July 14, 2024
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Canadian Premier League Kelowna

CPL In Review: Matchweek 10 – Equilibrium

By on June 17, 2024 0 894 Views

The 2024 Canadian Premier League season hit double digits in the round counter, and what a weekend it was: through twelve goals in four games, we saw narrow margins and a plenty of second half drama unfold, with five of eight teams now within three points of one another.

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It was a beautiful weekend (okay, a little rainy out east), so if you weren’t able to take in all four CPL matches over the last few days, we’ve got an at-a-glance recap for you right here:

Valour FC Jordan Swibel Thomas Meilleur Giguere
Photo Credit: Canadian Premier League

Valour FC 2 – 3 Pacific FC

Valour’s last of a three-game homestand finished on a narrow losing note. Princess Auto Stadium saw a five-goal thriller as Pacific looked to be cruising to a comfortable win in the first half, but an added time goal from Shaan Hundal (finally) made it a different story in the second half. Swibel’s great form saw the side level things up, but more set piece disaster from the hosts saw Pacific tally a third to claim all three points.

Valour FC Quick Take: It’s another harsh result for Valour, who came agonizingly close to a two-goal comeback after Pacific’s third sunk the proverbial ship. While there’s a lot more clicking for the Winnipeg-based side, they’ve got to sort out avoidable individual errors so they’re not handing extra opportunities to their opponents going forward.

Pacific FC Quick Take: Pacific fans will be happy with three points, especially with the club bringing in goalkeeper Daniel Zadravec on a short-term contract for this match. It wasn’t a perfect match by any means, but the Tridents continued a strong attacking display and move up to second with the away win: it’s a good day in the office.

York United Max Ferrari 2024
Photo Credit: Matt Zamobonin

York United 2 – 1 Atletico Ottawa

Benjamin Mora’s new-look York United became the first team to hand Atletico Ottawa an L in league play this season, with Brian Wright stepping up big against his former club: the first came after Ricci hounded the wing to send in a tidy cross, and the second was a delightful finish after Max Ferrari cut inside to provide. While Amer Didic would bring the hosts within one with twenty to go, there’d be no last-gasp magic this time: York United slides back up to fifth, while Ottleti still retain their pole position at the top.

Atletico Ottawa Quick Take: Ottleti should have generated more from their chances, especially having tallied nine shots on target through the game. The team was undefeated heading into the game with six wins and three draws, and now Carlos Gonzalez says they’ve found a big motivator to keep their performance levels up.

York United Quick Take: Brian Wright is now the Golden Boot leader of the league, and he’s one assist away from being top in that category, too. Things are looking positive in Benjamin Mora’s start, though a midweek match against Pacific will prove a tough test for a side hungry to keep climbing the table.

Halifax Wanderers Lorenzo Callegari
Photo Credit: Trevor MacMillan / HFX Wanderers FC

Halifax Wanderers 2 – 2 Forge FC
Wanderers-focused recap here.

It’s the repeat tale of the season: Halifax looked set to finally clinch their first win of the season, only for one of the last touches of the game to leave the boys in blue on the floor. The hosts had done aplenty to keep themselves in the match after Beni Badibanga put the visitors in front, with Massimo Ferrin restoring parity just minutes later. With just under a half-hour to go, Ferrin put the Wanderers in front from a spot kick, but the Kitchen Party was spoiled when Kwasi Poku levelled for the reigning champions in the 93rd.

Halifax Wanderers Quick Take: Heading into a match against the reigning champions without Dan Nimick was a foreboding prospect, but the Wanderers showcase themselves well and, by all accounts, will feel hard done-by to not get three points from this. Ferrin finally struck blood tonight, with the club going undefeated in three – all draws – to at least start building up some points.

Forge FC Quick Take: Forge will have wanted more from this game, especially amidst their current slump of form. While Bobby Smyrniotis won’t be happy with how they lost control of the lead, a 93rd minute leveler means they at least walk away with something – and it was nice to see the long-awaited debut of Nana Ampomah, who looked good given how long he’s been waiting to return to action.

Canadian Premier League Kelowna
Photo Credit: Beau Chevalier

Vancouver FC 0 – 0 Cavalry FC

The Canadian Premier League kicked off its On Tour series in Kelowna, with Vancouver FC and Cavalry FC battling to a scoreless draw in front of some 6,281 spectators. There were 26 shots fired between the two teams, though only five would land on target. The theme of the day was definitely frenetic defending versus clinical finishes.

The big takeaway from here is that Kelowna – who the league had once internally touted as ‘already locked in for expansion’ back in 2022 – showed up big for a CPL match, with the BC-based city clearly still high on the league’s wishlist of destinations. While Kelowna is the only On Tour stop of 2024, expect a return to the market-testing idea in 2025.

Vancouver FC Quick Take: Afshin Ghotbi won’t be pleased with the lack of finishing after going scoreless through 18 shots, and he says the club ought to have bagged on or two in the first half. If the club can shore-up some unnecessary giveaways and put the ball away a little bit more, matches like this would be an easy three points in the bag.

Cavalry FC Quick Take: Cavalry didn’t exactly storm out of the gate in this match, and it took them time to match what Vancouver was putting out on the field. They had a few moments of there own where they could’ve taken the game, but for now a single point – which takes them just three off of second, despite them resting in sixth, will have to do.

The results see Pacific leapfrog Vancouver and Forge up to second place, while York United’s big win in the nation’s capital sees them slide back into fifth place at Cavalry’s expense.

Incredibly, second place to sixth place are separated by only three points, meaning the bulk of the league table only got tighter since the tight margins of matchweek nine. A few games out of the true midpoint of the season, and playoff predictions at this point are anyone’s guess.

The next matchweek takes on odd schedule: York United will host Pacific on Wednesday, with Cavalry welcoming Atletico Ottawa on Friday. Saturday is a blank spot in the schedule, with a double-header closing out things on Sunday: Forge will host Valour, with the Wanderers set for a trip out to Langley against Vancouver FC after that.

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