Atletico Ottawa is the first team of the 2022 CPL season to qualify for the playoffs, with a strong 3-1 win over Cavalry. This is also the first time in Ottawa’s short history that they have made the playoffs, after finishing at the bottom of the table last season, and then not doing well in the Island Games, either.
Other than qualifying for the playoffs, one of the big talking points this game is Ballou Tablas’ bicycle kick goal, which is easily a contender for the goal of the season. Five minutes into the game, Miguel Acosta crossed a ball to the top of the eighteen-yard box, where Tabla is tracking the ball. Tabla then bicycle kicks the ball towards the goal, where it goes bar down, beating Cavalry’s goalkeeper Marco Carducci.
Brian Wright and Malcolm Shaw scored the other two goals for Ottawa in open play, while Jose Escalante scored a penalty goal for Cavalry. Shaw’s goal is his first since coming back from a fairly long time out with injury.
Much like the last time these two played each other, Cavalry dominated in possession, with 69 percent of the ball, while Atletico had just 31 percent of the ball. But again, much like the last time these two played, Ottawa scored three goals from open play, and remains undefeated against Calvary this season. Ottawa is the only team in the 2022 CPL season that Cavalry is unable to notch a win against.
With the playoffs locked down for Atletico Ottawa now, the only thing left for them to do is get to the required U-21 minute mark of 2000. With roughly 80 minutes acquired in this game, around 220 minutes are required over the next two games, so look for Atletico Ottawa to play all three of their U-21 players, and even have some of their development players make an appearance or two.
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Atletico will probably look to get most, if not all of their required U-21 minutes at their next game on the road against the HFX Wanders. This will allow them to play a strong lineup against a red-hot York United for their final game of the season, which happens to be at TD Place in Ottawa. This will also give the fans a great preview of what their starting lineup could be for the playoffs.
With this win, Ottawa maintains its place at the top of the standings for yet another week. If Atletico can somehow maintain their place on the top of the table for two more weeks, they are guaranteed home-field advantage should they make it to the finals, and will have received the first trophy of their history, with the CPL head office announcing that the regular season champ gets a trophy, and a financial reward as well.
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