Here’s a look at 2019’s four Al Classico clashes so far, and how the Spring season champions came out on top.
Cavalry 1-0 FC Edmonton (May 18)
Rewind to a wet May day at Spruce Meadows and the opening Al Classico contest in Canadian Premier League play … before Cavalry’s Spring title, before their early-season winning streak, before the Canadian Championship run. It was a clean slate, of sorts, and a potential rivalry to be written.
Jordan Brown played the hero that day – two weeks removed from scoring the club’s first goal on the same upright at Spruce Meadows. The Englishman, intended or not, tipped the ball past Connor James in a flash and gave the home side a lead just before halftime.
At the other end, Cavs goalkeeper Marco Carducci would save his team late – heroics we’d see much more of from goalkeepers in this series – with a sprawling, bottom corner parry on Marcus Velado-Tsegaye.
FC Edmonton 0-3 Cavalry FC (June 15)
An unexpected result, both before the match and at halftime, with the Cavs exploding for three goals in 10 minutes and a second rivalry win in two weeks.
Sergio Camargo’s brace saw the flood gates open at the first CPL Al Classico held at Clarke Field. Jeff Paulus’ group held their own for much of the match, especially in the first half, poised to give the then-unbeaten Cavs a run for their money.
The Eddies would go on to watch their Albertan rivals win the Spring title with an 8-2-0 record, with six of Cavalry’s 24 points coming from Al Classico tilts.
It was closest FC Edmonton, tipped as an early Fall contender, has come to beating the Spring champions; keeping the Cavs to two shots on target while creating several decent chances themselves, with Easton Ongaro and Oumar Diouck leading the line.
Numerous penalty shouts littered the match, with both sides keen to be rewarded with a spot kick.
Cavalry could have clinched the trophy with a win, but it needed to wait …
A Nik Legderwood penalty was all that separated the two sides in an exceptionally scrappy affair. Cavs players Jose Escalante and Oliver Minatel constantly being taken down, choice words said, and all sorts of difficult decisions to be made by the referee … none of which more controversial than Jeannot Esua’s sending off in the second half after shoving Jose Escalante.
It was contested to the end, however, with Al Classico veterans Giantsopoulos and James making big saves in the last ten minutes.
FC Edmonton and Cavalry FC will meet for the fifth and final time in CPL regular season play on Saturday, Oct. 19 (4:00 p.m. ET, 2:00 p.m. MT/OneSoccer) – the final day of Fall competition.