Continuing to be tough to beat at home, FC Edmonton snapped Pacific FC’s three-game winning streak to start the CPL season on Wednesday, as both teams combined for a testy yet entertaining 0-0 draw at Clarke Stadium.
Despite what the scoreline would indicate, however, FC Edmonton came out strong, as they tried to grab control of the match.
As a result, Mamadi Camara nearly opened the scoring for the hosts right in the 15th minute, as he did well to cut inside on his left foot from the right-hand side, but his curled shot would be saved nicely by Pacific’s Callum Irving, whose defenders would then clear out the subsequent rebound.
After that, however, Pacific would grow into the game, as they tried to fashion some chances of their own.
First, Marco Bustos would have a chance to turn in a nice dangerous cross from Manny Aparicio in the 16th minute, but he sent his shot just wide from in close. Then, Alejandro Diaz decided to lash out at a volley just a minute later, but he too would send his shot just wide of the mark.
Having managed that push, Edmonton would nearly find some magic in the 25th minute. After a surprising run forward from Luke Singh, he’d shape up for a shot, and he unleashed a rocket, one that curled just wide of the goal from outside of the box.
A few minutes after that, Edmonton’s Tobias Warschewski then tried to go for goal on a long free-kick, one he’d make great contact on, but in the end, it’d prove to be an easy save for Irving on the play.
Then, right before half, Pacific would almost find the lead, as Aparicio would do well once again to cut the ball back from a dangerous area, where his ball would meet the late run of Sean Young, and his powerful shot nearly evaded Andreas Vaikla in the Edmonton goal, but ended up just spinning wide. Not long after, Bustos would have a good look at distance, seemingly left all alone for a free strike at goal, but an Edmonton defender would just manage to get a leg on it before the shot, making it an easy save for Vaikla.
Continuing a late flurry of chances in the half, Pacific would then get their best chance of the game right in the 45th minute. After a nice ball from the back, Bustos would find himself in all alien on a breakaway, and he’d choose to go for power with his strike, but he’d be saved emphatically by Vaikla, who stepped up big to save his team from going down.
On the other side of half time, Azriel Gonzalez nearly got the party started with a bang for Edmonton right in the 46th minute, as he stepped up to take a dangerous free-kick from a short distance, and he wouldn’t miss by much, teasing the crossbar with his whipped attempt.
After that, the game would settle into a bit of a lull, as both teams tried to break the other down. As a result of that, the next chance wouldn’t come until the 67th minute, when Edmonton’s Gabriel Bitar found a bit of space in transition, and he’d unleash a very powerful shot, one that forced a strong save out of Irving.
From there, however, there wouldn’t be much to write home about, other than a couple of set-pieces that came close, leaving both sides to split the spoils with a draw, one that was probably a fair result for either side.
31′ — Yellow: Luke Singh (FC Edmonton)
36′ — Yellow: Manny Aparicio (Pacific FC)
72′ — Yellow: Georges Mukumbilwa (Pacific FC)