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Atletico Ottawa Post-Match Talking Points, April 19

Atletico Ottawa Canadian Championship Win Over the HFX Wanderers FC

ANALYSIS – The Atletico Ottawa Canadian Championship quarter-finals match was against the HFX Wanderers on April 19th. The match took place at York Lions Stadium as neither the Wanderers nor Atletico Ottawa could host the match and it was moved to a neutral location. Atletico Ottawa took the 3-1 win over HFX Wanderers to advance to the next round of the Canadian Championship.


Three Things Learned From Atletico Ottawa’s Canadian Championship Win

Team Steps in Absence of Ollie Bassett’s After Early Injury

Manager Carlos Gonzalez made a change early on after Ollie Bassett went down injured without contact. At the 15-minute mark, Ollie Bassett had to be substituted for Gabriel Antinoro. Despite losing last year’s Canadian Premier League MVP, Atletico Ottawa was able to step up offensively in Bassett’s absence. As mentioned in Ottawa’s previous match, there were some problems with the shape of the midfield.

The midfield looked compacted with Zakaria Bahous and Noah Verhoeven playing close to each other. A shift in the volume of players in the midfield helped Ottawa fend off waves of HFX attack and ultimately made distribution out the wings better. With three separate goalscorers for Ottawa, there was a collective effort to push for the win, and doing without Bassett makes it all the more impressive.

In the post-match availability, Carlos Gonzalez said that Bassett had felt something in his hamstring and was not able to continue. There is no timeline for the injury yet and it’s something the club will monitor in the coming days.

Jean-Aniel Assi Shows Why Atletico Ottawa Brought Him In

18-year-old Jean-Aniel Assi has been a standout performer so far for Atletico Ottawa and he played an integral part in the win. Plying his trade out on the right flank, Assi has shown an impressive ability to progress the ball up the pitch. Additionally, Assi has done well in cutting in from the wing and working the ball into the attacking third. According to FotMob, Assi had a 100 percent pass completion rate which includes an assist on Maxim Tissot’s goal. Assi also had four successful dribbles, the highest in the game. If Assi is able to keep up these performances, he should help Ottawa reach their U21 minutes in short order.

Atletico Ottawa Showing Signs of Being Able to Rally From Behind

In back-to-back matches, Ottawa has now come from behind to score and not lose. After Massimo Ferrin scored a wonderful free-kick in the 19-minute, it looked like Ottawa had a mountain to climb. A nice cross whipped in from Gianni Dos Santos saw Malcolm Shaw tie the game. Just four minutes later during the final minutes of the first half, Diego Espejo scored his first for Atletico Ottawa. Indeed Ottawa would be put to the test to close out the game, especially without Ollie Bassett. In the end, Maxim Tissot sealed the win when he scored in the 85-minute after an Assi pass into the box.

Atletico Ottawa will now travel to the capital of Manitoba in Winnipeg as they face Valour FC for their season home opener at 7:00 p.m. ET on April 22. This is while the HFX Wanderers will travel to face Forge FC in Hamilton, who are the current CPL Championship Shield Winners.


Photo Credit: David Chant of the Canadian Premier League on April 19, 2023.


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