2022 CPL Regular Season — Match #51 (ComeOn! Match of the Week) Forge FC vs. Atlético Ottawa July 3, 2022 at 4:00 p.m. ET Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton, Ontario Watch Live: OneSoccer.ca & TELUS Ch. 980 // Tickets available here
In addition to its website and app, OneSoccer is now available on TELUS channel 980 and on Fubo TV. Call your local cable provider to ask for OneSoccer today.
The lone Sunday match of this weekend in CPL action is a fascinating ComeOn! Match of the Week fixture, as Forge FC welcome Atlético Ottawa to Hamilton for the second time in 2022. Bobby Smyrniotis' Forge side will return to the turf at Tim Hortons Field looking for a reversal of fortunes, having lost at home to Valour FC on Wednesday -- their first defeat in friendly territory since the 2021 CPL Final. That match saw the Hammers repeatedly denied by a stingy Valour backline, as William Akio provided the lone breakthrough the Winnipeg club needed to take an impressive victory against the three-time CPL finalists. Forge, nonetheless, remain in a strong position with plenty of confidence; prior to that Valour game, they'd won four straight in CPL action, outscoring opponents 14-3 along the way. As it stands, they're fourth in the league table with a 5-2-3 record (tied on 17 points with fifth-place HFX Wanderers), but they've still played at least two fewer games than every other team in the league. That said, they'll have been disappointed to lose at home midweek after a 10-day layoff, and as such it'll be critical for them to start well against Ottawa and work their way up the table. Hoping to build some momentum of their own are Atlético Ottawa, who defeated HFX Wanderers 2-0 on Thursday at the Wanderers Grounds to put themselves in sole possession of second place with a 6-3-3 record. The one time these sides have met this season was also at Tim Hortons Field back in May, when Ollie Bassett and Noah Jensen traded highlight-reel goals en route to a 1-1 draw between the Ontario sides. Historically, Forge have had the upper hand in this matchup with six wins from seven contests, as Ottawa have never beaten the Hamilton club. In fact, Bassett's goal in May was the first Atleti have ever scored against this opponent. Now that they've broken their scoreless streak, the next step for Ottawa will be to finally take three points against Forge -- though it's never easy to do that in Hamilton, particularly after the hosts have just lost at home.
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 2022 CPL Final! To learn more about ComeOn!, click here. All CPL matches are available to stream on OneSoccer, or on TELUS Optik TV Channel 980.
3 THINGS TO WATCH
- Forge seek bounce-back game after home loss: Forge FC have lost just five CPL games at Tim Hortons Field in their history. Every single time, they've responded immediately with a win in their next match. It's not often that a team comes to Hamilton and beats Bobby Smyrniotis and co., as Valour did on Wednesday, but it's unheard of for two teams to do so back-to-back. So, it'll be an uphill battle for Atlético Ottawa in their quest to bag their first-ever win against Forge -- particularly with one fewer day between matches after their own contest on Thursday. After Wednesday's loss, Forge's staff and players spoke openly about the need to get back on the horse quickly against Ottawa. Kyle Bekker offered after the match, looking ahead to Sunday: "We need to be able to look in and reflect on what we were missing as a group; I think there's little things, maybe we weren't disciplined in our patterns or whatever it may be, but we'll go back and look at it again. We trust our staff with that task, we know they're gonna put us through our paces with video and we just come back with a positive attitude and just say, hey, let's go get it, let's make this thing right. And what better way to do it than on Sunday."
- Ottawa finding goals from all over: Atlético Ottawa sit second in the league table, but they haven’t necessarily dazzled with individual scoring; rather, they’ve delivered strong, well-rounded team performances led by the strong foundation they have at the back and in midfield. On Thursday in Halifax, their goals came from midfielder Ollie Bassett and fullback Miguel Acosta, as they continue to find contributions from all over the lineup. Depth of scoring options is important in the Canadian Premier League, and although Ottawa would surely like to see a striker find a run of scoring form, they have nonetheless done very well limiting the opposition and producing goals wherever they can.
- Duelling midfields could decide possession battle: This is a pair of clubs that both like to play with the ball -- especially in recent weeks, as Ottawa started the season sitting back quite a bit but have begun playing more expansive possession football lately as players get accustomed to new coach Carlos González. So, if both teams are looking to get on the front foot, expect the battle to come down to the middle of the pitch. Forge's trio of Kyle Bekker, Aboubacar Sissoko, and Alessandro Hojabrpour has thus far been capable of dominating pretty much any opposing group, but Ottawa has some quality in the middle as well. Ollie Bassett and Ben McKendry have been one of the CPL's superior double-pivots this season, and they'll look to break up Forge's possession and create some intricate passing sequences to the front line as well. González may opt to put another body in midfield to match Forge's trio, which could be the vastly experienced Abdou Sissoko -- who has played a lot of recent minutes at centre-back, but is more naturally a defensive midfielder. Either way, the individual duels in the middle will take the spotlight early and often on Sunday.
Forge FC wins: 6 || Atlético Ottawa wins: 0 || Draws: 1
May 14, 2022 — Forge FC 1-1 Atlético Ottawa
May 14, 2022 — Forge FC 1-1 Atlético Ottawa