At long last, Atlético Ottawa has won a match at TD Place Stadium, after a 2-0 victory over Halifax Wanderers. The 2022 regular season champions had not won at home in their last nine matches played between the regular season and playoffs — coincidently, dating back to a 3-2 victory against Halifax on August 17, 2022.
Ollie Bassett opened the scoring with his fourth goal of the season, before Malcolm Shaw tapped home to give Atléti just their second multi-goal match of the season. Sean Melvin, meanwhile, was excellent in preserving the clean sheet for Ottawa.
The hosts created a few good chances in the early going, doing well to find Jean-Aniel Assi down the right flank twice within the opening four minutes. He played in two dangerous crosses, the second of which was punched away by Yann Fillion in the Halifax net before it could find its intended recipient.
Atleti broke through again in the 15th minute through some good patient buildup. This time they were able to play Gianni dos Santos down the left, but his low shot was easily gathered by Fillion.
The hosts continued to press forward as the half wore on and came close again in the 31st minute as Karl Ouimette sent a header across the goal that beat Fillion but was cleared well by Wes Timoteo.
Halifax had its first truly dangerous offensive foray in the 44th minute as Dan Nimick played an excellent whipped cross into the box that was redirected by the head of Tomas Giraldo just over the net.
Moments later, Ottawa came within inches of scoring the opener as an outstanding delivery from Bassett was directed goalward by dos Santos but was stopped on the line by Fillion. As a result, the sides headed into halftime with the score at 0-0.
Halifax came close early in the second half with a brilliantly worked set-piece routine. Andre Rampersad found himself all alone in the Ottawa box, but his shot from close range was too close to Sean Melvin who denied the Wanderers skipper from point blank.
With the visitors growing into the game, Ottawa coach Carlos González elected to make a trio of substitutions, bringing on Carl Haworth, Noah Verhoeven and Zach Verhoven.
Verhoven, as he has been known to do, nearly had an instant impact off the bench, as he got in behind Nimick with a brilliant bit of play but couldn’t control his second touch and saw his shot saved by Fillion.
Moments later, Atlético Ottawa finally had their moment of joy. Shaw found himself in behind and while his shot across goal was saved well by Fillion, Bassett was on hand to tap in the rebound.
Ottawa then doubled their lead in the 76th minute. A brilliant through-ball from Verhoven found Verhoeven in behind, who rushed into the box and squared for Shaw. Shaw would tap home for his sixth goal in all competitions against Halifax, the most he has scored against any CPL side.
The loss makes it eight straight matches that Halifax have gone winless against Atlético Ottawa. The Wanderers remain the league’s only club without a win to start the 2023 season.
71′ — Ollie Bassett (Atlético Ottawa)
76′ — Malcolm Shaw (Atlético Ottawa)
21′ — Yellow: Cale Loughrey (Halifax Wanderers)
34′ — Yellow: Riley Ferrazzo (Halifax Wanderers)
50′ — Yellow: Luke Singh (Atlético Ottawa)
82′ — Yellow: Zachary Fernandez (Halifax Wanderers)