HIGHLIGHTS: Forge FC vs. Atlético Ottawa (Oct. 7, 2023) | Presented by tonybet
Despite falling 1-0 to Atlético Ottawa in their season finale on Saturday at Tim Hortons Field, Forge FC finished the season in second place, after Pacific FC failed to beat regular season champions Cavalry FC in Saturday’s other matchup.
Forge will now travel to Calgary themselves, where they will face Cavalry FC in a 1st vs. 2nd playoff, with the winner advanced directly to, and hosting, the 2023 CPL Final.
Ottawa’s Ilias Iliadis scored the lone goal of the match early in the second half, as Atleti snapped a seven-game winless streak.
Despite the fact that they were playing only for pride, Atlético Ottawa looked lively early. In the 12th minute, Ruben Del Campo forced a diving save from Triston Henry who deflected the ball just past his right post.
Forge started to grow into the match as the half wore on, however, with Kyle Bekker testing Nate Ingham from distance in the 26th minute. The Ottawa goalkeeper, however, parried away the rebound.
Forge had an outstanding chance again in the 32nd minute, as central defender Manjrekar James went on a marauding run forward. After forcing Ingham to parry the ball away, Woobens Pacius played the ball into the path of James in the box, but his low strike was well saved by the Ottawa keeper.
The visitors kept pushing, however, and came close again in the 38th minute. An attempted Forge clearance deflected into the path of Ollie Bassett, who cut the ball back for Max Tissot. The Ottawa captain, however, put his shot across goal and just wide of the far post. They nearly scored again moments later, as this time Del Campo sent a strike that Henry was just able to keep out of his net.
Frustrations boiled over just before half-time, as pushing and shoving during a corner kick in the 43rd minutes led to yellow cards being shown to both Forge’s Alex Achinioti-Jönsson and Atlético Ottawa’s Iliadis. Just before halftime James nearly scored again, as he cut his way into the box, before forcing another great stop from Ingham. Instead, the two sides went into the half at 0-0.
Ottawa, however, were keen to play spoiler on the evening, as Iliadis dispossessed Forge captain Kyle Bekker in front of the box, before striding into the box and opening the scoring in the 54th minute.
Forge came close to equalizing in the 57th minute, as Kwasi Poku played an excellent ball into Rezart Rama. But the Forge defender, who recently scored his first CPL goal, put his header over the crossbar. Pacius had an even better chance in the 70th minute, but he got it all wrong from close range on a chance that would have tied both the match and the Golden Boot race.
Instead, it was a frustrating end to the season for Forge at Tim Hortons Field, who finish the 2023 season with just four wins at home.
54′ — Ilias Iliadis (Atlético Ottawa)
28′ — Yellow: Woobens Pacius (Forge FC)
32′ — Yellow: Manjrekar James (Forge FC)
43′ — Yellow: Ilias Iliadis (Atlético Ottawa)
43′ — Yellow: Alex Achinioti-Jönsson (Forge FC)
74′ — Yellow: Karl Ouimette (Atlético Ottawa)
81′ — Yellow: Zach Verhoven (Atlético Ottawa)