By Joey Huneault
Photo Credits: Phil Larivière
Carlos González and Atlético Ottawa faced their first big rivalry match of the season, as York United FC traveled to TD Place for Week 3 of the CPL. With both teams looking for their first league wins of the season and looking to establish themselves in the early days of the ‘23 season, all bets were off.
The first 40 minutes were a slow, back-and-forth battle through the midfield, as both teams gave up easy possession losses and made passing mistakes. The most interesting matchup to watch during the half was CPL All-Star Mo Babouli’s inability to get past Ottawa’s new defender, 30-year-old Karl Ouimette. The Canadian centre-back prevented both of Babouli’s attempts at dribbling past, and Ouimette won a majority of the duels between the pair (2/3).
Former ATO striker Brian Wright went down outside of the home team’s 18-yard box after a tackle from Miguel Acosta, who was playing in an unnatural central defensive midfielder position. While the tackle looked fair, the free kick was awarded by referee Mathieu Souaré and was converted by Babouli, scoring his first league goal of the season. With only 3 minutes remaining, the half ended without much fanfare.
The second half started similarly to the first, with both teams slow to start and cautious to make any serious attempts. However, a 59’ double substitution from Ottawa brought on more attacking power in the form of Malcom Shaw and Zach Verhoven saw ATO transition into a more offensive mindset.
Even after strong attempts from Gianni dos Santos, defender Luke Singh, and Shaw, Ottawa couldn’t find a way to draw level, and York United walked away with their first win of the year. Ultimately, coach Martin Nash needed the win more than González wanted it, and the beleaguered York gaffer lives another day.
Le Havre AC academy graduate Aboubakary Sacko was a standout for Ottawa, with the right wide-midfielder providing a much-needed speedy influence on the wing. He played a spectacular game with dos Santos, and the growing chemistry between the two has been a massive benefit for the team. Sacko added 34 passes, 8 recoveries, and had a shot on target.
Ottawa is back at TD Place next Saturday at 7 pm as they play host to Pacific FC. Ottleti is still hunting for their first win of the season, and what better opportunity than at Ottawa’s Mother’s Days Game? Bring your mother or mother figure and cheer on the Boys in Stripes. As always, Glebe Central Pub is the place to be to meet with your fellow fans at the official pub of CCSG and Ottawa’s only temple of football.
Joseph Huneault is a writer for CCSG by night, and a semi-professional football coach by day. He’s been a day one fan of ATO and currently coaches for one of their “Powered By” clubs, the Nepean Hotspurs. Joseph is known around the Ottawa soccer world for his love of stats, whiskey, and a unique sense of humour. You can often find him in the Dub in his red jumpsuit and purple headband, screaming at the top of his lungs.
Phil fell in love with soccer at the age of 5. From playing little league footie to gaming on the N64 to playing competitive U18, soccer has always been an ever-present part of his life. As he grew older, he wanted to integrate his other passions into his soccer life and began applying his skills in visual creation with graphic design, photography, and videography to the sport. By bringing these talents together, he continues to enjoy the beautiful game, make friends and showcase the sport in a variety of ways. On top of being the Dub's resident photographer, Phil has a wide portfolio of other soccer content. Check out more of his work here.