July 14, 2024
  • July 14, 2024
York United Molham Babouli

CPL In Review: Matchweek 11 – Seeing Red

By on June 24, 2024 0 537 Views

Twelve goals poured fourth in just four games this week, with the Canadian Premier League‘s eleventh matchweek providing drama in spades. In an unusual twist, two clubs went a man down only to extend their leads later on, capping off quite an interesting week of results.

With five teams remaining locked within three points of one another and the Halifax Wanderers finally grabbing their first win of the year, let’s take an at-a-glance look at all the action:

York United Brian Wright
Photo Credit: John Jacques

York United 2 – 1 Pacific FC

York United rise to second place after another strong home game that saw Brian Wright kick things off with a sharp goal in the first half. The forward now leads the CPL in both goals and assists, seeming to be an unstoppable force through the first half of 2024. The tide might have shifted after Austin Ricci was sent off for his reaction to a foul from Sean Young, but instead the team extended their lead after Molham Babouli held off his defender and rifled home a quick shot in the second half.

York United Quick Take: Benjamin Mora’s hot start has York United in a real groove: the Nine Stripes now rise up to third place after a big character win. Going down a man didn’t slow them down at all, with the team extending their lead with yet another strong home performance – something they weren’t exactly known for last season.

Pacific FC Quick Take: The Tridents blew a tire in the attacking third, with 19 shot attempts seeing just two land on target. It’d be a different story if they kept pace with their xG of 1.91, but instead they’ve left York Lions Stadium in fourth place rather than second. Best to put this in the rearview and move on.

Cavalry FC Daan Klomp Amer Didic
Photo Credit: Mike Sturk

Cavalry 1 – 1 Atletico Ottawa

Cavalry looked set for cruise control after Tobias Warchewski put the hosts in front just two minutes in, but an in-form Alberto Zapater levelled things late in the first half. Both sides have an abundance of opportunity, with Ottleti even hitting the post, though the match would finish level between two teams who have only lost once apiece this season.

Cavalry Quick Take: Cavalry are certainly missing Myer Bevan, with just Tobias Warschewski really carrying the load for goals. With fourteen shots taken tonight, Tommy Wheeldon Jr. won’t be pleased to see his side having let go of another lead to settle for a draw again this season. On the bright side, it was nice to see Chanan Chanda come on and make an impact with fellow youngster Nikolas Myroniuk.

Atletico Ottawa Quick Take: Never-Say-Die Atletico Ottawa carved out a point on the road, though this felt like a winnable match for the visitors. They’re still five points north of Forge, who have a game in hand, but the team will want to start putting wins back on the menu before their hold at the top gets slippery.

Forge FC Kwasi Poku
Photo Credit: Jojo Yanjiao Qian

Forge 2 – 1 Valour
Full match recap here.

After an uncharacteristic dip in form, Forge returned to winning ways against perpetually-struggling Valour at Tim Hortons Field. A first half brace from fill-in striker Kwasi Poku helped the hammer claim all three points, though Valour would bag one back through substitute Abdul Binate in the second half. Ohin came just about one inch from a goal-of-the-season equalizer, but as they’ve seen so many teams already, Valour fell just short of seeing any fruits for their labour.

Forge Quick Take: Poku is making a strong impression at forward, which will create an interesting conundrum for Terran Campbell, who himself is a midfielder-turned-striker. The hammer rise to second place with this win over Valour, a feat which could give them momentum for next weekend’s top-of-the-table clash against Atletico Ottawa.

Valour Quick Take: It’s a tale that has run all season long for Valour: individual errors have undone the good segments of teamwork that have them on the cusp of grabbing results. The team now heads home to host an in-form YUFC as they seek to avoid being leapfrogged by Halifax in league standings.

Halifax Wanderers Daniel Nimick
Photo Credit: James Glezos

Vancouver FC 0 – 4 Halifax Wanderers
Wanderers-focused recap here.

It’s been a long time coming, but come it did: the Halifax Wanderers stormed to their first win of the season with a thumping four-nil win over Vancouver FC, with a quick brace from Ryan Telfer setting the tone before Patrice Gheisar’s team showed steel in the face of adversity: Nimick replaced an injured Julian Dunn, with the big defender scoring a set piece header. When Rampersad was sent off for a high boot, the club didn’t fold: in fact, Nimick bagged another from the penalty spot to secure a club record league win. For host side Vancouver FC, it was simply a night to forget.

Vancouver FC Quick Take: Afshin Ghotbi called the hefty loss unacceptable, with the club having failed to muster much in front of net while they struggled defensively all match long. In fact, the gaffer was so incensed he said he ‘could have substituted eight players’ after the first half. Having topped the table early on this season, VFC now slides down to fifth place after going winless in four.

Halifax Wanderers Quick Take: The dam finally burst for Halifax Wanderers fans who, at long last, saw a flurry of creative attacking output that is trademark Gheisar-ball. More than that, Dan Nimick stepped to provide a sturdy spine to the team, helping at both ends of the pitch to lead the Wanderers to a club record win. Even a red card couldn’t stop this boat from setting sail.

Just like last week, positions two through six in the table are all within three points of one another, yet somehow the margins have gotten even tighter: Halifax’s win raises the floor of the table, particularly with their game in hand. The same can be said for Forge, who have played one less than table-topping Atletico Ottawa. Certainly on the rise is York United, who are undefeated under head coach Benjamin Mora and now in third place.

The upcoming matchweek features a big zero games on the weekend. A Thursday double-header sees Valour host York United before a west coast derby match between Pacific and Vancouver FC, with Friday coming in hot with a top-of-the-table bout between Atletico Ottawa and Forge. The round will close out on Canada Day with Halifax Wanderers hosting Cavalry, which ought to be an intriguing affair.

Header Image Photo Credit: John Jacques

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