Ali Musse’s first CPL goal was all Valour FC needed to take down FC Edmonton 1-0 at Clarke Stadium on Sunday morning. The match, which was set to be played on Saturday, was rescheduled due to smoke from nearby Alberta wildfires.
First half action finished scoreless but was not without chances at either end. The Eddies nearly opened the scoring in the first few minutes when a James Marcelin cross was nearly directed goalwards by Ajeej Sarkaria.
Valour, with a healthy group of diminutive attacking midfielders, looked to hold possession well into the second half despite being the away side.
Ali Musse made good of that possession in the 80th minute. Michael Petrrasso’s quick work along the right side, followed by a whipped cross, took the ball to Musse on the back post. Valour’s young striker smashed it past Connor James to give the visitors the first, and only, goal of the match.
The Eddies nearly drew level in the 84th minute, though, when a Valour goalkeeper Mathias Janssens stood tall on a point-blank chance from Marcus Velado-Tsegaye at the near post.
The result means Forge FC remain atop the CPL’s three-team CONCACAF League qualifying table with six points, as Valour draws level with Edmonton with three points each. Forge will host Valour in the penultimate match of qualifying on June 15.
Both clubs now set their sights on their Canadian Championship second round ties, both beginning on Wednesday. FC Edmonton are back on the road to play York9 FC (7:00 p.m. ET, on OneSoccer), while Valour heads out to the east coast to take on HFX Wanderers FC (7:30 p.m. ET, 8:30 p.m. AT, on OneSoccer).
80′ – Ali Musse (Valour FC)
8′ Yellow Card – Nicolas Galvis (Valour FC)
16′ Yellow Card – Skylar Thomas (Valour FC)
16′ Yellow Card – Tomi Ameobi (FC Edmonton)
Michael Petrasso (Valour FC)
Marking a returning from injury, Valour’s star winger rarely missed a beat. Petrasso’s work along the right side led to Musse’s goal, and several other scoring chances. He nearly scored one of his own, too, when he dribbled past three or four defenders on a chance just before halftime.
Marco Bustos (Valour FC)
Floating touchline-to-touchline throughout the match, Bustos once again proved to be a key link for Valour’s many attacking talents, including Petrraso. Bustos made a game-high 54 passes, 43 of which came in the opposing half.
Connor James (FC Edmonton)
FC Edmonton’s early season standout in net had another impressive match despite the loss. James made four saves, one of which was an impressive one-on-one with Bustos in injury time.