HIGHLIGHTS: Atlético Ottawa vs. Forge FC (August 26, 2023) | Presented by tonybet
In a rematch of the 2022 Canadian Premier League final, Atlético Ottawa and Forge FC combined for a cagey 0-0 draw at Ottawa’s TD Place on Saturday.
A battle of the third and fourth-place teams heading into the weekend, this result is one that Halifax, York, Pacific and Cavalry will all be happy to see, as it leaves just a one-point gap between first and fifth in the table, and four points between first and sixth.
Yet, that’s why this end to the regular season promises to be so exciting, as there is still all to play for, with the regular season title and one of five coveted playoff spots still all up for grabs.
Ottawa would find the first chance of this game, as Luke Singh found Sam Salter with a nice ball over the top, but Salter’s chipped attempt would easily be saved by an alert Triston Henry in Forge’s goal.
At the other end, Forge had a good look in the 8th minute, as the ball fell to Terran Campbell just inside the box on a corner routine, but the CPL’s co-Golden Boot leader would send his first-time shot well over the goal.
After that, however, the game slowed down, as both teams settled into more of a defensive posture. As a result, the next chance didn’t come until the 27th minute, as Ottawa’s Gianni Dos Santos managed to cut inside and unleash a shot, one that would be easily saved by Henry.
Then, in the 40th minute, Forge’s Kyle Bekker would get the best opportunity of the game up to that point. After a dangerous ball into the box from Aboubacar Sissoko, he’d do well to turn and fire a shot, forcing an excellent diving save out of Ottawa’s Nathan Ingham to keep it out.
Right before half time, Ottawa would find another good chance, this time off a wide set-piece to the left of Forge’s box. There, despite having the option to cross, Ilias Iliadis decided to go for goal, and he’d nearly find the target, forcing an acrobatic save out of Henry on a curling strike.
On the other side of the break, Forge would have a good look off a set-piece of their own. There, Béni Badibanga went for goal from well outside the box, but his shot would be easily saved by Ingham, who stood tall to the shot to catch it.
Then, just minutes later, they had another good opportunity off a set piece, as Kyle Bekker found Manjrekar James with a great corner, but his shot would also be caught by Ingham.
At the other end, Ollie Bassett finally got into the game for Ottawa, as he found his way into Forge’s box after some nice interplay with his teammates, but he’d scuff his left-footed shot right at Henry. Soon after that, Dos Santos decided to have a shot from distance, as he tried to catch Henry by surprise after pouncing on a turnover, but his right-footed shot would sail well over the target.
Continuing the end-to-end action, Forge had one of the best chances of the game in the 82nd minute, as Bekker found Sissoko with an inch-perfect cross, but Sissoko’s first-time shot drifted just wide of the near post, keeping the game 0-0.
From there, however, other than a late Woobens Pacius shot from distance that would fly well wide of the goal, that’d be all that both teams had to offer, leaving them to settle for the 0-0 draw.
49′ — Ilias Iliadis (Atlético Ottawa)
84′ — Zach Verhoven (Atlético Ottawa)