Atlético Ottawa beat HFX Wanders 2-1 on a gorgeous day in Halifax. Saturday marked the fourth time the two teams met, and with the win, Ottawa wrapped up their season-series sweep over the Wanderers, winning all four games. In the series, Atlético outscored HFX 8-3, including a 3-2 win in August on a game-winning goal at the death.
This win means that Ottawa now holds the lead record for most points on the road this season, with a record 28 away points, which come form eight wins, four draws and only two losses. The previous record holder was Cavalry, with 27 points on the road in the 2019 and 2021 seasons.
The final home game of the 2022 season for HFX Wanders did not go as planned, with yet another loss. HFX has won just five times at home this season, while losing six games at home, which is tied for worst in the league with York and Edmonton.
Atletico Ottawa opened up the scoring with a beautifully placed free-kick goal from Maxim Tissot in the 40th minute of play. Tissot had already had two other attempts at a free-kick goal from the same area, with the third one being the lucky one that went in. This allowed Ottawa to head into the halftime break with a 1-0 lead.
During the second half, Ottawa struck a second with a goal from Zakaria Bahous in open play during the 57th minute. Bahous was able to slot the ball into the back of the net after being on the receiving end of a cross from Miguel Acosta. This was Bahous’s first goal this season, and after showing a couple flashing of brilliance, it was only a matter of time before he scored.
HFX got their first goal of the game off of a corner kick. In the 79th minute of play, Samuel Salter got on the end of the corner to put one into the back of the net. Ottawa had claimed for a handball, but without VAR, there really wasn’t any hope of the goal being called back. HFX pressed Ottawa hard for the rest of the game, but was unable to break Ottawa’s defensive line which has held strong all season (minus a couple of games).
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This game did take a rougher edge to it, especially in the second half. With only two yellows handed out in the first half compared to five in the second half. Ottawa revied five cards compared to HFX receiving two. Due to yellow card accumulation, Ottawa will have to sit both Ben McKendry and Miguel Acosta next game.
Ottawa also pick up some important U-21 minutes this game, having started three U-21 players, which increased their total to 1974 of 2000 needed, meaning Ottawa only needs 26 U-21 minutes against York. With Ottawa the only team yet to complete their U-21 minute requirements, some people were worried that Ottawa would be disqualified from the playoffs, but this does not seem to be the case anymore.
Atletico Ottawa’s next game is at home where they play against York on October 9, at 6 pm. While HFX Wander’s next game is away at Forge at 1 pm on October 9.
Next weekend is when everything is decided. Will Atletico Ottawa go from worst to first, or will another team sneak in and claim first place and knock them off their perch? Will Valour make the playoffs, or will Pacific and Cavalry hold on and make it into the postseason? Tune in to find out.
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