Atlético Ottawa delivered a statement performance in their first-ever trip to the Langley Events Centre, with a club record 5-0 victory over Vancouver FC.
It was the first win of the season for the 2022 Canadian Premier League regular season champions. For Vancouver, it was the first time they have allowed more than a single goal against in a match in club history.
Ollie Bassett opened the scoring after just eight minutes, before Samuel Salter doubled Ottawa’s lead prior to halftime. Noah Verhoeven, Zach Verhoven and Zakaria Bahous would all add their names to the scoresheet as the visitors kept their foot on the gas for the full 90 minutes.
For the first time this season, Atlético Ottawa struck first. A brilliant passing sequence down the right flank saw Bassett and Gianni dos Santos play a quick 1-2, before the 2022 CPL Player of the Year smashed home the ball from close range in the eighth minute.
The visitors stayed on the front foot afterward, attempting four further shots at Callum Irving’s net in the next 15 minutes. They especially dominated when Vancouver were forced to spend several minutes down a man as Gabriel Bitar was tended to off the field after picking up an injury. The Vancouver attacker was eventually forced to be removed in the 27th minute.
Vancouver FC got their first sight of goal in the 35th minute as club-leading goalscorer Shaan Hundal broke down the right flank and fired an ambitious strike over Sean Melvin’s net.
Moments later, Ottawa doubled their lead. Jean-Aniel Assi created some space for himself down the wing with some clever dribbling, and played in a low cutback from the end line which Salter converted after a smart off-ball run to create space for himself in the box.
Ottawa continued to look incredibly dangerous on the counterattack, breaking quickly any time they won the ball back. That resulted in a few more opportunities before the end of the half, the best of which saw Assi have a shot inside the box blocked in the 44th minute. The score remained 2-0 for the visitors heading into the halftime break.
In the second half, the lethal Atleti counterattack continued to cause havoc, in the 59th minute Ollie Bassett broke downfield, before playing a pinpoint crossfield ball that Noah Verhoeven, in full stride, needed to just tap home past Irving.
The game then went from bad to worse for Vancouver in the 71st minute. First, it was Burnaby native Verhoven who beat Mouhamadou Kane down the wing before blasting a shot past Irving to make the score 4-0. Then just over a minute later Ottawa had found the back of the net again, this time through Bahous after good work from Salter and Verhoven to win the ball back in the midfield.
Things went from bad to worse for Vancouver in the dying moments of the match, as Kadin Chung had to be removed from the match after a collision with Malcolm Shaw in the midfield.
Ottawa remains undefeated on the road in 2023 in CPL action, picking up where they left off in that regard in 2022. They have now scored a stunning ten goals in four road matches in all competitions so far this season.
8′ — Ollie Bassett (Atlético Ottawa)
36′ — Samuel Salter (Atlético Ottawa)
59′ — Noah Verhoeven (Atlético Ottawa)
70′ — Zach Verhoven (Atlético Ottawa)
72′ — Zakaria Bahous (Atlético Ottawa)
39′ — Yellow: Noah Verhoeven (Atlético Ottawa)
42′ — Yellow: Luke Singh (Atlético Ottawa)
56′ — Yellow: Gael Sandoval (Vancouver FC)
84′ — Yellow: Ameer Kinani (Vancouver FC)
87′ — Yellow: Malcolm Shaw (Atlético Ottawa)