Eddies show lots of heart and growth in 2-1 loss to Atletico Ottawa
FC Edmonton battled hard, but fell 2-1 to Atletico Ottawa, Sunday afternoon at Clarke Stadium. SHERRI LACASSE
FC Edmonton battled hard, but fell 2-1 to Atletico Ottawa on Sunday afternoon. SHERRI LACASSE PHOTO

Jason Hills
FC Edmonton Communications

EDMONTON — The odds have been stacked heavily against FC Edmonton this season, but the team has made one thing very clear.
They will battle. They will work hard.
And, they certainly won’t quit, despite the fact they haven’t seen the results so far this season in the win column.
All of those traits were on full display in a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to Atletico Ottawa, on Sunday afternoon in what was arguably their best match of the season.
Ben Wright and Oliver Jacob Bassett scored for Atletico Ottawa, while Tobias Warschewski scored the lone marker for the Eddies, who fall to 0-3-5 this season.

“I’m proud of our club. I’m proud of our team. I’m proud of our supporters. I’m proud of what we’re doing for the league to be brutally honest. We come to work, we put our heads down and we work incredibly hard.” said FC Edmonton head coach Alan Koch.
“We’re growing. I think everybody can see we’re growing. I think everybody can see the performances are improving. The understanding of what we’re asking the players to do is definitely improving. You can see we’re making progress.”

The Eddies looked poised to end their five game losing streak when they came out flying out of the gates in the first half.
Offensively, they controlled a good portion of the play. They had the match’s first big scoring chance as Mamadi Camara, worked his way into the box and set up Gabriel Bitar, who got a shot off, but goaltender Nathan Ingham was able to make the stop.
Both teams continued to have moments of strong pressure, and Atletico Ottawa was able to take a 1-0 lead in the 40th minute when Wright was able to get in behind the Eddies defenders and beat Eddies goaltender Andreas Vaikla with a shot inside the post.
Vaikla, who leads the Canadian Premiere League in saves (25) was stellar once again. His best stops were a diving toe save off of Wright in the first half and he dove across to get his fingertips on the ball to steer it wide on another Wright blast in the second half.

“We’re trying to keep a group together, and we’re trying to help the collective within our club and within the league in this project, but also part of it is for individuals to rise and Andreas Vaikla is one of those individuals who has embraced this opportunity,” said Koch.
“He could’ve complained when he came here, because it’s certainly not perfect, but he comes to work and puts his head down and he’s put up some great performances, and I hope we can all reward him with another clean sheet, sometime soon.”

Atletico Ottawa took a 2-0 lead after a questionable hand ball was called on Eddies midfielder Simon Triantafillou, and Bassett was able to convert on the penalty kick in the 70th minute.

“There are some elements of luck that are going against us. I just watched the penalty kick. There is no way that’s a penalty kick. Simon (Triantafillou) has his hand completely down by his body,” said Koch.
“In life when things are going wrong, I guess they all seem to be thrown at you, and that’s what it feels like right now. It doesn’t feel like we can buy anything at this time.”

Despite the questionable call, the Eddies didn’t fold. They were able to cut the lead in half just four minutes later after Camara was taken down hard inside the box, and FC Edmonton was awarded a penalty kick, and Warschewski made no mistake, making it 2-1 in the 74th minute.
The Eddies continued to press for the equalizer, but weren’t able to solve Ingham, despite having some quality chances in the late stages of the match.

“We’re in a slump, but all we can do is be positive and come back to training. Everyone has to step it up and grind even more and show up with the same mentality,” said Camara.
“That’s the only way we’re going to get out of this slump and start to build a winning streak.”


Tobias Warschewski scored his third goal of the season in the Eddies 2-1 loss to Atletico Ottawa. SHERRI LACASSE PHOTO
Tobias Warschewski scored the lone goal in the Eddies 2-1 loss to Atletico Ottawa. SHERRI LACASSE PHOTO