Match Report: Canadian Championship vs. Atlético Ottawa

Valour FC’s ongoing nightmare in the Canadian Championship series has a gory new chapter.

Yes, consider the following few paragraphs to be Rated R and not suitable for all audiences…

Winnipeg’s Canadian Premier League squad fell 7-0 to Atlético Ottawa in the 2024 Canadian Championship preliminary round Wednesday night at The Stadium at TD Place in the nation’s capital, eliminating them from the cup play this season.

Valour, for the record, has now lost four straight Canadian Championship games since 2021 and the seven-goal margin is the second worst in franchise history after an 8-nil loss to Cavalry FC in 2019, the inaugural season.

It is the team’s fourth straight loss to open the 2024 campaign, including three losses in league play with the two teams meeting again Sunday afternoon in CPL league play. Asked if Sunday’s match might represent a ‘blank slate’, GM and head coach Phillip Dos Santos was succinct.

Valour FC GM and head coach Phillip Dos Santos and Dante Campbell

“I hope not,” he told reporters after the match. “I hope it’s not a look at it and just brush it off because then I’m not doing my job. We need to look at it. We need to look at what went wrong and make sure that we learn from it, and we grow from it.

“Now, everything that could be related to outside criticism, that’s something we don’t dwell on. We’re not going to feed from that. I’m not someone who pays too much attention to what’s out there. For me it’s about learning from the game, from what happened between the four lines and try to understand when and how… sometimes the breakdown is directly related to footballing matters; sometimes it’s other things we let ourselves down on.

“We need to be composed and pragmatic in our analysis and make sure we address that and make sure we learn from these types of mistakes or these types of games. There’s a lot we need to take from these type of moments if we want to grow.

“You don’t just grow in moments where you succeed,” he added, “you absolutely need to grow from moments that are difficult, hard, that could be painful because I think that’s actually where you grow the most.”

The visitors fell behind early on a penalty – a decision the OneSoccer analysts called ‘harsh’ – when Abdou Samake collided with former Valour star Matteo de Brienne in the box, with Samake getting his head on the ball first, by a millisecond. Ollie Bassett then beat Darlington Murasiranwa on the penalty and the onslaught was on in full.

Ottawa then scored three goals in a seven-minute span before the half to lead 4-0, adding three more in the second half against a listless Valour side.

What’s shocking is how a Valour squad which had looked so solid on the weekend in a 2-1 loss to league powerhouse Forge FC in which they deserved at least one point, looked so outclassed against Ottawa a few days later.

“There’s games where you get the PK, you get two goals on a corner kick and a team gets some momentum and then things fall apart,” Dos Santos said. “It’s not the first time in football, it won’t be the last. To me, what’s most important is how the team is going to react to this.”

“We’ll look at where things went wrong and take pride in controlling what can control and try to be better day in and day out until the next game,” added captain Dante Campbell, when asked how his team can move past the loss knowing they play the same opponent on Sunday. “It’s a bit of a relief we’ve got a fresh start on Sunday, and we can’t dwell on what happened today. We have to look forward to the next opportunity we have and that’s on Sunday.”

PHOTO: Matt Zambonin/Freestyle Photography

-Dos Santos made two changes from last week’s match against Forge FC; starting Murasiranwa in goal, Jordan Haynes at left back and Shaan Hundal at the forward/winger spot for Jordan Faria.
-Samake had to leave the match in the 34th minute and was sporting an ugly welt on his right cheekbone from the collision with de Brienne.
-Both Raphael Ohin and Tass Mourdoukoutas were available for the match but did not see any action.

Atlético Ottawa 7 Valour FC 0


Valour FC


Atlético Ottawa

13:34’: Ollie Bassett (1); penalty
29:18’: Alberto Zapater (1); assist: Maxim Tissot
30:52’: Ruben del Campo (2): assist: Matteo de Brienne
36:42’: Alberto Zapater (2); assist: Amer Didic
62:30’: Ballou Tabla (2); assist: Manny Aparicio
64:08’: Ollie Bassett (2); assist: Ballou Tabla
68:23’: Ruben del Campo (3); assist: Gabriel Antinoro

Card summary

Valour FC
25:32’: Abdul Binate (yellow, not retreating)
35:40’: Dante Campbell (yellow, dissent)
37:58’: Haris Chantzopoulos (yellow, reckless offence)
Atlético Ottawa
41:08’: Amer Didic (yellow, tactical foul)


GK – Darlington Murasiranwa
D – Abdou Samake
D – Haris Chantzopoulos
D – Jordan Haynes
MF – Dante Campbell (C)
MF – Noah Verhoeven
MF – Zach Sukunda
MF – Themi Antonoglou
FW – Jordi Swibel
FW – Abdul Binate
F – Shaan Hundal

Valour substitutions
33:39’: On Juan-Pablo Sanchez; off Abdou Samake
63:34’: On Jordan Faria; off Shaan Hundal
69:44’: On Diogo Ressurreicao; off Jordan Haynes
85:36’: On Joe Hanson; off Abdul Binate