A spirited edition of Al Classico ended in a 0-0 draw at Spruce Meadows on Friday, as Cavalry FC and FC Edmonton clashed for the third time in the 2019 CPL season, neither capable of besting either goalkeeper, both of whom were in fine form over 90 minutes of action in Calgary.
The first 45 minutes were split between a period of feeling one another out, and a couple of near chances and an Edmonton penalty shout early in the match, waved off. The Eddies’ high pressure also turned the ball over in the box at the half-hour mark, opening up an opportunity for Ajay Khabra, who hit the post, only for Edem Mortotsi’s follow-up volley to be saved by Cavalry ‘keeper Niko Giantsopoulos.
An Oliver Minatel goal was called off for offside, ending the first half at 0-0.
The second half featured even more opportunities at either end of the pitch, as Easton Ongaro and Oumar Diouck combined up top for the Eddies, while Nico Pasquotti and Dominique Malonga tested Edmonton goalkeeper Connor James on a couple occasions, too.
A Cavalry penalty shout in the 75th minute was ignored by the referee, as was a handball shout on the resulting free-kick, as clear-cut looks at goal weren’t given gratuitously; the closest either side got was when Edmonton’s Mele Temguia smacked the crossbar with a header from a set piece, though Giantsopoulos and James both denied their opposites late in the match to preserve clean sheets in this 0-0 draw.
Cavalry returns to action on August 21, hosting York9 FC in Fall season action (7:00 p.m. MT, 9:00 p.m. ET, available on OneSoccer). Meanwhile, the Eddies head to Winnipeg to take on Valour two days earlier (7:00 p.m. CT/8:00 p.m. ET, available on OneSoccer).
34′ Yellow – Oliver Minatel (Cavalry FC)
75′ Yellow – Amer Didic (FC Edmonton)
80′ Yellow – Randy Edwini-Bonsu (FC Edmonton)
Three Key Performers
Niko Giantsopoulos (Cavalry FC)
Was massive in his return between the sticks, keeping a clean sheet through a number of key saves – eight, to be exact – six more than his opposite James faced over the 90 minutes. Wheeldon Jr. called it “a tale of two keepers” afterward … and he’s right.
Edem Mortotsi (FC Edmonton)
An ever-present threat throughout the match, Mortotsi led all 22 players in shots (4) and shot on target (3), while also providing an attacking outlet for Easton Ongaro and Oumar Diouck to bounce off of, with Ramon Soria in support behind him.
Dominick Zator (Cavalry FC)
Once again, Zator earns a nod for his impressive defensive showing, keeping Edmonton’s offensive players at bay and helping Nathan Mavila and Malyk Hamilton mark their assignments with some great leadership and communication, throughout.