Takeaways: Atlético Ottawa Earns Their First-ever CPL Final Berth

Atlético Ottawa Earns Their Right to the CPL Final as Fans and Players Celebrate on October 23, 2022

OTTAWA, ON – Atlético Ottawa earns their first-ever CPL Final at TD Place Stadium. They drew 1-1 against Pacific FC and were the second-best team for a lot of the first half. However. Ottawa still got the job done, as their first-leg win played a big role in the nation’s capital hosting the CPL Final.

Atlético Ottawa Earns Their First-ever 2022 CPL Final at Home

Three Keys to the Game


Atlético Ottawa Gave Themselves Chances To Score

Atlético Ottawa started the game really well at TD Place Stadium. They had a couple of chances to score at the start of the game. Ottawa also created some scoring chances like:

  • Carl Haworth’s shot missed the net in the 12-minute.
  • Ballou Tabla’s shot was stopped by the Pacific FC goalkeeper.

Ottawa in total had five shots on goal. The most notable one was the goal by Matthew Shaw. It was a rocket of a shot that went top shelf. One could say that Pacific goalkeeper, Callum Irving, could have saved the ball. However, Irving would have had to react in time also, as the ball was not exactly straight to the goalkeeper.

Nathan Ingham Made Eight Saves

Ingham made some great saves in the game to preserve the win for Pacific FC.

  • Nathan Ingham made two big saves in a row. He was able to parry it to a safe place.
  • Ingham made a big save on Jordan Brown in the 68-minute.

Without Ingham in these two legs, Ottawa does not advance to the CPL Final. He is a huge asset to Ottawa and he will be needed for the CPL Final.

Pacific FC Played Well and Had Chances to Score

Pacific FC seemed like the better team. They could have scored more goals as they had 23 shots and nine on target. Unfortunately, some of those chances, Pacific did not take advantage of though.

  • Kunle Dada-Luke’s cross to Jordan connected, but Jordan was unable to score in the 52-minute.
  • Manny Aparicio found Djenairo Daniels, but he was unable to connect with Aparicio’s pass in the 90-minute.

The only one they converted on was from a Kamron Habibullah cross following a corner, Thomas Meilleur-Giguère was able to make himself wide open as he scored a header to keep the game interesting.

There is also the controversial Ben McKendry handball when Pacific was winning 1-0 and losing the aggregate 2-1. To the human eye, it looks like a clear handball as McKendry’s arm stood out from taking the shot. Unfortunately, the call was not called and that could have been a game-changer to the two-leg series.

However, in a way, Pacific FC will be thinking about that game they lost at home in this year’s CPL playoffs. It played a major role in why Pacific is not moving on and defending their North Star Shield as Atlético Ottawa earns their right to the CPL Final.

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Game Summary and the Games Coming Up

For Pacific FC, their season is over. They failed to make the Concacaf Champions League after losing out to C.S. Herediano and could not successfully defend their North Star Shield. They may also not be the only professional sports team in Greater Victoria. It is just a rumour right now, but there are rumours of a potential professional rugby union team coming to SLAR based in South America according to Paul Tait of Americas Rugby. They would be the Pacific Pride, which also plays at Starlight Stadium. Right now, they are a high-performance development academy for Rugby Canada.

According to Sudamérica Rugby, an announcement would be made on October 27 on this announcement, which could make a pro rugby union team in Greater Victoria official. They will play in a different league than the Toronto Arrows, who currently play in Major League Rugby (MLR).

This is what Shaw for Atlético Ottawa said according to OneSoccer:

“It was really fantastic it’s just from the start of 2020 to now just the challenging years we’ve had starting out an interest to be in this moment it’s it’s an amazing feeling so everyone’s over the moon right now.”

Meanwhile, for Atlético Ottawa, it is the first time Ottawa has had a chance to win a major championship since the Ottawa RedBlacks won the Grey Cup in 2016 at BMO Field in Toronto, Ontario. With the lack of success from the Senators and the RedBlacks, and the BlackJacks losing out in the playoffs this year, their CPL team could bring joy to Canada’s capital.

This is also the first full season for a professional soccer team in Ottawa since the Ottawa Fury FC team folded at the end of 2019. 2020 was played in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, while only a part of the season was played at home, with a lot of games to start the season being played in Winnipeg.

Photo Credit: Tim Austen/Freestyle Photography on October 23, 2022.