Final Score: Pacific FC 1-1 Atlético Ottawa Goalscorers: Campbell 86'; Wright 19' Game of the 2021 season: 73 CPL match: 208
Match in a minute or lessA late equalizer from Terran Campbell earned his Pacific side a point against Atlético Ottawa on Sunday, cancelling out a first half goal from Brian Wright. Wright gave the visiting team the lead in the 19th minute, finishing off a chance created by Alberto Soto. Soto picked up the ball at the edge of the six-yard box before weaving through a pair of defenders and passing it across the box to Wright, who made no mistake with an easy tap in from close range. Dylon Powley had a great game in goal for Ottawa, and was moments away from his third clean sheet of the season, but was unable to keep out Campbell's tying goal in the 86th minute. The Pacific forward leaped above his defenders to head home a cross from Jordan Haynes, picking up a point for his side with the header. With the point, Pacific move four clear of Cavalry FC at the top of the table, while Atlético Ottawa move one point closer to moving off the bottom of the table -- now four points back of seventh-placed FC Edmonton.
Three ObservationsDylon Powley impresses in return to British Columbia Atlético Ottawa goalkeeper Dylon Powley put in another strong performance between the sticks on Sunday, making several saves and only conceding a late header from close range off the head of Terran Campbell. Making his 17th start of the season for Mista's side, Powley made six stops in total, including a diving effort to his left to keep a shot from Sean Young out of the back of the net. Aided by a strong performance from the teammates in front of him, Powley seemed destined to pick up a clean sheet, and was within a few minutes of helping his side to an upset on the road. Powley is from British Columbia, and had some family in the stands on Sunday. He spoke after the match about returning to his home province, and Ottawa's BC-born contingent wanting to step up their game to another level against Pacific. "Whenever you get the chance to play in front of people that you don't get to see very often, it maybe brings your game up five or six percent to another level," he said. "You look at Zach (Verhoven), who's not naturally a right back and he put in a massive shift today. You look at Ben (McKendry), using his body and making blocks. "I feel like that's a little bit of an extra motivating factor for some of us, for sure." Blasco lively in attack before being replaced by goalscorer Campbell Before coming off midway through the second half, Victor Blasco was all over the place for Pacific FC on Sunday. He started on the left, but at times Blasco would switch to the right flank, where he was equally dangerous, also sometimes cutting inside more centrally as Pacific's main attacking threat on the afternoon. In the first half alone, Blasco had four shots -- including one that forced a save out of Ottawa goalkeeper Dylon Powley -- as he was causing all kinds of trouble down the left wing. Blasco was again denied by Powley moments into the second half as the Spaniard broke through the Ottawa backline, but another fine save kept the visiting team's lead intact. Also on set piece duty, Blasco fired in some dangerous crosses from free kicks and corners, nearly setting up a goal in the 52nd minute, but Lukas MacNaughton head the delivery over the crossbar. In total, Blasco took five shots -- two of which hit the net -- made three key passes, and completed 12 of his 13 attempted passes. All he didn't do was find the back of the net, which he is yet to do in the CPL this season. "He was bright in preseason, but then adversity hit him," Pacific head coach Pa-Modou Kah said of Victor Blasco after the match. "It was adversity he didn't expect, but he's dealing with it and getting better and better. "He always gets into positions where he can score, he just needs one. Just like Terran Campbell last year at the Island Games, and a little bit of this year where things are just not falling. We have all the confidence in him." After a lively 66-minute shift, Blasco would be substituted out, as Pa-Modou Kah brought on Terran Campbell in the 66th minute. That decision proved to be the right one, as Campbell earned a point for his side in the closing stages of the match. After making a run into the penalty area, the Pacific FC forward jumped to meet a cross in from Jordan Haynes, and headed the ball down and into the back of the net for the late equalizing goal. The fans at Starlight Stadium erupted, as Campbell sent them four points clear at the top of the table. "We knew what we had in Terran, and he's showing what he's capable of," said Kah after the match. "I still do believe there's more -- there's extra layers there that we need to peel, and that's what we're doing. He's having a good year, he's confident and he's hitting his goals, so we've just got to keep him happy." Versatility of Atlético Ottawa fullbacks important to Mista Usually a right back before joining Atlético Ottawa, Miguel Acosta has been one of his side's best players this season, but on the other side of the defence. Acosta is the only player in the league to have played every single minute for his side this season, going the full 90 in all 19 matches, for a total of 1710 minutes -- most of them away from his natural position on that left hand side. He hasn't looked out of place at all, and has contributed a pair of goals going forward as well. At right back on Sunday was Zach Verhoven. More of an attacking player, Verhoven has filled in on at right back on several occasions this season, and been very good. Against Pacific he led his team with 75 touches -- 20 more than the second-highest on the team -- also making a team-leading six tackles, as well as four clearances and an interception. That positional versatility is something that head coach Mista wants from his players, and was very pleased with the duo after the match. "I am so grateful for Miguel. He's a great example for everyone, he wants to do more for the team and grow up with the team," said Mista, noting that Acosta has played on the left because injuries in the squad required it, also noted that Acosta hasn't complained about playing on the left. "He's like Miguel, he's a great example for everyone," Mista said about Verhoven. "He adapts to play in the position, because Zach is a winger. He's very good one-on-one, but we need Zach to play like a forward. He doesn't have any problem to adapt and learn and talk about [playing at right back]."
CanPL.ca Player of the MatchDylon Powley, Atlético Ottawa The Ottawa shotstopper made six saves in an impressive goalkeeping performance, and came within moments of picking up a massive clean sheet on the road.
What's next?Pacific FC turn their attention to the Canadian Championship, and a match with fellow CPL side Cavalry FC. The quarterfinal tie takes place on Wednesday, September 22 (8 pm MT/ 7 pm PT). Atlético Ottawa's next game is also against Cavalry, in CPL action on Saturday, September 25 at TD Place (4:30 pm ET/ 2:30 pm MT). Watch all matches live on OneSoccer.