Cavalry FC scored late to stun Pacific FC in a 1-0 victory at Spruce Meadows. It was their tenth home win of the season.
Ben Fisk scored the match’s lone goal with less than two minutes remaining in the 90, his first of the season. Marco Carducci moved into the league lead for clean sheets, with his tenth of the season. The win moves Cavalry up into second in the league for the time being, while Pacific drop into third.
The loss ended Pacific’s unbeaten streak at five, and their clean sheet run at three. The single point, however, does end their chances to win the regular season title, as that honour now goes to Atlético Ottawa, who clinch their first ever regular season championship.
Cavalry quickly came out of the gates in front of an outstanding Spruce Meadows crowd. Ali Musse played in Myer Bevan in the middle, but the forward couldn’t keep his shot down. Miki Cantave followed that up moments later by sending a rocket from the top of the box just over the net as well.
The visitors were quickly able to take the sting of the game after that, and in fact, put pressure well on Cavalry’s backline forcing some dangerous moments in the final third. The Cavs were able to force a number of set-piece opportunities around the 25th minute, a free kick and a pair of corners, but were unable to turn them into any moments of significant danger.
In the 33rd minute, Cantave had another chance from outside the box, this time forcing a nice save from Irving and another corner. The Calgary attacker created space for himself at the top of the box well, but wasn’t able to get quite enough power on his shot to foil the Pacific keeper.
On the final kick of the half, Josh Heard found himself through on Marco Carducci. His shot, however, was ultimately tame and easily collected by the Cavalry keeper. The score remained 0-0 at the interval.
The sides had only a single shot on target a piece during a cagey and physical opening half devoid of significant chances. The sides did combine for 16 fouls — although most of them were rather tame in nature with only a single card handed out.
Cantave picked up where he left off in the first half with an excellent slaloming run at the top of the Pacific box before unleashing another shot that Irving saved comfortably.
Pacific quickly broke down the pitch the other way. Manny Aparicio’s pass alluded Marco Bustos in the box, before falling to Heard just outside the area. The attacker’s shot attempt was well wide.
Shortly after coming into the match, young striker Gareth Smith-Doyle had the best chance of the 90 minutes to that point as he broke through in the 73rd. His powerful strike was well saved by Irving, who came out to challenge the Cavalry attacker.
In the 88th minute, however, came one last regular season moment of magic at Spruce Meadows. Debutant Goteh Ntignee sent a cross in that Irving cut out, but right into the path of Fisk. The CPL veteran slotted home his first of the season as the Spruce Meadows crowd went wild.
The playoff matchups for both sides will be determined by how Forge does in their match against HFXWanderers tomorrow at Tim Hortons Field.
89′ — Ben Fisk (Cavalry FC)
40′ — Yellow: Roberto Alarćon (Cavalry FC)
60′ — Yellow: Jordan Haynes (Pacific FC)
65′ — Yellow: Georges Mukumbilwa (Pacific FC)
70′ — Yellow: Ali Musse (Cavalry FC)
72′ — Yellow Cédric Toussaint (Pacific FC)
74′ — Yellow: Mason Trafford (Cavalry FC)
90 + 1′ — Yellow: Gareth Smith-Doyle (Cavalry FC)