HIGHLIGHTS: Atlético Ottawa 3-0 Forge FC — CPL Match #25

For the first time in Atlético Ottawa history, they defeated Forge FC at TD Place Stadium, doing so by a score of 3-0 on Saturday afternoon.

Coming into the match, Atleti had never even scored against the Hamilton side in the nation’s capital. It took them just 13 minutes on Saturday, as Manny Aparicio opened the scoring with a stunning strike from distance. Alberto Zapater added his first CPL goal in the second half, while Ruben del Campo scored for a fifth straight CPL match — tying a league record set by former Cavalry striker Aribim Pepple in 2022.

As a result, Atlético Ottawa remain undefeated to begin the 2024 campaign. They sit six points atop the Canadian Premier League table at the time of writing.

Atlético Ottawa opened the scoring as a result of some good offensive play saw the ball fall to Aboubacar Sissoko at the top of the box. The former Forge midfielder sent a short pass to Manny Aparicio who took a touch and unleashed an absolute rocket past Chris Kalongo.

Ballou Tabla, in particular, was a constant problem for Forge through the opening moments of the match, showing his dribbling and creativity to create a pair of shot attempts for himself in the first 20 minutes.

Forge then had a flurry of chances in the 23rd minute, with Rayane Yesli making a good low save on Alexander Achinioti-Jönsson. Malik Owolabi-Belewu attempted an audacious bicycle kick on the rebound, but instead caught the face of Atleti defender Kris Twardek and was shown a yellow card.

As the visitors held more of the ball as the half wore on, Atléti looked to win it back and then quickly get in behind — finding del Campo and Tabla on a few other occasions in dangerous areas behind the Forge backline. Neither side could press their advantage, however, and the score remained 1-0 for the hosts at the half.

Forge came flying out of the gates to start the second half, creating an excellent chance less than two minutes after the break. Captain Kyle Bekker squared a cross for David Choinière, whose shot across goal was brilliantly saved by a diving Yesli.

Aparicio had a chance to have a second in the 50th minute, as a brilliant ball from Yesli played him in behind, but he elected to try to play the ball across the box. There were no other Atleti attacker on hand for what would have been a tap-in.

After weathering a few waves of attack from Forge, Atlético Ottawa won a free kick in the 70th minute as substitute Dani Morer was fouled to the right of the Forge box. Ollie Bassett stepped up and delivered a perfect ball into the box that Zapater headed home to give Atleti a 2-0 lead. It was the Spaniard’s first league goal for Atleti, having scored a brace earlier in the season against Valour in the Canadian Championship.

The hosts broke through again just ten minutes later, as some lovely interplay between Morer and Bassett created an opening to allow the former to play a pass in behind to del Campo. The Atlético Ottawa striker smashed a strike across goal and past Kalongo to score for his fifth straight match.

Forge have now lost back-to-back matches in the league, and were held scoreless for the second time in three league matches. Next up for them is a big test against high-flying York United in the 905 Derby.



Atlético Ottawa: Yesli; Twardek, Singh, Didić, de Brienne (Sacko 83′); Bassett, Sissoko (Zapater 67′), Aparicio, Antinoro (Tissot 59′); Tabla (Morer 67′), del Campo (Salter 82′) 

Forge FC: Kalongo; Samuel, Achinioti-Jönsson, Owolabi-Belewu (Duncan 74′), Parra; Hojabrpour (Hamilton 83′), Bekker, Jensen (Borges 61′); Badibanga (Koné 83′), Choinière, Poku (Metusala 61′) 


13′ — Manny Aparicio (Atlético Ottawa)
72′ — Alberto Zapater (Atlético Ottawa)
82′ — Rubén del Campo (Atlético Ottawa) 


15′ — Aboubacar Sissoko (Atlético Ottawa)
24′ — Malik Owolabi-Belewu (Forge FC)
25′ — Daniel Parra (Forge FC)
53′ — Alessandro Hojabrpour (Forge FC)