HIGHLIGHTS: Atletico Ottawa vs Forge FC (October 30, 2022)
Forge FC lifted their third North Star Shield on Sunday after a 2-0 victory over Atlético Ottawa in the 2022 Canadian Premier League final.
For the second straight final, Alessandro Hojabrpour opened the scoring from a header, before David Choinière doubled the lead late in the second half. Both players have now scored twice in Canadian Premier League finals.
Typical of a final, both sides spent the early part of the match looking to figure out one another’s approach. Ottawa perhaps held more of the ball than expected as Forge made sure to quickly get plenty of players behind the ball any time it was turned over to prevent Atleti’s lethal transitional game.
Forge had the majority of the early territorial advantage as they found some good moments down the left-hand side as Ashtone Morgan and Tristan Borges combined well on a few separate occasions.
It was from the right side, however, that Forge struck first. Choinière earned a free kick just outside the Atlético Ottawa box, which Borges excellently served into the box. Just as he did in last year’s final, on that occasion for Pacific, Hojabrpour headed home to give the visitors a 1-0 lead. It was the earliest goal in a Canadian Premier League final.
Toward the end of the first half, Ottawa finally started to on the ball towards the end of the first half. With both Rezart Rama and Choinière on Forge’s right receiving yellow cards, they targetted that side, shifting Ollie Bassett over at times and allowing him to combine with Ballou Tabla and Max Tissot. The hosts would remain down 1-0 heading into half-time.
Forge started the second half on the front foot, coming incredibly close less than two minutes into the first half. Choinère’s low cross was backheeled by Woobens Pacius into the patch of Aboubacar Sissoko, whose shot was saved by Nathan Ingham. The rebound came back to Ingham, but he also turned that aside.
Needing an equalizer, Ottawa pressed forward more and more as the half went on, putting the Forge backline under pressure. They registered their first shot on target in the 63rd minute, and moments later Bassett had a decent look in the box that ended up off-target.
They had a big chance in the 75th minute, as Sergio Camus got forward from the centreback and forced a brilliant save out of Triston Henry. Camus got on the end of the resulting corner, but his shot was wide of target.
Forge added insurance in the 78th minute, as semi-finals hero Choinière was played down the wing by Garvin Metusala. Choinière beat his man with a classy ball roll and then hit the ball across the goal to beat Ingham.
It was a tough end for a very impressive season from Atlético Ottawa, who were last place in the Canadian Premier League last season. Despite an excellent crowd in the nation’s capital, Ottawa was unable to become the first CPL side to lift the trophy in front of their home fans.
28′ — Alessandro Hojabrpour (Forge FC)
78′ — David Choinière (Forge FC)
18′ — Yellow: Rezart Rama (Forge FC)
29′ — Yellow: David Choinière (Forge FC)
39′ — Yellow: Sergio Camus (Atlético Ottawa)
77′ — Yellow: Ollie Bassett (Atlético Ottawa)