2021 CPL regular season — Match #46 Atlético Ottawa vs. HFX Wanderers August 14, 2021 at 3 pm ET/ 4 pm AT TD Place, Ottawa, Ontario Watch Live: OneSoccer.ca // Tickets available here



After more than 18 months since they were unveiled as the eighth Canadian Premier League club, the long-awaited inaugural Atlético Ottawa home game is finally here.

The club is expecting have around 12,000 fans at TD Place for Saturday's match, for what has the potential to be one of the most electric atmospheres the league has seen over the course of its first three seasons.

"We are very excited," said Mista on Friday afternoon. "This is a special moment -- not only for us, but the city and for the league. People have responded very well, we're so proud of the support for Atlético Ottawa."

One person who won't be there, however, is Ottawa midfielder Viti Martinez, who is serving a one-match ban after picking up two yellow cards in the span of four minutes in the first half against Forge FC last week.

These sides met less than two weeks ago -- a 2-1 HFX Wanderers win in their first home game of the 2021 season. Ryan Telfer gave the visitors the lead with his first goal for Ottawa, but a brace from Joao Morelli saw home fans at Wanderers Grounds go home happy.

The only other meeting between these two sides was at the Island Games in 2020. That match ended 2-0 to HFX, with goals from Akeem Garcia and Alessandro Riggi the difference.

Atlético Ottawa and HFX Wanderers are currently sitting in eighth and seventh in the CPL standings, respectively, but are also the only teams to have played just 10 games while four teams have played 12 already. HFX are sitting on 11 points through 10 matches with a 3-2-5 record, while Ottawa have seven points and a 2-1-7 record thus far.


Make your match picks prior to kickoff at canpl.ca/predictor for a chance to win prizes, including the grand prize of a trip to the 2021 CPL Final!


3 THINGS TO WATCH:

  • Local players excited to play in Ottawa: There are several players who could feature in this match that are from Ottawa and the surrounding area. Atlético youngster Antoine Coupland will be hoping to see the pitch in front of his home fans, as will HFX Wanderers' Kareem Sow and Stefan Karajovanovic. "Tomorrow, finally, the families and everyone close to the players can watch the game. It's great for everyone in Ottawa and Gatineau because we have a lot of supporters here and we've spent a lot of time waiting for this perfect moment, and finally tomorrow is the day," said Mista. Wanderers head coach Stephen Hart said that his local players are up for the occasion as well. "Karajovanovic and Sow are both from Ottawa, so their family is here and they will definitely be excited and want to impress."​
  • Wanderers still dealing with injuries: HFX have had a lot of players miss time with injuries this season, but were finally able to bring some players back into the fold last week. Jérémy Gagnon-Laparé and Peter Schaale returned from lengthy absences in their last game against York United, making appearances off the bench. Wanderers boss Stephen Hart said in his pregame press conference that the pair are working their way up to full fitness still, but feel good and trained well. Omar Kreim and Sam Salter, however, haven't trained at all this week, and won't be taking part in this match after picking up knocks.​
  • Mista given special permission to push suspension back a week: Ottawa head coach Mista was supposed to miss this match through suspension, but has been given special permission to coach this historic match on the sidelines. He will instead serve his suspension next week, during Wednesday's home game against fellow Ontario club York United, where he'll likely be replaced again by assistant coach Ajay Khabra.​

ALL-TIME SERIES

Atlético Ottawa wins: 0 || HFX Wanderers wins: 2 || Draws: 0

Previous match:

August 2, 2021 — HFX Wanderers 2-1 Atlético Ottawa

KEY QUOTES

"This is what we need. One good result at our home could give us extra motivation. The feeling I have as a coach is completely different than the result in the table, because the team has played well, and we paid a very high price for the mistakes that we made." -- Atlético Ottawa head coach Mista

"They're a team that's sort of trying to find their feet still. They have a lot of talent, which was obvious when they played us, and they have scoring power, no doubt about that. It's their home opener and they're going to want to impress, so it's going to be a very difficult game for us." -- HFX Wanderers head coach Stephen Hart

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