ATLETICO OTTAWA POST-MATCH ANALYSIS: On April 22nd, Atletico Ottawa headed to IG Field in Winnipeg to take on Valour FC. This match marked the second game of the season for both sides. In what was a gruelling third match in seven days for the club, the game finished in a 1-1 draw.
— Canadian Premier League (@CPLsoccer) April 23, 2023
Three Atletico Ottawa Post-Match Talking Points From Draw in Winnipeg
Miguel Acosta Steps Into New Midfield Role
For Atletico Ottawa, Ollie Bassett, unfortunately, went off injured against HFX Wanderers in the Canadian Championship. The midfield to this point has featured mainly Bassett, Antinoro, Bahous, and Verhoeven. Carlos Gonzalez decided to go with a change in the midfield shape for the match as defender Miguel Acosta stepped into the number six spot. In his time so far with Ottawa, Acosta has featured exclusively as a right-back or right-sided centre-back, in a back three.
Acosta dawning the captain’s armband was responsible for anchoring the middle of the pitch for Atletico Ottawa. At the start of the match, Gabriel Antinoro and Noah Verhoeven acted as central midfielders playing higher up the pitch. While it was difficult to tell with limited footage in pre-season action, there were signs that Acosta might have been tested in a number six role then. Given that Acosta has played as a centre-back, transitioning to the position was not overly difficult. Many ‘sweeper’ midfielders are able to play fairly deep in their own half and allow for the centre-backs to progress in open space. Acosta was able to do just that by allowing Luke Singh and Diejo Espejo to move forward and spray the ball to the wing.
Pacifique Niyongabire Was Hard to Contain for Atletico Ottawa
Newcomer and Burundi international Pacifique Niyongabire was a handful for Atletico Ottawa. So far, Niyongabire has shown to be an impressive pick-up for Valour FC. Niyongabire had most recently played for A-League side Perth Glory. Raised in Australia but born in Burundi, Niyongabire is senior-capped for the East African country. Just before the beginning of the Canadian Premier League season, he notched his first international goal in a friendly against Indonesia.
Niyongabire played down the right side against Ottawa where he made plenty of attempted dribbles past defenders. He was able to move up the pitch with ease and took on multiple defenders in order to create chances. Maxim Tissot was matched up against Niyongabire near the end of the match. The pair had a good battle going with Niyongabire trying to be a creative piece for Valour. In the end, as much as Niyongabire was able to impress, he did not score or record an assist. It looks like he could be a player to watch this Canadian Premier League season.
Gianni Dos Santos Gets off the Mark for Atletico Ottawa
— OneSoccer (@onesoccer) April 22, 2023
It was a good day in the office for Gianni Dos Santos who scored his first Atletico Ottawa goal. The Cape Verde international joined Atletico Ottawa this off-season from fellow Canadian Premier League side Pacific FC. After a cleared ball from the defence bounced right into the path of Malcolm Shaw, the striker carefully made a touch to create space before playing it into Dos Santos. He then makes no mistake by striking the ball at Rayane Yesli who gets off guard by the attempt. Dos Santos’ goal was an equalizer after an early Valour FC goal. Atletico Ottawa in three consecutive matches has now come back from one goal down to either win or save a point.
In an Atletico Ottawa post-match availability, Dos Santos’ spoke about the team getting into good areas for scoring:
“I have no doubt, [along] this season, we are going to be good in the boxes and finish our chances. We get in there, that’s the most important thing, now the only thing is we need to finish it”.
Atletico Ottawa will now host York United FC on Saturday, April 29 while Valour FC will travel to Alberta to face Cavalry FC at 5:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 30. Both games will be shown live on OneSoccer and Telus.
Photo Credit: Josh Kjarsgaard of Valour FC of April 22, 2023.
The post Atletico Ottawa Post-Match Talking Points, April 22 appeared first on Last Word On Soccer.