July 14, 2024
  • July 14, 2024
Forge FC David Choiniere

CPL In Review: Matchweek 13 – Tight Margins

By on July 8, 2024 0 576 Views

The Canadian Premier League is now just one matchweek away from the midpoint of the season, and the league table is getting more compacted as the results flow back and forth. The thirteenth round was one of tight margins: while there was only one draw, there wasn’t much to separate the teams with all three of the wins coming from a one-goal differential.

Without further ado, here’s an at-a-glance-recap of this weekend’s CPL action:

Forge FC David Choiniere
Photo Credit: Jojo Yanjiao Qian

Forge 3 – 3 Vancouver FC
Full match recap here.

A six goal thriller at Tim Hortons Field saw plenty of beautiful goals, with VFC taking an early lead from the oft-undersung Gabriel Bitar. Beni Badibanga’s equalizer would last for only a few minutes as Alejandro Diaz – who’s loan was just extended – put the visitors in front again minutes later. After Vasco Fry got his marching orders in the second half, Forge levelled through Daniel Parra before a David Choiniere strike looked to have sealed things with under ten minutes to go, but a defensive miscue saw Bitar bag a last-gasp equalizer to ensure both sides got a point.

Forge FC Quick Take: Forge has seen a lot of mixed form of late: the last five games have seen two draws, one win, and two losses. While fifth in league standings, they’re only three points back of second with a game in hand. This week focus will shift to the first leg of their cup clash against Toronto FC, especially with the club taking shots at them on social.

Vancouver FC Quick Take: Afshin Ghotbi’s side did well to claim a point, especially after going a man down in the second half. Gabriel Bitar was a force once again in his first full ninety since April. They host table-topping Atletico Ottawa next, and after this week’s results that should prove quite an interesting matchup.

York United Juan Cordova Goal
Photo Credit: Denys Rudenko

York United 2 -1 Halifax Wanderers

Full match recap here.
Wanderers-focused match recap here.

Benjamin Mora’s reign now sees York United rise to second place after recording ten points from a possible fifteen. Halifax at home has always been an intriguing tie for this side, and they managed to break Halifax’s long-awaited winning streak through goals from Markiyan Voytsekhovskyy and Juan Cordova, while former Nine Stripe Ryan Telfer pulled one back for the visitors later on. While Fernandez had a strong penalty shout in the box at the end of the match, no whistle came and the game finished 2-1.

York United Quick Take: Molham Babouli proved a force on the night as the Nine Stripes locked in second place in league standings. They’ve made York Lions Stadium a real fortress this year, though they now face two matches on the road to face Cavalry and Vancouver FC.

Halifax Wanderers Quick Take: The Wanderers opened well before the first half truly got away from them, and their modus operandi took some time to change in the second half. While one no-call penalty away from a potential equalizer, this wasn’t a match the Wanderers will want to focus on for too long.

Pacific FC Juan Quintana Manny Aparicio
Photo Credit: Matt Zambonin / Freestyle Photography

Atletico Ottawa 0 – 1 Pacific

This was a match that Atletico Ottawa ought to have won: an xG of 2.49 to Pacific’s 0.37 paints a picture of missed chances after the host side put forth a staggering 22 shots, but some tidy saves from Gazdov and an off-the-line clearance from Cedric Toussaint kept the Trident clean sheet intact. That opened the door for former Ottleti man Zakaria Bahous to ultimately play spoiler and boy did he celebrate in his current colours. Ollie Bassett’s added time penalty miss only served to emphasize Ottawa’s lack of luck in front of goal on the night.

Atletico Ottawa Quick Take: With the aforementioned xG of 2.49, Carlos Gonzalez will be scratching his head as to how his side have left TD Place without any points. They hammered the visitors, particularly in the second half, but the proverbial cookie crumbled out of their favour. This is a match not to be over-analyzed: Ottleti will come back strong.

Pacific FC Quick Take: The never-say-die attitude of Pacific FC allowed them to sneak a win against the table-topping Atletico Ottawa, with a resolute defensive performance seeing Emil Gazdov’s clean sheet remain intact even after an added time penalty effort from Ollie Bassett.

Valour FC Loic Kwemi
Photo Credit: Canadian Premier League

Valour FC 0 – 1 Cavalry FC

There wasn’t much to separate the two sides all match long, with Cavalry’s Fraser Aird proving the difference-maker after a smart run in from the flank allowed him to blast one beyond Jonathan Viscosi. Defender Roberto Alarcon would get his marching orders after putting a hand on Jesse Daley’s face right in front of the referee, with Valour unable to mount any firm comeback on a night of slim margins.

Valour FC Quick Take: Both sides only mustered two shots on target, but this season’s song of Valour nearly matching up but ending with with a loss was, once again, the music of the night. At least fans also got their first taste of Loic Kwemi, who recently came in from Ligue1 Quebec’s CS Saint-Laurent.

Cavalry FC Quick Take: Tommy Wheeldon Jr’s side are lucky to have gotten a win from this match, as neither side particularly looked like scoring. The result sees ‘draw kings’ Cavalry record their first away win of the campaign, and they’ll now return homer for a fixture against an in-form York United.

Matchweek thirteen has seen the table continue its trend of getting more compact: the outliers at the top and bottom are just two results away from the middle of the pack, where second place to sixth are separated by only three points. As we approach the midpoint of the season, this is truly anyone’s game.

Next week will see just three matches played as the Halifax Wanderers and Valour get a bye. Vancouver opens the action against Atletico Ottawa on Friday night, with Saturday’s lone fixture seeing Cavalry host York United. After that it’s Forge and Pacific on Sunday, with all clubs in action barring Ottawa being less than three points from one another.

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