FC Edmonton and Cavalry FC battled to a 1-1 draw in the second leg of the Al Classico. With the aggregate score tied 3-3, the match went to a shootout where the visitors won by a 3-2 scoreline.
17-year-old Marcus Velado-Tsegaye opened the scoring with a terrific solo effort in the first half of the match. Sergio Camargo equalized for the visitors in the second half with a neatly taken goal, sending the match to a shootout.
“We have a style we wanted to play with for the entire 90 minutes,” FC Edmonton Head Coach Jeff Paulus said post-match. “I was happy with the first half and I thought we were deservedly up a goal. The young kid [Velade-Tsegaye] showed his quality again, [he] is a young star in the making.”
“In the second half the wind made it a bit difficult for us to play, but credit to Cavalry. They had a really aggressive high-press on us and we let them get back in it.”
It was the Eddies who started the match on the front foot, with Academy graduate Edem Mortotsi displaying his playmaking abilities. Mortotsi beat his defender before slipping Velado-Tsegaye in with a through ball, but his shot was saved by Cavalry goalkeeper Marco Carducci.
The offensive pressure paid off for Paulus’ players as they took the lead on 13 minutes. Velado-Tsegaye had the ball down the left-wing and showcased his dribbling ability with some neat footwork, before firing a shot into the far corner of Carducci’s net to give Edmonton the 1-0 lead.
The Eddies limited their opponents to very few chances. Cavalry’s best chance of the half fell on 35 minutes after a crossed ball into the box. A scramble ensued and the ball fell to Frank Tayou, who was left alone, but his shot went wide of the far post.
In the second half, Cavalry started to put crosses into the box and nearly found the equalizing goal through a header from Ali Musse, which struck the woodwork.
Moments later, another cross came into the box towards an unmarked Camargo. The midfielder took a touch before slotting it passed Will Sykes to level the match at 1-1.
The visiting side earned a set piece from just outside the box after Allan Zebie was booked for a sliding challenge. Musse’s attempt was headed for the corner, but Sykes did well to get across and parry the ball away from danger.
A few minutes later it was the Eddies who earned a free kick of their own from 20 yards out. Second half substitute Amer Hallilic fired a shot on goal, but Carducci made a diving save to preserve the score line after 90 minutes.
The game would head to a shootout and it was Carducci that carried Calgary to victory, making three big saves to help his side earn the 3-2 victory.
“I think one of the benefits of the [Canadian Premier League] is that we are going to have these young Canadians see all these local players from their communities play a professional match and they get to come cheer them on,” Paulus said, regarding the benefits of having a professional league in Canada. “For us to see these kids here, it’s fantastic, and going forward we are going to fill this place with young kids. It’s brilliant to see.”
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