Match Report: vs. Atlético Ottawa

Valour FC’s three-match trip through Ontario concluded Sunday afternoon in the nation’s capital with more frustration, disappointment, and heartache.

Winnipeg’s Canadian Premier League squad fell 2-0 to Atlético Ottawa at The Stadium at TD Place, bringing to a close a week-long excursion that saw them drop all three matches against their eastern rivals – 2-1 to Forge FC in Hamilton last weekend, followed by Wednesday’s embarrassing 7-nil loss to Ottawa in the Canadian Championship Preliminary Round and then the rematch against Atléti today.

Valour is now winless in four CPL matches to start the season and in five overall, including the Canadian Championship. They’ve scored twice and conceded 10 in league play and have been outscored 17-2 in all five matches this year. And you don’t need to be a math major to understand how lopsided that differential is for Valour.

Still, given the shellacking Wednesday, there were some moments for Valour against Ottawa. Trouble is, two lapses led to the two goals – again off set pieces and again with some sloppy defending.

Valour’s Noah Verhoeven battling with Aboubacar Sissoko of Ottawa; PHOTO: Tim Austen/Freestyle Photography

“Today wasn’t about Xs and Os. We knew it wasn’t anything tactically,” began veteran midfielder Noah Verhoeven, who is on loan to Valour from Ottawa. “We just wanted to come out and fight and compete. It was a tough one on Wednesday and this was about just showing we can fight. We tried to bring that today – I thought we brought it in moments, two tough goals (against), but overall, we fought better, and we can try and build on things like that.”

Valour opened positively, earning a corner inside the first minute, but ultimately generated just seven shots and only two on target. Meanwhile, the two defensive lapses were costly as Ottawa’s dynamic attack capitalized with goals by Ruben del Campo in the 19th minute off a free kick and then a second by Gabriel Antinoro 13 minutes later. That was also the case in Wednesday’s Canadian Championship loss, with the team surrendering two goals off corners.

“Let me start by saying that what the guys had to do today coming in after what happened on Wednesday is extremely difficult,” said Valour GM and head coach Phillip Dos Santos. “We had two days where we couldn’t train and it’s a big team for a team to take and a big hit for all of us emotionally. That wears you out.

“What I asked the guys is we absolutely needed to be better pros, to fight, to show definitely more responsibility in the way we play and the way we approach the game. Today, the team displayed a little bit of what we could be. I go back to the second half against Pacific, a very good collective game against Forge, big spells of today’s game where we were more of an image of what the team could be.

“But, again, moments let you down,” he added. “It’s, again, two set plays, second phase on the second goal we’ve been talking about and for a team to be consistent we’re going to need to make sure we deal with those moments a little bit better.”

Valour will now return home for a few days and then head east again later this week with their sixth straight road match to open the season – mostly due to the new turf being installed at Princess Auto Stadium – and a visit to Toronto and York United FC Friday night. Valour won’t play its first match at home until Sunday, June 2nd against Vancouver FC.

“We’ve had a tough start to the season – everybody knows that,” said Verhoeven. “We want to lean and fall back on that fight and competitiveness because once you have that, things can fall for you. You talk about having luck in a season and things going your way but if you’re competing things like that can happen.

“(The travel to open the season) has been tough. We knew it was going to be tough when we saw the schedule and with them redoing the field. But we’re at a point now where we’re in it, so it’s about showing the character. The guys came after a real tough result on Wednesday and fought a bit so we can lean on some guys, and we have some captains to help hold the group.”

-Jonathan Viscosi started in goal for Valour but had to leave the game in the 36th minute after suffering an apparent groin injury. He was replaced by Darlington Murasiranwa.

-Centre back Tass Mourdoukoutas made his first appearance of the season after missing the first matches with an injury after he came on in the 77th minute.

Atlético Ottawa 2 Valour FC 0


Valour FC


Atlético Ottawa

18:10’: Ruben del Campo (2)
31:05’: Gabriel Antinoro (1); assist: Kristopher Twardek

Card summary

Valour FC
17:24’: Noah Verhoeven (yellow, reckless offence)
69:36’: Dante Campbell (yellow, tactical foul)
92:43’: Jordan Faria (yellow, time wasting)

Atlético Ottawa
46:46’: Amer Didic (yellow, reckless offence)
66:52’: Matteo de Brienne (yellow, tactical foul)
90:48’: Kris Twardek (yellow, time wasting)


GK – Jonathan Viscosi
D – Haris Chantzopoulos
D – Frankie Facchineri
D – Themi Antonoglou
D – Zach Sukunda
MF – Dante Campbell (C)
MF – Noah Verhoeven
MF – Zach Sukunda
MF – Juan Pablo Sanchez
FW – Jordie Swibel
FW – Jordan Faria
F – Abdul Binate

Valour substitutions
35:02’: On Diogo Ressurreicao; off Zach Sukunda
35:07’ On Darlington Murasiranwa; off Jonathan Viscosi
63:30’: On Shaan Hundal; off Jordi Swibel
76:40’: On Tass Mourdoukoutas; off Haris Chantzopoulos