver FC to take the game by the scruff of the neck and get that first ever victory over Cavalry. The truth, however, was that the Eagles switched off after the red card.

Call it a lack of experience in cup competitions, but Vancouver were the team that looked weaker after that red card, despite the man-advantage. Their once-slick passing turned desperate, and their play began to get sloppy almost immediately. Cavalry smelled blood in the water, and in the 66th minute, pounced on their opportunity.

“It wasn’t a lack of effort [in this match], it was a lack of concentration,” explained Afshin Ghotbi to the press after the match.

And that lack of concentration was evident on German striker Tobias Warschewski‘s goal, as it was one that could have – and should have – been easily avoided. Vancouver failed to clear their lines two, three times before the goal went in, allowing those the panicked, sloppy moments to give Cavalry the opportunity to score. Fraser Aird chipped a ball into the box, and despite it getting deflected up and seemingly away, neither James Cameron nor Callum Irving could claim the ball, allowing Warschewski to soar over the two and head it into the back of the net.

Cavalry then demonstrated as professional a performance as they could in the last 25 minutes of the match, repelling any and all Vancouver attacks. It was that mature and strong showing that earned them the victory, and its one that the Eagles can learn from.

No Time to Grieve

Vancouver FC will be aggrieved to have lost this match after having a glorious opportunity to stage an All-Vancouver Quarter-Final matchup against the Whitecaps, but they must now turn their attention towards York United on Friday. The Eagles are still top of the table on goal difference, and can continue their league winning streak to three games when they visit York United in Ontario.

“It’s a tough result for us,” admitted Ghotbi in the post-match presser. “But the season is very, very new. And I think we can learn a lot from this defeat, even though it’s a moment where we don’t wanna be learning, but wanna be winning.”

It seems that Ghotbi felt the time for learning was last year, and this year was the time for winning, as they have shown across two matchdays. Luckily for them, York have been unable to get any points on the board so far this season, meaning that Vancouver can try to get swift revenge for this match against Cavalry by defeating York.

Its been clear so far this season that Vancouver mean business, but its in games like these, away from home and against top opposition, that will be the true tests to see how far they have come, and how far they will go.

Header Image Photo Credit: Mike Sturk / CFC Media

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *