FC Edmonton earned their first point of the Canadian Premier League’s Island Games with a fortunate draw against expansion club Atlético Ottawa Sunday.
The Eddies got off to the worst possible start when Erik Zetterberg gave the ball away in the middle of the park to Francisco Acuna resulting in the fastest goal in CPL history. And it only got worse for Edmonton.
FC Edmonton game plan out the window
A couple of Atlético Ottawa shots went off the post before Acuna scored again in the 15th minute to put Atlético up by two. It looked like the game was going to get out of hand. Atlético Ottawa was the better offensive team in the first half, holding the ball around 50 percent of the time but doing much more with that possession.
“Our game plan went straight out the window – mistakes happen, (but) not often as early as 22 seconds,” FC Edmonton coach Jeff Paulus admitted after the match.
But it was a couple FC Edmonton substitutions that would help change the tide of the match. Anthony Caceres and Hanson Boakai came on and both helped create the chances that led to the Eddies two late goals.
“We saw them tiring out,” said Paulus. “(It’s) something they’ve done over the past couple matches, so we brought the dribblers on from the bench – Caceres, Boakai. We wanted to mix it up and beat them with pace.”
Late FC Edmonton goals
However, in the Eddies will know how fortunate they were to score two goals so late in the match. Keven Aleman scored in the 88th minute and Easton Ongaro three minutes later in stoppage time.
Another loss would have had FC Edmonton searching for answers and seriously threatening their ability to compete in the tournament.
- In Pictures: York9 FC and Valour FC play out goalless draw
- Story: FC Edmonton lose 2-0 to Cavalry FC, stay bottom of the table
The Eddies will be concerned about the health of both Easton Ongaro and Kareem Moses after the game. Both were showing signs of pain on Sunday. Kareem Moses was subbed off. And Easton Ongaro would have likely been too had Edmonton not used all their subs by that point. He continued playing in pain and was able to score the equalizer on a goal line tap in after some good work from Anthony Caceres.
FC Edmonton will need to take the positives from this game and apply them in their next game when they face HFX Wanderers on August.26 at 6pm MST/8pm EST.