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Cavalry take top seed as Island Games first round comes to an end

The game ball sits on a pedestal ahead of the inaugural soccer match of the Canadian Premier League between Forge FC of Hamilton and York 9 in Hamilton on April 27, 2019. (CREDIT: The Canadian Press)

CHARLOTTETOWN – Marcus Haber scored in the 69th minute, and Calgary’s Cavalry FC secured top spot in the standings with a 1-0 win over York9 FC on Saturday in Canadian Premier League play.

Cavalry overcame back-to-back losses with a huge victory over York9 that pushed them ahead of Forge FC for first place heading into the group stage of competition.

York9 entered the contest undefeated in six matches and suffered just its first loss of the first stage.

The win came at a cost for Cavalry with Oliver Minatel being stretchered off after a hard tackle by Roger Thompson 15 minutes into the game.

Cavalry says Minatel was to undergo surgery for a serious lower-body injury.

Meanwhile, Winnipeg’s Valour FC was eliminated from championship contention with a 2-2 tie against Hamilton’s Forge FC.

Yohan Le Bourhis and Moses Dyer scored for Valour FC, while Kyle Bekker and Alexander Achinioti-Jonsson had goals for Forge FC.

The Hamilton squad has secured a spot in the next round.

The current CPL season is being dubbed The Island Games as the teams are playing in a bubble in Charlottetown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The top four clubs in the eight-team league at the end of the 28-match opening stage advance to the six-match group stage. The top two teams from the group stage play in a single-match final.

The first round wraps up Sunday with Halifax’s HFX Wanderers FC facing Atletico Ottawa and Pacific FC of Langford, B.C., meeting FC Edmonton.

Akeem Garcia scored in the 15th minute as HFX Wanderers FC blanked Atletico Ottawa 2-0 on Sunday to advance to the group stage of the Canadian Premier League with a top four finish at the Island Games.

Alessandro Riggi also scored for the Wanderers, which finished the season in second place. Ottawa, playing in its first season in the CPL, needed a win to advance.

Later Sunday, Josh Heard and Marco Bustos scored 11 minutes apart in the second half as Pacific FC rallied over FC Edmonton 2-1 to clinch the final spot in the top 4.

Easton Ongaro scored in the 59th minute to put Edmonton ahead 1-0.

Sunday’s games marked the final day of the first round.

Here’s how the first round standings ended: (W-D-L)

  1.  Cavalry (4-1-2, 13 pts)
  2.  HFX Wanderers (3-3-1, 12 pts)
  3.  Forge (3-3-1, 12 pts)
  4.  Pacific (3-2-2, 11 pts)
  5.  York 9 (2-4-1, 10 pts)
  6.  Valour (2-2-3, 8 pts)
  7.  Atletico Ottawa (2-2-3, 8pts)
  8.  FC Edmonton (0-1-6, 1pts)

 

The current CPL season is being dubbed The Island Games as the teams are playing in a bubble in Charlottetown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The top four clubs in the eight-team league at the end of the 28-match opening stage advance to the six-match group stage. The top two teams from the group stage play in a single-match final.

No. 2 seed Wanderers will open the group stage Wednesday against No. 3 Forge followed by No. 1 Cavalry against No. 4 Pacific, on Sept. 9.