May 20, 2024
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Atletico Ottawa Gabriel Antinoro

History Repeats Itself: Atletico Ottawa Dispatches Visiting Valour

By on May 5, 2024 0 571 Views

Canadian Premier League side Atletico Ottawa enjoyed another successful outing over visitors Valour FC at TD Place, completing a successful two-game conquest of the opposition through both cup and league play.

Valour’s overall performance level took a step upwards since its lopsided midweek cup defeat, but an unorganized defensive unit saw the hosts secure all three points through goals in the first half.

Ottawa head coach Carlos Gonzalez made a few changes to the team who comfortably won on Wednesday, while Valour rotated a few of its own – including the goalkeeper who was stuck out between the sticks last week.

Still rooted to the bench was Valour captain Raphael Ohin, with Kian Williams still absent from the team sheet.

Head coach Phillip Dos Santos had implored his squad to learn from its record cup loss last week, with the preceding fixture having seen his side crash out in a seven-nil drubbing from Ottleti.

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Atletico Ottawa would open strongly, threatening to finish a chance under twenty seconds in the game, while alarm bells would continue to rattle for Valour when a miss-played pass between its defenders called goalkeeper Jonathan Viscosi into action shortly after.

History would truly repeat itself in the eighteenth minute, however: another set piece giveaway led to a goal from Ruben Del Campo, who may not have loosed the fastest shot, but two bounces later it slotted beyond Jonathan Viscosi all the same.

The defensive miscues would see Valour dig a deeper hole for itself when a cross into the box – which was filled with five Valour players to Atletico Ottawa’s one – saw Zachary Sukunda slow to the ball and robbed of possession by Gabriel Antinoro, who rifled in a quick shot beyond Viscosi to make it 2-0.

The visitors had been cueing up a goalkeeper change even before that goal, with Viscosi being unable to carry on. Murasiranwa would come on in the 36th minute, while Dos Santos also withdrew Zachary Sukunda in an effort to stem the bleed.

The first half would finish 2-0 after a rocket from Noah Verhoven – on loan from the hosts – sailed just over the net.

Valour would have a much-improved second half, even probing forward with danger on a few occasions, while Darlington Murasiranwa looked solid in net when called upon.

With twenty minutes on the clock the visitors registered their first shot on target through substitute Shaan Hundal, while Abdul Binate will want a missplayed shot back after a solid cross set him up well.

Another silver lining came with Tass Mourdoukoutas coming off the bench in the game’s closing stanza, marking the Australian defender’s debut for the visitors.

The hosts nearly added a third with ten minutes to go after Sissoko split five of Valour’s own with one pass, though the resulting Salter shot was declared to be offside, with Murasiranwa having made the save regardless.

The final whistle secured Atletico Ottawa’s third win from four matches, with the side moving top of the table for the moment on ten points. Valour remain locked in the cellar on zero points, having conceded ten goals in four straight league losses. Still, the second half showed positive signs – it just just too little too late on the night.

The visitors from Winnipeg will play three more matches away from home before a long-awaited homecoming in June, with their next coming up on Friday night against York United.

Atletico Ottawa will now prepare for a midweek cup match against Pacific FC, after which they’ll return to league action away to Vancouver FC on Sunday.

Header Image Photo Credit: Tim Austen

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