For the first time in a while, the CPL has a new leader, as Cavalry leapfrogged Pacific in the standings with a commanding 5-1 victory over Vancouver FC at Langley’s Willoughby Community Park on Saturday afternoon.
After an early red card to Vancouver’s Eugene Martínez, Cavalry would not look back from there, not holding back on Vancouver as they cruised to their most commanding offensive performance of the season.
Right from the start, Cavalry came out strongly, as they were eager to take advantage of Pacific’s loss to Forge on Friday.
As a result, they had a great look at goal inside five minutes, as Ben Fisk did well to find Ali Musse with a dangerous cross, but despite finding himself wide-open in Vancouver’s box, Musse’s header would be easily saved by Callum Irving.
Just minutes later, however, that Cavalry warning shot would lead to more, as Cavalry caught Vancouver asleep at the back once again.
After another great ball from Fisk, the ball would find Myer Bevan in behind Vancouver’s defence, facing down a 1v1 with Irving. Desperate to stop Bevan from scoring, that would lead to a forceful intervention from Vancouver’s Eugene Martínez, who’d take down Bevan for a penalty, as well as a red card.
From there, having been denied that first chance at goal, Bevan would not mess around with his second opportunity, as he coolly slotted home to give his team the lead.
Despite going down a goal and a player, however, Vancouver wouldn’t quit. As a result, they managed to muster up a response nearly immediately, as they pushed up the field in chase of an equalizer.
There, they’d do well to funnel the ball up the flank, where Min-Jae Kwak would whip in a dangerous ball, finding a wide-open Alejandro Díaz at the back post for the striker’s second goal in two games with his new club.
Continuing to build, Vancouver then nearly grabbed the lead in the 18th minute, as James Cameron did well to find Mikaël Cantave with a dangerous ball in behind Cavalry’s defence on the counter. There, however, despite facing down a chance to score against his old club, Cantave’s shot would be just blocked by a great defensive run from Bradley Kamdem, keeping the game level.
After withstanding that strong wave of pressure, however, Cavalry would do well to respond in the 24th minute. There, they did well to catch Vancouver on the second phase of a corner, as the ball would fall to Daan Klomp in a dangerous area, before the centre back would look more like a striker with the way he’d control the ball and finish from in-tight.
Then, Fisk continued his strong to the game in the 30th minute, as he did well to nearly catch out Irving with a dinked ball towards the back post, forcing the Vancouver goalkeeper to palm the ball over the crossbar after scrambling to reach it.
Not long after, Cavalry would then make it three in the 36th minute. After a fantastic run from Ali Musse, who’d roulette his way into the box with style, his dangerous shot would be nicely saved by Irving, before falling to a wide-open Sergio Camargo for an easy third goal.
On the other side of half time, Vancouver would come out strongly, as they looked to cut the deficit to one. To their credit, they’d nearly do that in the 46th minute, too, as Díaz did well to flick a ball to Shaan Hundal, whose powerful strike would sail just over the goal from inside of the box.
Yet, that’d push would be short-lived, as Cavalry then made it 4-1 in the 54th minute. There, Fraser Aird would do well to find a wide-open Fisk at the back post, and he’d make no mistake in slotting home from close range to add to his team’s lead.
Soon after, tempers would flare up again, as a tackle from Bevan led to a coming together between both teams, in which Bevan would be sent off for his original tackle, while Vancouver’s Ameer Kinani would also see red, reducing the game to 10 players versus nine in Cavalry’s favour.
Despite that, Vancouver would continue to push. As a result, they’d nearly score a second in the 72nd minute, as Kwak made a great run into Cavalry’s final third, but his effort would be sent right at Cavalry’s Marco Carducci in goal.
At the other end, however, Cavalry was far from done scoring. Because of that, they’d nearly find a fifth in the 79th minute, as William Akio unleashed a dangerous shot from a tight angle, forcing a nice save out of Irving.
Then, they’d find a fifth in the 85th minute, as Ali Musse danced around a couple of Vancouver defenders before unleashing a powerful right-footed strike, sealing all three points for his team with his strike.