Atlético Ottawa won a second straight match away from home on Sunday, as they saw off Forge FC at Tim Hortons Field to move into a tie for first place in the CPL table.
Forge, looking to bounce back after Wednesday night’s loss to Valour FC, made two changes to their midweek lineup, as Ashtone Morgan returned at left-back and Terran Campbell stepped in on the left wing. Ottawa coach Carlos González, meanwhile, altered his team quite a bit from their 2-0 win over HFX Wanderers on Thursday; Vladimir Moragrega led the line up front while Carl Haworth slotted in at right wing.
The first half, played in blazing Hamilton heat, was a somewhat cagey affair, with neither side managing to find the scoresheet. Forge had arguably the better of the chances, with a couple of opportunities for Campbell in particular, but the final touch continued to elude. Woobens Pacius, as well, had a couple looks at goal, but his attempts likewise missed the frame. Ultimately, the first 45 minutes ended without a shot on target for either team.
After the break, both sides came back looking to break open the scoring, with Ottawa generating a few dangerous chances in transition, though the goal continued to elude both teams. Soon enough, Ottawa boss Carlos González turned to his bench, opting to bring in Malcolm Shaw and Ben McKendry to try and add some bite to his side’s attack. Not long after, Forge coach Bobby Smyrniotis countered by deploying Emery Welshman, Tristan Borges, and Kwasi Poku in hopes of producing a goal.
At last, though, it was Ottawa who broke the deadlock. They found an opportunity to break up the pitch and counter-attack, prompting the trailing Forge defender to foul and set up a free kick opportunity about 10 yards outside the penalty area. Atleti midfielder Ollie Bassett stepped up for the set-piece, and he delivered a screamer with his right foot, just over the wall and into the net at the left post to make it 1-0.
Forge’s players and staff were left frustrated, claiming that Ottawa’s Malcolm Shaw was standing in their defensive wall during the set-piece which should have nullified the goal, but it nonetheless stood and Atleti took the lead.
From there, Forge weren’t able to recover and find their equalizer, perhaps shaken somewhat by the conceded goal. So, for the second consecutive match, they found themselves on the wrong end of a 1-0 result at home, held scoreless again at Tim Hortons Field as Atlético Ottawa continued their march up the league table.
78′ — Ollie Bassett (Atlético Ottawa)
45′ — Yellow: Maxim Tissot (Atlético Ottawa)
83′ — Yell0w: Tristan Borges (Forge FC)