June 22, 2024
  • June 22, 2024

CPL In Review: Matchweek 6 – Away Sides Plunder Points

By on May 21, 2024 0 660 Views

The long weekend saw plenty of Canadian Premier League drama, from a stunning Olimpico to some huge underdog showings. The result sees the league table continually morph into a surprising shape, so we’re excited to dive into things.

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This weekend’s action saw three of four away teams snatch wins, though all of the visitors got something from their travels through the holiday weekend. Here’s your matchweek at-a-glance:

Pacific FC Andrei Tircoveanu
Photo Credit: Canadian Premier League

Pacific FC 0 – 1 Atletico Ottawa

What happens when an unstoppable machine meets an immovable object? In the case of Pacific’s no-goals-conceded defense and Atletico Ottawa’s powerful attack, one of them will crack – ever so slightly – under tough circumstances. The first half proved the stuff of nightmares for Pacific FC as Aly Ndom, Adonijah Reid, and Sean Young all came off with injuries, while Atletico Ottawa’s lone goal from Ruben Del Campo earned them the win while Pacific were down to ten men during one of those first-half injuries.

Pacific FC Quick Take: Despite the loss, Pacific proved that they’re a real tough nut to crack: the three first-half injuries would be tough for any club to hurdle, and even then the league’s best offense managed to catch them out in just one moment. The biggest concern for the Tridents now is how their players recover from those knocks.

Atletico Ottawa Quick Take: Jumping up to the top of the table is Atletico Ottawa, who remain undefeated with the best goal difference league-wide. With Ruben Del Campo (and the team itself) in a sweet moment, grinding out results like this will prove important come the end of the campaign.

Photo Credit: Jojo Yanjiao Qian

Forge FC 1 – 2 Vancouver FC
Full match recap here.

In the weekend’s biggest upset, Vancouver FC found its road form against reigning champions Forge FC. It took just three minutes for the Eagles to take flight through centre-back Rocco Romeo’s second of the campaign, but it would be Vasco Fry’s Olimpico goal from the corner flag that will deservedly take the accolades. Forge would pull one back in the second half through in-form Tristan Borges, but it wouldn’t be enough for the hosts.

Vancouver FC Quick Take: Afshin Ghotbi’s side proved prolific on set pieces, and they needed to be: Forge were hammering them in open play, but the defensive line proved sturdy enough to help see the visitors through to a big three points at Tim Hortons Field – no small task for any visiting side.

Forge FC Quick Take: Forge’s undefeated start came to close over the weekend in large part due to a lack of clinical finishing: the hammers took twenty shots with just three landing on target. It’ll be all eyes ahead, however, with a winnable clash away to CF Montreal on the midweek menu.

York United Brian Wright
Photo Credit: CFC Media / Mike Sturk

Cavalry FC 2 – 2 York United

Both teams exchanged leads before settling for a tie in a hotly-contest affair at Spruce Meadows, though Cavalry will feel hard-done by: they controlled the first half to a 1-0 lead before it all went wild in the second half with three goals, plenty of great saves, and one point apiece.

Cavalry FC: The hosts will feel they let themselves down in individual moments, particularly with the horrid backpass that let Brian Wright give York United a late lead. Cavalry’s draw sees them maintain a near equivocal goal difference, and that will simply not do given their standards at both ends of the pitch.

York United Quick Take: Martin Nash will continually urge his team to ‘act, not react‘, but at least they’re reacting in the right ways: after falling behind, his team came out ready to bring the fight in a second half that saw Austin Ricci and Brian Wright find the back of the net, while Thomas Vincensi procured some big stops to help the Nine Stripes carve out a point.

Valour FC Jordan Faria Aidan Daniels
Photo Credit: Trevor MacMillan / HFX Wanderers FC

Halifax Wanderers 1 – 2 Valour FC
Full east coast-focused recap here.

Holiday Monday saw the two bottom-placed teams duke it out at Wanderers Grounds, with the venue being left stunned as Valour recorded its first win of the season. Halifax continued to look disjointed in large parts, something that the visitors from Winnipeg were able to take advantage of as Diogo Ressurreicao and Jordan Swibel fired the visitors to three points. For Halifax, as has been standard, Dan Nimick was one of the brighter lights.

Halifax Wanderers Quick Take: Halifax is five CPL games deep into the season, winless and with only three players having scored once apiece. This is just about as far from last year’s Wanderers side as one could get, and with the season about one-fifth of the way finished, results need to get coming.

Valour FC Quick Take: Jordan Swibel perhaps put it best: it’s the monkey off the back for Valour, who’s string of away matches have seen them suffer more than anyone. The team had shown glimpses of what it could be throughout, but riding off the back of this weekend’s away win could be the boost that gets Phillip Dos Santos and company going.

Now that we’re one-fifth of the season in, the league table has taken some unexpected shapes compared to how it finished last year. Atletico Ottawa and Vancouver FC are punching back upwards, while Cavalry and Halifax haven’t met their standards. York United, true to form, sits teetering on the edge of playoffs – as is tradition.

The seventh matchweek will open with a Friday Night showcase between York United and Halifax Wanderers, while Saturday will see two high-profile matches in Atletico Ottawa vs Forge (who will have played CF Montreal midweek) and a derby between Vancouver FC and Pacific. Sunday will close out things with Cavalry and Valour, who will – at last – play their final road game before coming home the week after.

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