Final Score: Cavalry FC 0-1 Pacific FC Goalscorers: Campbell (33') 2021 Canadian Championship Quarterfinal Round
Match in a minute or lessPacific FC once again bested their CPL rivals Cavalry FC Wednesday – this time in the Canadian Championship – riding a first half Terran Campbell volleyed strike to the semi-finals and a date with MLS side Toronto FC. Campbell’s confidence in attack was what the Cavs’ lacked as Tommy Wheeldon Jr.’s side failed to generate much in attack despite desperate attempts. PFC, meanwhile, carried over their top-of-the-table mentality to the Cup as they saw out the result, thanks to steely defending from Lukas MacNaughton and others, to make the CanChamp semis for the first time in club history – and date and location for which will be announced at a later date.
Red-hot Campbell proves the difference in tight clashThere’s something special about Terran Campbell’s play in recent weeks – and the goals show it. The 22-year-old winger scored his seventh goal in the past nine matches for the club Wednesday – for a total of 20 for the club over three seasons – on a lovely strafe-back and volley just moments after missing a clear breakaway and enduring some antics from well-known CPL antagonist Jose Escalante. Campbell has been playing with immense, yet quiet confidence – something that can make the difference in strikers looking to score a big goal in a cup match. It showed on PFC’s right side as the strong attacker seemed unphased by Cavalry’s press, often spearheading the team’s attacks. Campbell, who was named man of the match, spoke to media after the match alongside his coach Pa-Modou Kah. "He's doing fantastic for our club.,” Kah said. "The first yeah he scored 11 goals, last year only one, so people started doubting him… Even though he's not much of a talker. He's always improving himself and you can see now he’s playing at a high level. He has to keep going because with his potential, the sky's the limit.” The pair also revealed after the match that Terran had lost his father earlier this season, with Kah commending the young attacker’s belief and drive even further. "I've always told myself I'sm someone who can stand up to the moment and I know my capabilities, and I have a lot of confidence myself,” Campbell said after the match. "I think this is just the beginning of what you can see from me.”
Cavalry's goalscoring woes cost them semi-final berthRepeating a question posed on this every website after Cavalry’s 1-1 draw to Valour on the weekend: What’s with Cavalry’s lack of finishing? Joe Di Chiara produced their best chance of the first half on a left-footed deflection that seemed to catch him off guard. There was a promising spell in the second frame – specifically around the hour mark – where coach Wheeldon Jr. was seen actively pushing the pace by throwing the ball back into play from touch. Despite that spell – and excusing a penalty shout from Anthony Novak – Cavalry walked away from the match without a clear scoring opportunity and outshot 15-9 and a 59%-41% possession swing. It's a lack of goalscoring prowess repeated as the Cavs have failed to score multiple goals in any of their previous five matches – a disappointing figure for a team eyeing the North Star Sheild and, before Wednesday night, a decent run in the cup. Tommy Wheeldon Jr. said the match was "bittersweet,” adding the team played well. "It hasn’t fallen for us. I'd like to think that sometime soon we'll get a lucky bounce and the goals will come flooding back in again." Pacific is the only team to beat Cavalry since the clubs left the Winnipeg bubble, with the Cavs posting a 1-1-3 record against their fellow CPL title contenders.
Pacific readies for Toronto FC testUp next for CPL-topping Pacific is none other than Toronto FC – seven-time champions of the Voyageurs Cup that dispatched York United 4-0 earlier on Wednesday. The Reds ran rampant at BMO Field and, despite their below-average performance at MLS, looked impressive as they’re set up to be a difficult test in the next round. Pacific-Cavalry was aptly referred to by Tommy Wheeldon Jr. as the "battle of the ‘Caps slayers” before the match, referring both teams’ wins over MLS side Vancouver Whitecaps. A win over TFC would be a second MLS side beat for Pacific, whose coach Pa-Modou Kah stayed away from looking too far in the future, though he did express his hope the semi-final will be hosted at Starlight Stadium. "We truly deserve to have the semi-final against Toronto FC at Starlight Stadium – not just for the atmosphere but for Canadian soccer,” Kah said, before referring to the other semi-final featuring Forge FC and MLS’s CF Montreal. "It’s two CPL teams vs. MLS teams – which is fantastic for the league and the growth of the development of the league. That is what Canadian soccer is about and to be able to see it happening in real-time is massive.”
CanPL.ca Player of the MatchTerran Campbell, Pacific FC Pacific’s in-form man was much more than an impressive finisher with the 22-year-old spearheading his side’s attacks by some neat hold-up play that made life difficult for Cavalry’s left side.
What’s next?Both teams will return to action Saturday on eastern road trips. Cavalry is set for their first trip to Ottawa in club history, facing off with Atletico at TD Place (4:30pm ET/2:30pm MT) while Pacific FC has a date with fellow CPL contenders Forge FC at Tim Hortons Field in the evening (7:00pm ET/4:00pm PT). Watch all CPL and Canadian Championship matches live on OneSoccer.