Atlético Ottawa earned its first-ever victory with a 2-0 win over first place Cavalry FC at the Canadian Premier League’s Island Games Thursday.
“We were maybe unlikely in previous games,” said Atlético Ottawa head coach Mista after the match, through a translator. “(I’m) extremely proud. We left it all on the field. Means so much to get our first victory in our history.”
The first half ended scoreless after Atlético Ottawa did well to contain table-topping Cavalry FC. Ottawa did especially well getting themselves back into shape when the often Cavs won the ball on the press.
Ottawa were rewarded for their good work in the second half when captain Ben Fisk scored in 60th minute with an assist by Francisco Acuña, who took advantage of some uncharacteristically poor defending from Cavalry FC.
And Malcolm Shaw scored three minutes later with a long-range effort that arrowed in to the top left corner, Cavs keeper Marco Carducci left with no chance after getting caught off his line.
Cavalry FC miss opportunities
Cavalry FC responded well but were unable to get themselves back into the match – Nathan Mavila, in particular, missing two very good chances to score for the Cavs.
“They played a very good game, sat deep, trying to hit us on the counter, and they did,” said Cavalry FC head coach Tommy Wheeldon Jr. “Credit where it’s due. They’re a welcome addition to the league.”
Cavalry FC remains top of the table and is still likely to progress to the second round. While Atlético Ottawa move up 6th, but level on points with HFX Wanderers and Pacific FC. The top four qualify for the second round.
Black Lives Matter movement honoured
The match was halted early in the first half for a display of support of the Black Lives Matter movement. The demonstration included all players and coaching staff from the other six clubs who attended Thursday’s game specifically to take part.
Some North American sports leagues, including NBA and MLS, have had matches postponed due to players protesting racial injustice and the recent police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Canadian Premier League players reportedly met to discuss the action they would take as a group. It was decided matches would continue as scheduled, but all players would take part in the demonstration Thursday. The majority of CPL players also used Twitter to share a unified statement.