The regular season title is in sight for Cavalry FC.
The Cavs (13-7-5) improved to six games unbeaten with a 2-1 triumph over Vancouver FC on a scorching Saturday afternoon at Spruce Meadows’ ATCO Field to move the team to four points away from locking down the regular season title in the Canadian Premier League.
“That’s been the goal since the start of the season, we want to win trophies,” said Cavalry FC striker Myer Bevan. “We want to win the regular season, we’re close, we’re not there yet and there’s three more games to go.
“We’re just going to keep trying to get those three points.”
The punch-counterpunch flow to the first half was showcased in the opening goal.
Marco Carducci dove for a powerful shot from distance by Alejandro Diaz and corralled the rebound before former teammate Mikaël Cantave arrived on the scene.
One minute later, the Cavalry returned fire from the penalty spot.
Ali Musse was brought down in the box, sending Bevan to the spot for his trademark studder-step low strike past Vancouver FC goalkeeper Callum Irving.
In the second half, Bevan played a role in doubling the advantage.
Substitute Ben Fisk’s cross was redirected inadvertently by Vancouver FC’s Anthony White with Bevan charging on his heels in the middle of the box.
Carducci, who had a number of showstopping efforts in the fixture, used a kick save to deny Tyler Crawford at the near post in the late stages.
The visitors got on the board in stoppage time when midfielder Renan Garcia unleashed a curling effort from 30 yards out.
Vancouver FC was officially eliminated from playoff contention with the defeat on Saturday.
“We weren’t going to underestimate them, they were playing for survival to try and stay within the playoffs,” said Cavalry FC head coach Tommy Wheeldon Jr. “I thought they were tactically very well organized to keep the ball with our back three in our build and we had to work and work and it took a bit of magic from Musse to get the penalty, calmness from Myer to convert the penalty and then a really clever move to get that second goal.
“Once we got there, we just had to manage the game.”
Cavalry leads second-place Pacific by nine points with the Vancouver Island side owning four games left to accumulate. Forge FC is also in the hunt, 10 points back with four games remaining.
The 2023 playoff format in the CPL sees five teams qualify for the postseason with the top two teams earning a more direct route to the CPL Final.
“As soon as we turned the corner to the last seven games it was about writing our own story,” said Wheeldon Jr. “We’ve had some really cool history within Cavalry for five years and this group has been phenomenal in trying to be the new Cavalry and write another chapter in our history.
"All we’ve said now is just play the team in front of you and give your best effort.”
With just three games remaining, the Cavs make their final road trip of the season on Sept. 23 to York United followed by home games on Sept. 29 versus Valour and Oct. 7 against Pacific.
For more information, visit cavsfc.com.