Pacific FC vs Atlético Ottawa – Game # 73 – Canadian Premier League
CPL 2021 Regular Season – Game # 73
Pacific FC vs Atlético Ottawa
September 19, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. PT / 5:00 p.m. ET
Starlight Stadium, Langford, British Columbia
Watch live: OneSoccer.ca // Tickets available here
Atlético Ottawa are heading west for their first trip to Starlight Stadium on Sunday, to face Pacific FC in the only game of the day with CPL.
The Pacific can extend their lead in the standings to six points with a win, after the Cavalry drew 1-1 with Valor FC on Saturday, while a road win would set Ottawa with two points from FC Edmonton and a chance to get closer to climbing from the bottom of the table.
It will be the fourth all-time meeting between the two teams, and their third and final game of the season.
In 2020 at the Island Games, Ottawa won the very first clash between the teams, as Viti Martinez scored a dramatic equalizer in the 90th minute to keep Ottawa in contention for a second-round berth. They wouldn’t make it in the end, but the victory was important in their inaugural season.
In 2021, the two sets met twice at the Kickoff in Winnipeg. Josh Heard scored the only goal in a 1-0 Pacific FC win at IG Field, but it was their second game of the season that was full of action. After Malcolm Shaw scored twice in the first 15 minutes to put Ottawa on the front foot early, a red card to midfielder Ben McKendry reduced his squad to 10 in the 22nd minute.
Alejandro Diaz brought the Tridents one down in the 35th minute from the penalty spot and scored twice more in the second half to complete his hat trick and put his team ahead. Terran Campbell sealed a 4-2 victory for his team in the 74th minute, and Pacific fought back after two goals to take all three points.
That loss for Ottawa dropped them to the bottom of the table at the end after eight games, and they’ve been stuck there ever since. Pacific, meanwhile, is currently in first place, a few points behind Cavalry FC.
On Sunday, they will be without striker Ryan Telfer and defender Nyal Higgins, both suspended.
Sunday’s game will also feature a small ceremony to officially celebrate the name change of the location from Pacific to Starlight Stadium.
Make your match choices before kick-off at canpl.ca/predictor get a chance to win prizes, including the grand prize of a trip to the 2021 CPL Final!
3 THINGS TO LOOK FOR:
- Mista happy with the way Ottawa is playing, but the results don’t go their way: Even though the table indicates that Atlético Ottawa is currently in 8th place and statistics show they have lost three games in a row, head coach Mista is satisfied with his team’s performance. Against York United last time around, for example, Ottawa mostly stopped York United’s attack in an impressive defensive display, but a pair of individual errors at the back saw the Nine Stripes take all three points. The same can be said on the other end of the pitch – the club sometimes place themselves in good areas, but mistakes prevent them from taking full advantage of them and regularly finding the back of the net. “Looks like your job isn’t good, but when we watch the video with everyone together we play really well,” Mista said on Saturday. “Mostly last month, or months and a half. We have to continue in exactly the same way, and in the end what we need for the result will come very soon. “
- Pacific undefeated in five, with several fit players: Pacific FC have gone five games without losing in all competitions – starting with their 4-3 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps at the Canadian Championship – and several players are in great shape. Despite the absence of star striker Marco Bustos – who is still ‘hand in hand’ according to head coach Pa-Modou Kah – the rest of Pacific FC players have continued to play at a high level, and all step up to get results, for Kah’s delight. “He’s full of confidence,” Kah said of fit Manny Aparicio at his pre-match press conference. “The likes of Terran Campbell and [Alejandro] Diaz finds the net… Josh Heard, they produce. We’re off to a good start, which is fantastic, and we just have to keep going. After this game against Atlético Ottawa, they turn to the Canadian Championship – and a quarterfinal battle with Cavalry FC.
- Zach Verhoven back at Starlight Stadium: Now working for Atlético Ottawa, former Pacific FC player Zach Verhoven will return to Starlight Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Verhoven of Burnaby, BC, made 33 appearances in all competitions over two seasons for the Tridents, scoring three goals and adding three assists. He’s also played in the Vancouver Whitecaps academy, with the UBC Thunderbirds in U SPORTS and with the TSS Rovers in PDL – and knows soccer in BC better than anyone. Verhoven joined Atlético Ottawa in the last offseason and tallied one goal and two assists in 17 appearances in 2021, playing either as a right-back or higher up the pitch in a more natural attacking role. “Zach did a really good job in the last game,” said his head coach Mista. “Zach is not a fullback, but he has changed his mind and could very well defend. I always say that you need players who can play in different positions, it’s better for the team and for the player, and Zach is a perfect example of that. We’re very happy, and it’s special tomorrow that he’s playing at home.
ALL TIME SERIES
Pacific FC win: 2 || Atlético Ottawa win: 1 || Prints: 0
July 21, 2021 – Pacific FC 4-2 Atlético Ottawa
“I don’t think they’ve changed much (since the teams last met). It’s a team that is always trying to find its rhythm… things haven’t always been like them. It’s definitely a game people can’t expect to be just a walk – we’ll have to win every inch of everything on Sunday, but it’s a game I look forward to. – Pacific FC Head Coach Pa-Modou Kah
“We are facing one of the best teams in CPL. They have one of the best rosters in CPL. We played them in the bubble, unfortunately we saw a red card, but the first 25-30 minutes were perfect for us because we scored two goals and I think we were better than them. I hope that tomorrow we will be better in front of the other goal and that we can score, because we create a lot of chances, but the problem is – for the confidence above all – we do not score [them].– Atlético Ottawa head coach Mista