HIGHLIGHTS: Cavalry FC vs. Valour FC (September 29, 2023) | Presented by tonybet
Cavalry FC won a fourth straight game and stretched their unbeaten streak to eight on Friday night at home, coming back from a goal down to defeat Valour FC 2-1 on a rainy evening under the ATCO Field lights.
Despite clinching the regular season title last weekend, Cavalry didn’t make massive changes to their lineup for this match, the only incoming players being Gareth Smith-Doyle in attack, Fraser Aird at right wingback and Callum Montgomery in defence. Valour, likewise, deployed a similar side to the one that beat Atlético Ottawa last Sunday, though goalscorer from that match Walter Ponce started up front.
As most would have expected, Cavalry opened the game with a heavy advantage in possession, although both teams had trouble keeping the ball at times with the wet pitch and rain coming down giving the game a sloppy edge.
The hosts had a few chances in the first 20 minutes, including one Myer Bevan opportunity after a defensive mistake that Rayane Yesli managed to parry. A few minutes later, though, it was Valour who opened the scoring. The ball came to Cavs goalkeeper Marco Carducci, who attempted to pass out of the back but missed his defender, instead leaving the ball to Ponce who took the ball into the box and fired into a mostly open goal to put the visitors up 1-0.
The Cavs would not trail at home for long, though. Fifteen minutes after the opening goal, Sergio Camargo flicked a header into the path of Ali Musse, who got the ball past his defender and drove toward the box. He cut inside and found Camargo, who had continued his run, and Camargo smashed it in to level the score and bag his second goal in as many weeks.
After the players went into halftime for an opportunity to dry off, Cavalry wasted no time storming out of the gates in the second half. Just a minute after kickoff, they came down the left flank, where Smith-Doyle found the ball in space. The 21-year-old dribbled into the box himself, absorbing defensive pressure before threading a low shot off the near goalpost and in to put the Cavs in front and bank his first professional goal.
Having taken the lead, and knowing that his side has already won the title, Tommy Wheeldon Jr. went to his bench quite early to add fresh legs to the Cavalry effort. Jesse Daley, Shamit Shome, Joe Mason and Ben Fisk all entered the match before the 70th minute, with several key starters getting a few extra moments of rest as the playoffs approach.
Valour had a handful of opportunities in the final moments, as they sought an equalizer to get something out of their last road game of the season, but by then Cavalry had set their sights on finishing the game at 2-1, which they did in professional fashion as the regular season champions took another three points to increase their total to 52.
24′ — Walter Ponce (Valour FC)
39′ — Sergio Camargo (Cavalry FC)
47′ — Gareth Smith-Doyle (Cavalry FC)
42′ — Yellow: Walter Ponce (Valour FC)
45+2′ — Yellow: Ali Musse (Cavalry FC)
68′ — Yellow: Jesse Daley (Cavalry FC)