HIGHLIGHTS: Forge FC vs. Atletico Ottawa (May 14, 2022)
Atlético Ottawa and Forge FC split the points on Saturday afternoon at Tim Hortons Field, as Forge erased an early deficit just after halftime but weren’t able to find the net a second time en route to a back-and-forth 1-1 draw in Hamilton.
Forge, shorthanded due to injuries, fielded a makeshift defensive arrangement with Alexander Achinioti-Jönsson and Ashtone Morgan forced to play centre-back. Ottawa, meanwhile, maintained a degree of consistency from recent outings, with the same back four as their midweek Canadian Championship match and Ballou Tabla partnering with Malcolm Shaw up top.
The visitors had a handful of good chances in the early going, including one clean look at goal that Tabla surely would want back after putting his shot over the crossbar. Before long, though, they found their reward for the lively start; after Carl Haworth saved a long ball at the end line, Tabla ultimately played Ollie Bassett in on goal and the midfielder finished with a perfectly-placed shot from a tough angle to make it 1-0.
After conceding, though, Forge began to grow into the game and generated some chances of their own, including a litany of set-piece opportunities from corner kicks. Noah Jensen came close to scoring for them, as a ball set up nicely for him at the top of the box around the half-hour mark, but his well-struck shot missed the top of the net by inches. The hosts came agonizingly close again just before the 40th minute from another corner, but Ottawa just barely escaped conceding with a couple of goal-line clearances.
The home side surged out of the gates in the second half as they sought an equalizer — and they found it almost immediately. A stretched play found Terran Campbell in the attacking third, and he tapped it into the path of Tristan Borges, who drove into the box and laid it off for Noah Jensen. The midfielder feathered a perfect shot from the top of the box over traffic and into the bottom right corner of the net to make it 1-1.
Forge continued to press forward as the second half progressed, and manager Bobby Smyrniotis attempted to inject some additional energy into his side with about 20 minutes left by introducing captain Kyle Bekker — who wasn’t quite fit to make the starting XI due to a midweek illness — and Emery Welshman.
Despite the hosts’ continued bombardment of the Ottawa penalty area, they were not able to break through again, and thus were forced to settle for the 1-1 draw at home.
16′ — Ollie Bassett (Atlético Ottawa)
47′ — Noah Jensen (Forge FC)
30′ — Yellow: Carl Haworth (Atlético Ottawa)
35′ — Yellow: Kwasi Poku (Forge FC)
50′ — Yellow: Aboubacar Sissoko (Forge FC)
51′ — Yellow: Abdou Sissoko (Atlético Ottawa)
82′ — Yellow: Zach Verhoven (Atlético Ottawa)
85′ — Yellow: Vladimir Moragrega (Atlético Ottawa)