Forge FC has one (and a half) feet in the Canadian Premier League Finals after picking up a 3-0 win over Pacific FC at Tim Hortons Field on Saturday, eliminating Pacific, Valour FC, and FC Edmonton from Fall season contention, leaving only Cavalry FC and York9 FC in the mix … though with the prospect of securing their spot should Cavalry defeat Y9 later in the day.
The first half of Forge’s 3-0 win over Pacific had plenty of drama, as visiting goalkeeper Nolan Wirth was nearly caught well out of position in the 25th minute as he attempted to make a clearance, leading to an awkward moment where Forge tried to score on an open net, to no avail.
Instead, Forge captain Kyle Bekker came closest to opening the score for his team in the 33rd minute, with Elimane Cisse picking him out unmarked in the Pacific box after a smart counter-attacking play. But, Bekker’s shot went just high.
Pacific nearly got on the board themselves courtesy of a penalty conceded by Dominic Samuel, but Terran Campbell struck his effort directly down the middle and into Henry’s arms. Instead, Bekker made good on his earlier effort, smacking the roof on a late push after being picked out by Kwame Awuah to his left, giving his team a 1-0 lead at half-time.
The second half saw Forge stamp control over the match, with Cisse playing smartly off of Tristan Borges in the 73rd minute, before finding the back of the net with a powerful shot past Wirth, giving the Hamiltonians a 2-0 lead. Not content with picking up just an assist, Borges found a goal of his own – his 11th of the season, good for joint-top of the league – just three minutes later, striking the ball past Wirth for a 3-0 lead.
A late shot by Pacific saved on-the-line by Henry nearly spoiled the clean sheet, but Forge held on to claim the 3-0 win.
Pacific FC hosts HFX Wanderers FC in the Coastal Clash on Vancouver Island Wednesday night. (7:00 p.m. PDT)
45+1′ – Kyle Bekker (Forge FC)
73′ – Elimane Cisse (Forge FC)
76′ – Tristan Borges (Forge FC)
35′ Yellow – Dominic Samuel (Forge FC)
41′ Yellow – Triston Henry (Forge FC)
57′ Yellow – Anthony Novak (Forge FC)
82′ Yellow – Kwame Awuah (Forge FC)
82′ Yellow – Blake Smith (Pacific FC)
91′ Yellow – Tristan Borges (Forge FC)
Three Key Performers
Kyle Bekker (Forge FC)
The Forge captain opened the scoring in fine fashion, but looked a lively threat throughout the fixture, combining well with his teammates in midfield and providing an outlet when passes came in from out wide. Bekker’s emergence as the league’s top No. 10 continues rolling along nicely.
Elimane Cisse (Forge FC)
All over the park and a nuisance for the opposition in midfield, Cisse flexed not just his usual defensive prowess against Pacific, but also demonstrated some attacking instinct, too, pushing forward and finding his teammates a number of times … and hitting an incredible strike to give Forge a second goal.
Tristan Borges (Forge FC)
Let’s round out the three performers for today with the third goal-scorer, Borges, who was quiet in the first half, but came to life in the second, providing a goal and an assist en route to a 3-0 victory.