HIGHLIGHTS: Cavalry defeats rivals Edmonton in 1st Al Classico tilt

Cavalry FC rolled its CPL win-streak to four victories in a row on Saturday courtesy of a 1-0 win over rivals FC Edmonton in the first edition of Al Classico, with Cavs striker Jordan Brown scoring the only goal of the game on a rainy afternoon at Spruce Meadows.

Brown’s fortuitous effort beat Eddies goalkeeper Connor James in the 45th minute of play, with the English striker sticking out his left foot to redirect a shot by Elijah Adekugbe – and, intentional or otherwise, it proved the difference between these two outfits as the Calgary-based Cavs got the better of Edmonton in the Battle of Alberta.

Eddies forward Marcus Velado-Tsegaye tested Cavalry goalkeeper Marco Carducci on a number of occasions in the second half, but, coupled with other shots peppered at his goal, Carducci stood firm between the sticks, denying his opponents with a series of game-changing saves.

Edmonton ramped up the pressure throughout the second 45 as the game turned into a physical battle – the two teams combined for 30 fouls over 90 minutes – and the introduction of Oumar Diouck to the fold gave Edmonton even more of the attacking imputes late in the match, but he and his teammates couldn’t break down Cavalry’s defensive line by the final whistle.

As a result, Cavalry’s slim lead was enough to earn three more points, maintaining the team’s perfect start to the 2019 season with 12 points over four matches. It’s Cavalry’s fifth win in a row in all competitions, when considering a 2-0 win over Pacific in the first leg of Canadian Championship action – and that’s what Tommy Wheeldon Jr.’s side now switches focus to, as they host the Van Isle-based outfit at Spruce Meadows on Wednesday, May 22 for the second leg (9:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. MT on OneSoccer).

Meanwhile, FC Edmonton enjoys a bit of a break before returning to CPL action on May 29 away to Forge FC (7:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. MT on OneSoccer).

Box Score

45′ – Jordan Brown (Cavalry FC)

9′ Yellow Card – Ramon Soria (FC Edmonton)
66′ Yellow Card – Elijah Adekugbe (Cavalry FC)

Key Performers

Marco Carducci (Cavalry FC)

A superhero performance by Cavalry’s shot-stopper. Carducci was immense for the Cavs on the day, making three point-blank saves to deny Edmonton what were otherwise clear sights at goal, and didn’t put a foot wrong in the rain, either.

Marcus Velado-Tsegaye (FC Edmonton)

Velado-Tsegaye came into the match as a substitute and immediately made his presence felt, testing Carducci with a pair of efforts and bringing life to the Eddies’ attack. The 17-year-old played beyond his years and will be one to watch in the future.

Elijah Adekugbe (Cavalry FC)

In a rivalry where the midfield is often the toughest battleground, Adekugbe took no prisoners. He led all players with eight tackles or interceptions to regain possession, and provided the shot that Jordan Brown ultimately tucked home for the game-winning goal. Adekugbe is here to play.