Atletico Ottawa hosted Forge in the nation’s capital, for a game under the lights Saturday. While neither team went into this game wanting a draw, a draw is what they got. Both teams split the points with Atletico maintaining their position on top of the table with 39 points and Forge dropping down to third place with 36 points due to Cavalry getting a 1-0 win against York which moved them up to second in the table.
The new Commissioner of the CPL and CEO of the CSB Mark Noonan was in attendance at the game. Before the game he meet with both sets of supporter groups to thank them for what they do for the game and for the league. He also participated in the coin toss and a photo with the two team captains and the referees.
Last time Ottawa hosted Forge the game ended in a blowout 4-0 win for Forge, which Ottawa did not want to repeat this time around. Ottawa sat back and absorbed the pressure from Forge at the start of the match with Ottawa’s first shot not coming until the 20th minute of play. Ottawa’s attack grew more confident as the game went on, with Ottawa holding possession better and getting quite close a couple of times.
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For the majority of the game it was fairly even with both teams defending well, regaining possession then going on the attack. Both teams were quick on the ball when in possession building up the attack but neither were able to get past the goalkeepers. Both Sean Melvin and Triston Henry picking up clean sheets. Ottawa now lead the league in clean sheets with nine while Forge are in second with eight.
Forges best chance at getting an official goal was from their captain Kyle Bekker who launched a stinger of a shot towards Ottawa’s net in the 74th minute of play. The ball hit off the crossbar and crossed the goal line, but bounced out and back into play. This goal didn’t end up counting as neither the ref nor the linesman stopped play to indicate a goal had occurred. Forge kept on playing as well with not even Kyle Bekker celebrating.
This was a fairly even game with Ottawa having 10 shots, with 2 on target, to Forges 7 shots and 1 on target. Ottawa had 42% of the ball with Forge having 58% of possession. This was a much more even game compared to the last game which Forge won 4-0 and more representative of the battle between these two teams with season. With all of the other games ending in either a 1-1 draw or a slim 1-0 win for Ottawa.
With both teams almost guaranteed a playoff spot at this point of the season (knock on wood if you’re an Atletico or Forge fan) this game sets up a very exciting potential playoff series. Both of these teams are fairly evenly matched in most positions and both with fairly different styles of play, it would be a quite entertaining game and should have even the neutral fans excited by the prospect of a Atletico vs Forge playoff series, or better yet a final.
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