HIGHLIGHTS: Cavalry FC vs. Pacific FC (Oct. 7, 2023) | Presented by tonybet
The 2023 Canadian Premier League regular season came to a close on Saturday, as Cavalry FC defeated Pacific FC 3-0 at ATCO Field to bank their fifth straight win and leave the Tridents in fourth place heading into the playoffs.
Cavalry FC entered the match knowing there would be a celebration in store after the whistle regardless of the result, as they finally hoisted the CPL Shield postgame to celebrate winning the 2023 regular season title.
The game itself, though, had major implications for Pacific, who began the day in fourth place knowing they still could climb up to second or third before the playoffs. Both managers thus fielded strong lineups, as dynamo winger Ayman Sellouf got the start for the Tridents — as did Kunle Dada-Luke, who made his first appearance since his scary collision in Hamilton a few weeks ago. Meanwhile, William Akio returned to the XI for Cavalry.
An exhilarating start to the match saw the two sides trade blows, including some dangerous transition moments for Pacific and a well-worked set-piece from Cavalry. Akio nearly opened the scoring emphatically just 10 minutes in with a strike from outside the box, but his attempt smashed into the wall just wide of the goal.
Shortly after the 20th minute, the dam broke for Cavalry after a slew of consecutive set-pieces. Ali Musse delivered a corner toward the back post, where defender Daan Klomp rose above the rest to head it in and put the hosts ahead 1-0.
Pacific grew into the game a little after conceding, but still the Cavs seemed to have the better of the opportunities, with another few dead-ball chances and a lot of pressure toward the Pacific goal. The sides went into halftime with the score 1-0 in favour of Cavalry, though.
The second half proceeded in similar fashion to the first, although Pacific became increasingly dangerous and Cavs goalkeeper Marco Carducci was called upon a handful of times, making one particularly outstanding save on Adonijah Reid around the 70th minute.
Shortly after that, Cavalry found yet another moment of magic. They broke forward in transition and the ball came to Myer Bevan near the top of the box. The New Zealand striker chipped it in at the left post to double the home side’s lead and put himself into a tie with Ollie Bassett for the CPL’s Golden Boot.
Pacific continued to throw all they could at the Cavs’ goal, but the goal would not fall for them as Cavalry held off each wave of attack and preserved the clean sheet.
In fact, it would actually be the home side who scored again, as they broke upfield in transition after defending an attempt and ultimately it was Maël Henry who sealed the deal with a strong finish in front of goal to make it 3-0.
With the result, Pacific landed officially in fourth place, and will open the playoffs this Wednesday, Oct. 11 at home against fifth-place York United. Cavalry, meanwhile, will remain at home and host second-place Forge FC in the semifinal qualifier, with an opportunity to advance directly to the CPL Final.
22’ — Daan Klomp (Cavalry FC)
74’ — Myer Bevan (Cavalry FC)
90+3’ — Maël Henry (Cavalry FC)
78’ — Yellow: Manny Aparicio (Pacific FC)
90’ — Yellow: Fraser Aird (Cavalry FC)
90+2’ — Yellow: Charlie Trafford (Cavalry FC)