Cavalry FC returned to the top of the CPL’s Fall standings with their third-straight victory on Sunday, moving past Pacific FC 4-1 on a sunny late summer afternoon at Spruce Meadows.
Pacific was largely pinned back by the rested Cavalry FC, who ended the match with 63% possession and eight shots on target, 16 shots total.
A series of defensive flubs from Pacific led to Cavalry’s first goal in the 12th minute, culminating in a Ryan McCurdy attempted clearance that landed to Jose Escalante behind the play. The Honduran smartly poked home a breakthrough for the home side.
The Tridents were given a lifeline after the hour mark. Zachary Verhoven, in on goal, was taken down in the box after stepping around Cavalry goalkeeper Marco Carducci. Terran Campbell converted the resulting penalty to take the sole top spot of the CPL’s golden boot leaderboard.
Moments later, Pacific later broke through on a two-on-one as a back-and-forth sequence began between the two clubs.
In the 66th minute, Cavalry would make good of the end-to-end play. Joel Waterman beat the offside off a free-kick before crossing the ball across goal to Oliver Minatel, who finished on a sliding effort.
Pacific’s penalty luck would change in the 75th minute when a Minatel shot was deflected off McCurdy’s arm, leading the referee to point to the spot and later hand McCurdy a second yellow card. Dom Malonga fired his spot-kick past Nolan Wirth.
Escalante would score the pick of the bunch in the 86th minute, with a left-footed, outside-of-the-box curling finish that found a cushion on the inside of the back post and sealed a Cavalry win.
The going does not get any easier after this for Pacific. They’ll be on the road again next weekend, as they visit Hamilton to play Forge FC on Saturday (3:30 p.m. ET, on OneSoccer). Cavalry’s next stop is in Ontario as well; they’ll take on York9 FC in the third match of the CPL’s September 28th tripleheader (6:00 p.m. ET, on OneSoccer).
12′ – José Escalante (Cavalry FC)
61′ – Terran Campbell (Pacific FC)
66′ – Oliver Minatel (Cavalry FC)
75′ – Dom Malonga (Cavalry FC)
86′ – José Escalante (Cavalry FC)
21′ Yellow – Ryan McCurdy (Pacific FC)
36′ Yellow – Victor Blasco (Pacific FC)
52′ Yellow – David Norman Jr. (Pacific FC)
55′ Yellow – Alessandro Hojabrpour (Pacific FC)
60′ Yellow – Marco Carducci (Cavalry FC)
75′ 2nd Yellow – Ryan McCurdy (Pacific FC)
Three key performers
Jose Escalante (Cavalry FC)
Escalante saved the best for last in a dominating day at Spruce Meadows. The winger’s late cut-in left-footer was an absolute peach. One of a match-leading three shots on target as a pressing attacker, Escalante was of great value for his brace.
Oliver Minatel (Cavalry FC)
A nice outside-foot flick-on led to that breakthrough goal, one of several chances he created as an attacking link. His goal capped off a superb day for the attacker, who completed all 16 passes he attempted in the opposing half.
Julian Büscher (Cavalry FC)
Büscher was a discreet cog in Cavalry’s attacking machine. Surging ahead as an attacking midfielder, the German was good in possession and great off the ball. Four key passes, three completed crosses and three completing tackles were all team-highs.