Atlético’s Late-Game Comeback Keeps Undefeated Streak Alive

Is the glass of water half empty or half full? The optimist would say half full; the pessimist would say half empty. Then there is the realist who would probably say . . . who cares, I’m thirsty!

Last weekend’s Atlético Ottawa match may have left many with similar sentiments. First-place Atlético was hosting the last-place team, the Halifax Wanderers. On paper, Atlético should have cruised to a victory. In addition to being the first-place team, they went into the game undefeated.

Twenty-one minutes into the game, Halifax scored. Okay, 1-0, no big deal. Atlético can bounce back. But then, in the 75th minute, Halifax found the back of the net again and took a 2-0 lead.

One thing that commands respect about Atlético is their never-say-die attitude. In the 84th minute, Ollie Bassett scored for Atlético. Two minutes later, Tiago Coimbra of the Wanderers was shown his second yellow card, which sent him to the dressing room and left his team down to ten men.

Ten minutes of additional time was added to the clock, and in the 100th minute, Alberto Zapater headed home the equalizer, sending the 5000-plus fans at TD Place into a frenzy.

It was an impressive comeback by the home team, but respect also needs to be given to the Wanderers, a team much better than their last-place record suggests.

Their performance reminds us of the league’s parity and that any team can honestly beat any team on any given day; the Wanderers were seconds away from taking all three points.

There is a noticeable change in the 2024 Atlético Ottawa club: they are playing on another level. Head Coach Carlos Gonzalez attributes that to the players they brought in and the overall mentality of the team.

Whatever it is, it is working.

So, back to the glass half full versus half empty: some will say that Atlético should never have gone down 2-0 to the Wanderers, and some will celebrate that they scored two late goals to salvage a point.

My take is simple . . . they remain undefeated!

Click here to purchase your tickets to Atlético’s next home game against York on Saturday, June 15.

Photo: Matt Zambonin/Freestyle Photography