June 22, 2024
  • June 22, 2024
York United Markiyan Voytsekhovskyy

CPL In Review: Matchweek 9 – Tight Margins

By on June 10, 2024 0 672 Views

Every Canadian Premier League side is nearing double digits in the matches played column. While Atletico Ottawa is punching up through the clouds at the north end of the table as the Halifax Wanderers try to stay afloat in the depths, parity is rearing its head through the rest of the league.

All four of the weekend’s matches were hard-fought affairs that saw no inch given, and the scorelines reflect that. Without further ado, here’s an at-a-glance recap of the CPL’s matchweek nine:

Photo Credit: Trevor MacMillan

Halifax Wanders 0 – 0 Pacific FC
Wanderers-focused recap here.

Wanderers Grounds saw a home team filled with plenty of impetus take on Pacific in a coastal clash, though the team would be unable to make use of a man advantage after Juan Quintana‘s red card early in the second half.

Christian Volesky came a crossbar away from opening his Wanderers account, but the scoreless draw means the Wanderers are still waiting on their first win this season.

Halifax Wanderers Quick Take: The home team had their chances throughout a game where they seemed the more-likely winners, but it just wasn’t mean to be. Even with the point, the club remains locked dead last in league standings – though Volesky’s stock likely rose back up a bit after his off-the-bench performance.

Pacific FC Quick Take: Pacific marched into the game with a shuffled roster and a new formation, so they’ll likely be happy with a point on the road – especially after Quintana’s marching orders early in the second half.

Cavalry FC Tobias Warschewski Lleyon Brooks
Photo Credit: Tony Lewis

Cavalry 1 – 0 Forge FC

The fiercest rivalry in the league saw Cavalry snatch a must-needed win, drawing them within one point of the visitors on the league table. The hosts were lively all-match long, breaking the deadlock around the hour mark. It was a night to forget for Forge, who also saw Khadim Kane sent off in the final minutes.

Cavalry FC Quick Take: Tobias Warschewski was a highlight player on a great day for the hosts, who played an effective possession-based game that kept Forge on the backfoot from start to finish.

Forge FC Quick Take: Bobby Smyrniotis described the teams performed as ‘poor’, and that seems a good summation. The defenders did well given the amount of pressure they were under, but it was the uncharacteristic lack of attacking potency that sunk Forge this week.

Atletico Ottawa Kris Twardek Ollie Bassett
Photo Credit: Canadian Premier League

Valour 0 – 2 Atletico Ottawa

Atletico Ottawa remain undefeated, seven points clear at the top of the table, and with the best goal difference – and it’s not close.

That isn’t to say Valour played a bad game, however: they came in on a strong note and did well to contain their opponents, who carved a victory through a penalty kick and, at the last, a late insurance goal after Valour stretched themselves looking for an equalizer.

Atletico Ottawa Quick Take: This club continues to find ways to win. While it wasn’t Ottawa’s best game, Ollie Bassett once again stepped up in a big moment, while a late goal by substitute Samuel Salter will surely be a confidence booster.

Valour FC Quick Take: Valour fans might feel miffed about the call leading to Ollie Bassett’s penalty, especially given how it proved to be a catalyst in the result. With many more home games en route and some promising attendance, the direction of the club is growing stronger despite today’s result – it’s not like anyone else has toppled Ottawa, either.

York United Markiyan Voytsekhovskyy
Photo Credit: Denys Rudenko / York United

York United 2 – 2 Vancouver FC

Benjamin Mora’s first match leading York United was, without a doubt, the most exciting match of the week. With a brand new formation on display, it didn’t take long for Markiyan Voytsekhovskyy to open the scoring as a direct striker, only for VFC to equalize minutes later.

Juan Cordova would fire a long range missile to put the hosts back in front before half-time, but a draw would finish the end result after Moses Dyer’s fourth of the campaign leveled it in the second half.

York United Quick Take: There was a lot of fresh air to take in for Nine Stripes fans as Benjamin Mora gave his first look at tactical changes aplenty. While they didn’t get three points, it was an entertaining affair with lots of promise for the future – including the debut of 16-year-old winger Shola Jimoh.

Vancouver FC Quick Take: It was a rough first half for the Eagles, but they came out strong in the second with substitute Ben Fisk earning the penalty that ultimately carved them a point on the road. Still second in league standings, they’re now off for a ‘home’ match in Kelowna.

Only three points separate second from sixth, so the margins for error are small as season etches on. Atletico Ottawa and Halifax Wanderers feel like the only true outliers sitting top and bottom respectively, but relative parity is definitely in play at large.

The tenth matchweek will see Valour’s third home match open the proceedings against Pacific, with a two-match Saturday seeing Atletico Ottawa welcome York United at TD Place, while the Halifax Wanderers will need to best Forge if they’re to grab their first win of the season. Things will close out in Kelowna with Vancouver FC hosting Cavalry on Father’s Day.

Header Image Photo Credit: Denys Rudenko / York United

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