May 20, 2024
  • May 20, 2024
York United Molham Babouli

CPL In Review: Matchweek 5 – Three Ties And One Not

By on May 13, 2024 0 732 Views

The Canadian Premier League has now played over five hundred matches. Six years into things, this weekend saw plenty of parity on display with six of eight teams all within five points of one another. If you didn’t have time to watch about six hours of CPL action this weekend, fear not: we’ve got you covered.

Support Northern Tribune On Patreon – Get Articles And Videos Early

This weekend’s action saw three draws and one hefty comeback win, so without further ado, here’s the league’s fifth matchweek at-a-glance:

York United Brian Wright
Photo Credit: John Jacques

York United 3 – 1 Valour FC

With this victory York United has recorded back-to-back home wins (with three goals in each, no less) from league play, completing a comeback against basement-dwellers Valour FC on Friday. Despite falling short in a first half that saw Dante Campbell prove a phenom on both ends of the pitch, the Nine Stripes bounced back to capitalize on costly individual errors from the visitors: a set piece equalizer and a backpass disaster put the Nine Stripes in front, with Kadin Martin-Pereux and Molham Babouli combining to finish the match on a high for the hosts.

York United Quick Take: York United is a team that can pounce on the momentum when they have it, but they really bank on having it. This week that came together in a strong second half showing over Valour, with Nash finding a groove in his midfield selection. They’re back to the usual spot in league standings, teetering on fifth place – the final playoff spot where they love to play ‘will they or won’t they’.

Valour FC Quick Take: Oh dear – this was perhaps Valour’s most winnable match, and after a strong first half they did what Dos Santos has lamented in all league games: they’re not putting in 90 minute shifts. Falling apart in the second half will be a painful memory, especially for goalkeeper Darlington Murasiranwa as he forges on with his starting opportunity while Viscosi is sidelined.

Cavalry FC Jack Barrett Wesley Timoteo
Photo Credit: James Bennett

Halifax Wanderers 1 – 1 Cavalry FC
Full match recap here.

The Halifax Wanderers are, at long last, on the board. Wanderers Grounds went quiet as the side conceded to William Akio’s first of the season, but a late second half resurgence saw the hosts become the creative force we saw last year. After a no-goal call curtailed the start of jubilations, Dan Nimick pinged a beautiful ball in to substitute Georgio Probo, who’s magnificent header brought the hosts their first point.

Halifax Wanderers Quick Take: It took the Wanderers a long time to find their groove in this game, but they generated a fair amount of big chances, hit the woodwork, and had a goal called back before finding their equalizer. The kitchen party hasn’t kicked off yet, but the band is tuning up.

Cavalry FC Quick Take: Cavalry recorded some fifteen shots on the night, but only two landed on target – they’re still missing the clinical nature of Myer Bevan. Still, it was a solid away performance and a steadfast debut from Everton loanee Jack Barrett between the sticks.

Forge FC Alexander Achinioti Jonsson
Photo Credit: Canadian Premier League

Pacific FC 0 – 0 Forge FC
Full recap here.

It looks like nobody can score against Pacific FC, who continue their league record of consecutive clean sheets through to matchday five. The hosts had a handball penalty shout denied by the referee, while Forge had more shooting in an opportunities where, at the end of the day, the had the only big chance. A late red card for Reon Moore would be the only late drama, however.

Pacific FC Quick Take: The Tridents won’t be happy with their passing accuracy in the final third (59.4%), but James Merriman will be pleased with his record-setting defensive unit. Still, goals win games – and only the bottom two teams have less than second-placed Pacific. How long can the good times last?

Forge FC Quick Take: Forge won’t be happy with their inability to break down Pacific’s block, having had the better chances and some 15 shots throughout the game. Having played CF Montreal midweek, however, the hammers will have to settle with a point apiece against the only other team to hoist the old North Star Shield – and fans finally got to see new goalkeeper Jassem Koleilat in action, too.

Vancouver FC Moses Dyer
Photo Credit: Beau Chevalier

Vancouver FC 1 – 1 Atletico Ottawa

Vancouver FC kept its undefeated streak at home alive after an individual error from Anthony White allowed Ruben Del Campo to score first blood – though credit to Callum Irving for nearly making a wild double-save. The Eagles would show maturity and, rather than folding as the early 2023 team might have done, fought back to grab a point after a pinpoint Kadin Chung cross found the head of Alejandro Diaz.

Vancouver FC Quick Take: Holding Ottleti to one goal despite being down three centre-backs is, in fairness, pretty good: Anthony White and Allan Enyou got their first starts, while the VFC frontline really came clicking in the second half. Five yellow cards will see a Canada Soccer fine heading for Langley in what was a feisty match.

Atletico Ottawa Quick Take: Ruben Del Campo may have been a little lucky on his goal, but he’s still in a sweet moment for the club. Still, it’s a result the club should have taken: four big chances and an xG of 2.65 shows they ought to have come out with three points, but they’re still undefeated in league play and are top of the table over Pacific through the ‘goals for’ tiebreaker.

With matchweek five showing a lot of parity, we saw a subtle nod towards equilibrium in league standings: York United’s win now means six of eight teams are all within five points of one another, with Forge having a game in hand. Kudos to that top three, who still have yet to taste defeat. On the opposite side of things, Valour becomes the first team to enter double digits for goal difference…in the negatives.

After three straight weeks that saw Canadian Championship action unfold midweek for at least some of the sides, all four teams will now get some much deserved rest…until Friday, when Pacific hosts Atletico Ottawa, who will be well-familiar to them this month. Saturday will see a double-header with undefeated Forge hosting a travel-fraught Vancouver FC, while Cavalry will welcome York United. We’ve all got the day off on Sunday, with a bottom-two matchup between Halifax Wanderers and Valour FC coming on the holiday Monday afternoon.

Header Image Photo Credit: John Jacques

Leave a comment

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