2020 CPL regular season (The Island Games) — Match #21 Atlético Ottawa vs. Forge FC August 30, 2020 at noon ET/1:00 p.m. AT
UPEI Artificial Turf Field in Charlottetown, PEI Watch Live: OneSoccer.ca
Momentum is a funny thing in soccer; although these sides sit at opposite ends of the CPL standings, it’s the lower-placed Atlético Ottawa looking to continue their roll against Forge FC in the last game of this weekend’s slate.
Ottawa shocked the league on Thursday with a pair of quick goals lifting them to the first win in club history — against first-place Cavalry FC, no less. Coach Mista’s side finally seemed to break out on both sides of the ball, as they kept one of the highest-scoring teams in the league off the scoreboard. Now, the task will be to continue rolling.
Meanwhile, it’s reigning champions Forge who must bounce back from defeat. They fell at the hands of York9 FC in Wednesday’s 905 Derby, a thrilling back-and-forth contest that ended 3-2. They’re still in comfortable position at The Island Games with eight points, but another win would really help solidify their position in the top four.
Ottawa is still in the hunt for qualification to the second round, but their remaining fixtures are difficult, with Pacific FC and HFX Wanderers FC to come after this Forge test. A stolen point or three against the champs might but them over the edge, though.
Forge will get a week off after this match, next seeing action on Saturday, September 5 as they finish their first-round campaign against Valour FC (12:00 p.m. ET/1:00 p.m. AT). Ottawa, though, will play midweek, with a Wednesday night clash against Pacific FC (8:00 p.m. ET/9:00 p.m. AT).
Giant killers: Ottawa’s win over Cavalry was a massive statement of intent after a frustrating first few matches in PEI. Coming out of it, though, they’re immediately faced with yet another daunting test in Forge FC. Having already beaten Goliath, can David pull off the shock double and take down the CPL’s other top side? They’ll definitely believe so; the confidence they earned from beating Cavalry may well roll over into this one.
Trust the kids? One of the questions hanging around Forge the past week or so has been their place at the bottom of the U-21 minutes table throughout The Island Games. They’ve banked just 47 of the 250 required minutes for young players, and with two games left to play, they’ll need to start checking that box. Unfortunately, one of their three candidates — Klaidi Cela — has been ruled out with an ACL injury, so it’s down to goalkeeper Baj Maan and fullback Monti Mohsen to step up.
90 hard minutes: Thursday’s win was the first time we’ve seen Atlético Ottawa play a complete game without a stretch where they crumbled at the back. They need to play that way again to have any hope against Forge; not necessarily keeping a clean sheet, but certainly keeping their heads if they concede to avoid allowing another goal immediately after. Match fitness seems to be improving, which should help in that regard, but the depth might be tested after an exhausting effort against Cavalry.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
“We were able to manage the game a bit better, and we held a bit more of the ball and were in good control defensively and in attack… It shows that our team is growing.” – Ottawa coach Mista on the win vs. Cavalry
“The discussion at halftime was we needed to be more ruthless in attack… We came out a little flat in the beginning but we turned it around… We were unlucky to not get a result” – Forge winger Chris Nanco on the game vs. York9