Final Score: Atlético Ottawa 0-1 Valour FC Goalscorers: Dyer (85') Game of the 2021 season: 23 CPL match: 158
Match in a minute or lessA late penalty from Moses Dyer saw Valour FC beat Atlético Ottawa on Thursday night, giving his team some breathing room atop the standings. Valour now sit on 15 points from six matches, four up on second-place Pacific FC. After Valour fired more than a dozen shots at Dylon Powley in the first half, controlling most of the play, Ottawa's attack clicked more after the break and was able to create a few more chances, but missed a clinical finish to find a goal. With the win, the Winnipeg-based side have picked up five wins in six matches to start this 2021 CPL season, and added to Jonathan Sirois' record for most consecutive shutouts with five.
Three ObservationsMoses Dyer clinical from the penalty spot With his late winner on Thursday, New Zealand international Moses Dyer has scored three goals this season, with all three coming from 12 yards out. Sending Dylon Powley diving in the wrong direction, his third goal saw him join Marco Bustos in the lead for the Golden Boot. He has earned the trust of Rob Gale to take penalties, and Gale has been rewarded for that trust thus far. "If you're an Englishman and you score a penalty, you're happy because it isn't our greatest strength, so thank goodness for the Kiwi," joked Gale after the match. "It's something he practices, he works it at the end of training. So far it's paid off, so let's hope he can continue to find the net when we get those opportunities." Dyer mixed in a little stutter step into Thursday's penalty, throwing off Powley, and said after the match that it's something he has up his sleeve to use at times. "I don't always do it, sometimes I do, sometimes I don't," Dyer said. "I haven't been saying anything about it, I don't want to give anything away." Both goalkeepers impress as Sirois picks up fifth consecutive clean sheet Young Valour FC goalkeeper Jonathan Sirois picked up his fifth consecutive clean sheet against Ottawa, extending his own record. The 20-year-old has turned away everything in sight this season, and did so again on Thursday, making three saves and one punch. He was also good with his feet, completing 96.2% of his passes (25/26) while playing out of the back. "He's kept five clean sheets in a row. He came and collected the high one late at the end, he takes the pressure off the defenders when he needs to," said Rob Gale. "It's front to back, if you only allow an Ottawa team three shots on target in 90 minutes, then it's a collective effort. Credit absolutely to Jonathan, but also to the 10 men in front of him." Sirois' counterpart Dylon Powley was also brilliant in this one, making five saves and only beaten by Dyer's penalty -- which is hard to blame him for. Rob Gale said that "Powley was excellent, and probably man of the match in the first half," something that is hard to disagree with when Powley was peppered with 14 shots in the opening 45'. He didn't get credited with a save for it, but made himself big to force a wide shot from Austin Ricci in the first half as well, keeping the match scoreless at the time. His side were unable to find a goal to reward him for his performance, but Ottawa's backline was solid overall despite the negative scoreline. Rafael Galhardo makes his first start for Valour FC Brazilian midfielder Rafael Galhardo was handed a first start of the season, after Valour's marquee offseason signing was limited to appearances off the bench in his first few games. He first had to quarantine before he could join his team for training inside the bubble, so has slowly been working his way up to match fitness, and was given about 60 minutes on Thursday. He made an impact during his time on the pitch, touching the ball 25 times, and completing 14 of his 15 passes -- also firing in several crosses. The 29-year-old was also on set piece duty, taking a couple of shots from free kicks, although neither challenged Powley in the Ottawa goal. "He's got some good technical quality," said Rob Gale after the match. "He's still getting used to the league, and being in a bubble. We wanted to get him 60 minutes today -- building blocks and building steps, and we also felt it was important to give Keven Aleman a rest today as well."
CanPL.ca Player of the MatchMoses Dyer, Valour FC Now with three goals this season, all from the penalty spot, Moses Dyer won the match for Valour with his late strike.
What’s next?Ottawa have a few days off before they take on FC Edmonton on Sunday night (10 pm ET/ 9 pm CT). Valour also play on Sunday, taking on York United in the ComeOn! Match of the Week (7:30 pm ET/6:30 pm CT). Watch all matches live on OneSoccer.