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The Forward Press: Atléti breaks win streak in an uninspiring performance in Halifax

By Jon Hopkins

Photo Credits: Matt Zambonin/Freestyle Photography

As Halifax recovers from the heavy downpours just days ago, they have an extra bit of excitement to brighten their skies. After having not beaten Atlético Ottawa in the past 8 games, the Wanderers managed to beat them 1-0 in what was a fairly uninspiring match, with the exception of a single goal. Following the game, we caught up with keeper Nathan Ingham and Coach Carlos Gonzalez, and here’s what they had to say in the post-game presser:

The Quotes: Nathan Ingham

Photo Credits: Matt Zambonin/Freestyle Photography
On the impact of the delay:

“No, I mean, There’s definitely an impact and it's changed things, but its the same for both teams and I feel like we have mature guys, and there’s no reason for us not to adapt and deal with it. It's not like we're dealing with anything too difficult, we’re staying in a nice hotel, we have good food, we have preparation, we were able to practice yesterday. There’s no excuse, and it's the same thing for Halifax. We both adjusted and battled today.”

On struggling to connect and the biggest issue in the game:

“We needed to get into their half more and then set up the press and keep em in their side, I felt like today with the condition,s with everything going on, it's really hot today, it's gonna be a game of mistakes, maybe the winning goal will come off a messy goal or something, and it ended up being a worldy. So I think if we were in their half more, we would have more opportunities and maybe we get one. Instead they were in our half the entire first 45 it felt like, and you play with fire. The group was great, there was no mistakes, I feel like from our backline, but the goal was just taken so well, and yeah can’t really defend that. Maybe spacing could have been better for our back line, but again, that’s what happens when you sit in.”

On what needs to be done to start a new winning streak vs Cavalry:

“Again you can’t read into results too much, like you execute a game plan and we’ve gotten 3 wins in a row, and then we come in with a game plan today, and it doesn’t quite work, and we will reset for the next one. Each one, you adapt to your opponent and you keep your own identity and that’s what we’ll do for Cavalry. Winning 3 of 4 isn’t, you know, it's been a good stretch for us. Yeah, it's disappointing, we’ve had a lot of success coming to Halifax since I’ve been with the club. First time we’ve come here and not won. So that’s disappointing, but you know we get 12 hours to be sad about it, wake up in the morning and move on with our lives.”

On the Halifax goal:

“Yeah, you can tell he was lining up to hit it diagonal, and Diego was following his mark, and just followed him a bit too much and didn’t have time to get back, and you know Diego is used to playing in the middle, so he’s used to following that guy. That’s his job. Instead, he probably should have handed him off a half-second earlier. Even if his spacing was perfect, the ball was a peach, and he takes it first time. I saw it develop gave Diego a shout and then just got set on the shot. My timing was perfect, my angles were perfect, and it's a great goal. Off the post and in on the full, with pace, not saveable coming across your goal. Like I said, I was really happy with every bit about it, and credit to them.”

The Quotes: Carlos Gonzalez

Photo Credits: Matt Zambonin/Freestyle Photography
On how the team performed:

"First of all, it was a difficult game to approach, after the delay of the game and all this situation, but you know we didn’t start well into the game. I think that Halifax started with a spark that we didn’t have in those first 45 minutes. I felt it was quite an equal game, that it was decided probably by a thing we can improve on and how we defended that situation, and a good ending situation of Halifax. Then the second half, I thought we were a little bit better than them, as they were in the first half, but we didn’t have the tools to break them. And we didn’t feel comfortable enough in the field today."

On Defending on the Halifax Goal:

"Well, I think that it is a lack of interpretation, defensively sometimes things happen really fast and yeah, it was a misunderstanding of the situation on that was happening and then a good finishing of the striker of Halifax. Credit to how he ended in one touch."

On what needs to be done to start a new winning streak vs Cavalry:

"Well end of the day what we have to do is go home recover, we’ve been three days here in Halifax, so we have to go back to home and after the recovery, after resting a little bit, think on the next game, there’s gonna be a tough game. The leader of the CPL, a team that we’ve played a couple of weeks ago so yeah it's gonna be an important game for us, at home with our fans so looking forward to do a good game and to recover the good feelings so that we can grab points."

On Acosta:

"Let's see. See how he feels, he felt a little bit of pain in the hamstring, so let's see tomorrow how he reacts and let's see how he is for the next game."

Both Ingham and Coach Gonzalez seemed to be more disappointed by the result than the performance, while still noting clear areas in need of improvement. With the possibility of an injury to Miguel Acosta, our left wing may be getting even thinner than it already is with Max Tissot and Abou Sacko still out. While certainly a very disappointing performance, a lot of the focus was on the single goal of the match, a perfectly delivered ball from Daniel Nimick in the 24th minute to Théo Collomb who finished it first touch and unmarked. While Ingham and Gonzalez seem to diverge a bit on how to prevent it and grow from it, they remain in agreement that it is sooner forgotten and we are moving on to Cavalry this week.

The next game we are back at home! Come down to the Glebe Central Pub for a drink before the match as we take on Cavalry FC Saturday, July 29th at 7:00 pm. We are looking forward to seeing you there and cheering loud and proud in the dub to energize our lads back into the win column. See you there!

About Jon

Jon Hopkins is a fresh face on the pro-football fandom scene, being introduced it through Atlético Ottawa and the CPL. He grew up playing the beautiful game through his high school years in the Niagara Region. He has worked to support the growth of footie in Ottawa with CCSG since 2022 and now acts as the lead editor for the Writers at CCSG.

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