HIGHLIGHTS: FC Edmonton vs Cavalry FC (September 17, 2022)
The final AL Classico of the 2022 CPL season ended the same was as the previous four — with Cavalry FC picking up the victory against their provincial rivalries FC Edmonton. Saturday’s contest ended 1-0, thanks to a second half header from Joe Mason.
The first 15 minutes or so of this match were spent by both sides just feeling each other out. Both sides had shots that missed the target, with Edmonton’s Tobias Warschewski and Cavalry’s Daan Klomp missing the mark, with neither one challenging the opposing goalkeeper.
Cavalry’s Ali Musse was the first player to come close to finding the back of the net in the 17th minute. Making a run to split the Eddies backline, he received the ball near the goal line. He was able to open up his body and chip a curling shot toward goal, and had the goalkeeper beat, but his effort hit the crossbar.
The pace picked up after that, as Roberto Alarcón and CJ Smith both fired off shots as well in the following few minutes. Alarcon’s shot forced the first save of the match from Eddies goalkeeper Darlington Murasiranwa, a simple diving catch, while Smith was unable to hit the target from about ten yards out, firing the ball wide.
Smith was quite involved in the Eddies attack in the earlygoings, as a few minutes after his missed shot, he played a low cross across the box which Azriel Gonzalez was unable to catch up to it.
The momentum was clearly with the Eddies, as moments after that they were off to the races again. Smith found a charging Warschewski with a pass into space, and the German attacker played a similar low cross to the back post. This time Gonzalez got a foot to it, but the ball ended up in the side netting as he was unable to put it on goal.
Former Eddies player (in their pre-CPL era) Ben Fisk had the last good chance of the opening 45 hitting the target with a well-struck volley from the edge of the penalty area. Murasiranwa dived to the left to make what would end up being a fairly comfortable catch in the end, and it would remain scoreless until halftime. Both sides had chances, but the Eddies in particular surely wished they had a mulligan on a couple of their misses.
Murasiranwa was tested again right at the beginning of the second half, nearly caught out of position by the dangerous Joe Mason — the AL Classico’s record goalscorer — but managing to scramble back to make a diving stop with his legs to put the ball out for a corner.
Mason, however, would in fact give Cavalry the lead with a free header in the 57th minute. His sixth goal against the Eddies since joining Cavalry last season — extending his lead as the record goalscorer in AL Classico history — Mason got his head on the end of a cross into the area from Roberto Alarcon and redirected it past the Eddies goalkeeper.
After Terique Mohammed attempted an acrobatic bicycle kick from a corner a few minutes later, the ball was blocked by Cavalry’s Ali Musse in front of goal. Eddies players immediately claimed the ball had struck Musse’s hand, but referee Marie-Soleil Beaudoin was having none of it, and Tobias Warschewski was booked for dissent in the aftermath.
Warschewski tested Marco Carducci a few minutes later, taking a shot from a long way out after Elliot Simmons slipped and gave up the ball, but Carducci was there to make the catch.
After a pair of first half misses, Azriel Gonzalez finally put the ball into the back of the net in the 85th minute, running in behind and curling the ball past Carducci into the far corner. Unfortunately for Gonzalez, however, the goal would be called back as the assistant referee raised the offside flag after Gonzalez was slightly behind the backline when the ball was played forward.
The Eddies kept knocking on the door, looking for an elusive goal, but were struggling to break down the Cavalry backline, who had a much better second half after looking shaky in the first.
Three minutes of stoppage time came and went, and the Cavs picked up three important points in an intense playoff race. Their gruntled pack of travelling fans were loud all afternoon, and erupted again at the final whistle as Beaudoin brought an end to a hard-fought derby match in the Albertan capital.
57′ — Joe Mason (Cavalry FC)
61′ — Yellow: CJ Smith (FC Edmonton)
69′ — Yellow: Tobias Warschewski (FC Edmonton)
70′ — Yellow: Luke Singh (FC Edmonton)